Follow
Share

I live 1500 miles away; Dad will not move here; we can't/won't move there. I fly there 4 times a year. Dad didn't save and doesn't have long-term insurance. I am in process of filing for VA benefits but even that won't be enough for a 93 yr old to stay home. His sister and several nieces and nephews live in the area. He has great neighbors and free help from a friend with his bills. He is mentally capable; just not physically. He demanded to leave Assisted living. He has mobility and toileting issues. Money is the key and neither he nor my husband and I have enough We have no children and need to save for our old age (I'm 58 he's 63) . I haven't worked for month this time around having come here to help Dad again. He can only afford about 6 hours a day help at most, yet makes too much to qualify as poor. Louisiana has fewer resources than other places. He and Mom reverse mortgaged the home years ago and there's nothing left. I feel my situation is pretty hopeless until he dies. Doctors say his vitals are all okay. It's the hip replacement gone wrong years ago and the torn rotator cuff that won't heal and lack of money are the problem. Sometimes I feel I'm alone in this but I know there must be someone out there....

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Yes, being an only child is very difficult while caring for a parent. My mom has dementia (mostly short term loss) and refuses to eat, go to assisted living or take her medication. I am in my 40's and have children at home and a husband. Trying to put a daughter through college and my son is in high school. I am sandwiched between two generations. Very difficult! I am moving my mom in to assisted living. She doesn't really want to go, but I am doing what is best for her. Your dad may not have wanted to stay there, but it was best for him. You may want to reconsider the ALF again. Do what ever he can afford. The roles have reversed now, you are the parent. What would you do for your own children (I know you don't have any so it makes it harder to understand that). What would you do for your husband? You would do what is BEST! Just like my mom, your dad cannot make these decisions on his own anymore. I know how hard it is to make them do what they don't want to. I have struggled with that for 3 years now. I have finally got the nerve to do what is best for her and I know it will be better for me and my family as well. Once he exhausts all his funds, then your state will be forced to take care of him. Don't worry about the money, do what he can afford until it is gone, then other resources will come your way. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just want to be sure - are you applying for long-term care services with VA or compensation? I learned the hard way that those are two distinct things. The LTC requires a form filled out by a doctor who's assessed the vet. For us, that went through faster than the compensation claim filed a year earlier.

One resource might be www.veteransaidbenefit.org. They're dedicated to assisting senior vets and their families understand what benefits are available to them. They should be able to help you with questions about guardianship too - VA has its own requirements, separate from county/state. It really helps to have someone knowledgeable about VA working with you. And sometimes that means looking a bit. But hopefully this organization can help you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

We had to wait it out, with our mom (almost 95). She fell and could no longer get out of bed, on her own power. Once they are in the hospital, it is much easier to move the, to a nursing home. I would suggest that you look into how you apply for medicaid and have that information handy.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yeah, long distance caregiving sucks and sometimes, as an only trying to do it for my mom, I couldn't help but feel it was just a crummy euphemism for "not being there." My mom who lived in the South Hills of Pgh, PA had the nice neighbor and familiar people who helped her do what she needed to stay in place...until the time she took too much medication and fell. I might or might not have been able to care for her in her own home if I'd uprooted, left my daughter here in AR, left my career and income behind; I even asked my son if he might want to go live with her and go to school in Pgh, since he was wanting to break away; he didn't and I finally decided not to, for better or for worse. Her idea of going home was that once she could walk again she could be there all by herself, no home health or chore services, OK with a LifeLine and not trying to go up and down stairs...was not ever going to happen. I know I spent at least $16k on travel and related expenses, probably more, over about 3 years. Once it was clear to me there was no realistic hope of her going back home, I started plotting to move my folks here. Dad died before I could make all the arrangements, but I did get my mom moved here. It was not what we hoped - I don't think the move per se caused any health crises that she would not have eventually had, but it might have accelerated some things. In the long run moving Mom meant she got lots more grandkid visits, more pizza, better medical care, and had me at her side when she passed on; dying alone was something she did not want. And I got to skip the every 4-6 weeks alternating 15 hour drives and flights that connected through Charlotte aiport (I got pretty good at running the full length of that place and not missing connections!)

