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Advice please. 83 year old father refuses to retire although his physical health is deteriorated he is still mentally competent to perform as a plumber and sculpture artist. He feels he can't retire to care for two adult mentally disabled children; an adopted special needs niece and her schizophrenic adult daughter. If something happens to him, the girls are not capable of caring for him or themselves in their large messy home. He is invited to live with his son and I, but insists on staying in his unpaid for home and caring for the girls. He has almost lost his drivers license from accidents and the girls rely on their church members for rides. They have jobs and get Social Security Disability. The father gets Social Security and self-employed income but his health is rapidly deteriorating with age. What can we do to help him and the girls to have a better quality of life?

So, you've got the proposal that the gentleman should move into his son's home and be cared for there; but in that case what happens to the two younger ladies? Until there is a plan for them, you're not going to get him to agree to the plan for him.

I agree with Margaret and JoAnn that their future interests are your starting point. Can your husband work with their caseworker(s) to come up with a package that will address everyone's needs?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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This may be a bit hopeful, but if your father is mentally capable, it would be appropriate to ask him to make the preparations for what is to happen to the two women he cares about, if he were to die or become disabled without prior warning. He has picked up responsibilities for them up until now, but he can't bequeath these responsibilities to you or to his son. Pushing him to think about them might be the best way to get him to think about his own future, as well as theirs. Best wishes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I have a disabled nephew whom I love but at 69 do not want the responsibility of caring for. He was living with my Mom. He receives an annuity from his deceased Moms pension and SSD. He works about 30 hrs a week at ARC, which is a workshop. He can live alone, just needs supervision. I got him people. He is signed up with State disability dept and was able to get a voucher. Another program will help him with some training and hopefully food stamps. There are programs out there for the niece and daughter. Try your counties disabilities department.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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If he refuses help, there isn’t much you can do. How did he come to be designated to care for these two? Are they involved in any workshops during the day? Do they help at all around his home? Do they have any family at all who could care for them or research a group home for them? What will happen to them when Dad passes? Have any arrangements been made for them at all?

Dad may feel that caring for these women is what gives his life meaning. He may feel that without them, he will lose any purpose in life at all. It’s unreasonable for sure. But if he’s still competent to make his own decisions, you can’t force him to change his way of living. The driving does concern me, though. Something tragic and traumatic could happen to him or an innocent person out on the road. This is one thing that should be non-negotiable. Feet will have to be put down about his driving.

Sad to say, but you may need to wait until Dad has a medical issue and may be hospitalized. If there is no one in charge of what happens to these women, it may be up to you to research group homes or other accommodations for them...and for Dad as well. Good luck.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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