Almost right after she died, I got a notice of a job opening in my specialty back in Pgh...as if I hadn't already had enough doubts about what I'd decided!!!

I guess what I am trying to say is, it is tough to decide, but I'd vote for bringing Dad closer when and only when he really can't live independently or with whatever help he can get in his own home. Being mentally OK makes a huge difference in that regard. Just keep that travel bag handy.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If you move your Dad he will only go downhill. Did you ever try website care online for help? I have great luck there but you have to weed them out of course. You can even get a free background check on them. He might qualify for medicaid but they dont give much more than 2 hours a day. Good luck. Oh, try this to get the VA quicker, from any State...
Elder Resource Benefits Consulting
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You may want to contact the Louisiana Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA) and ask for information on the Aging and Disability Resource Centers in the parish where your father lives. louisianaanswers is a website designed to provide information on available services and support for the elderly, caregivers, etc.
Louisiana Medicaid also has several waiver programs that your dad may qualify for even though his income exceeds the usual medicaid guidelines.
The Louisiana Department of Veteran's Affairs has five VA homes scattered throughout the state. Since you are applying for VA benefits please check out the Veterans Assistance section under Money and Legal on this website as well as the VA.gov website. There are a lot of different types of benefits and you want to be sure you apply in such a way to gain the maximum benefit for your father.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

LA55, who has dad's powers of attorney? If he has not executed these it is past time.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I'm in FL but there agencies you can probably find through your local county court clerk or look for Agencies for Aging online in your zip code. You can probably get free or low cost legal help. The local Disability or SSA office (in his county) is a great source also or call federal resources as you are out-of-state. They have info and numbers, we pay their salaries, get some help. I wish you some peace and a good nights sleep.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Check with the veterans they have volunteers and different services to perhaps help him. Is there a day care adult near him? They are not very costly and can pick him up for social time, leaving the bulk of the paid time of caregiving for evening perhaps? Don't worry about being the only child there are many who might as well be.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

How would you like to be only child left. brother died last year and left all money to wife,despite telling me he was leaving 160 thousand for mom. She gets 950 month soc sec and I may have enough for me to live rest of my life. Been single most of my life no children or help. My sil is not giving us a penny.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Being an only child can have lots of advantages in the early part of your life but the bill comes due at the end of your parents' lives. I have walked this road. I was single which even complicated the situation as I did not have a spouse or children to assist in anyway.

Earlier posts have suggested ways to cover your father with an aide for one shift and rely on Life Alert for the other two shifts a day. This may work for awhile but being 93 yrs old, his mobility at best will stabilize but then it will decline. I would see if you can get him into a decent medicaid nursing home. Some states have veteran homes which are nursing homes --they tend to render better care than the for profit nursing homes. They are there to accept veterans with little or no income.

Lastly, at 93 years old your father will not live much longer. Therefore, if you had a good father daughter relationship, you are his only child. You are his connection with life on Earth. You both need time to see each other in the twilight of his life.


Given his lack of funds, I think the best medicaid or veteran home in his area is best for him. If his mind is good, call him every day or so to check on him and chit chat. You are likely the center of his world at 93. Once he is safe, the stress on you and him will be reduced. Try to visit him as frequently as your job and finances permit. Someone will need to become his advocate as decisions (one after another) will be needed. Even when everything is set up, his condition will evolve and he needs a health and financial advocate to see he gets the programs and treatments best for him in light of his age. At 93 it is all about helping him to maintain the best health he can. I would investigate being his health care directive person and power of attorney.

Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

The Life Alert is only about $30.00 a month and very well worth it. My MIL had one and they were very prompt to call any time she used it. We now have her in an ALF so she no longer needs it. Being an only child makes it harder on you but do not hesitate to get the help your dad needs....you will not regret it. MIL did not want to leave her home but it was no longer safe for her to be alone. She mis-medicated herself on a regular basis and also has dementia. We had to make the decision to move her in with us until I was no longer capable of taking care of her progressive needs. She and we are healthier and happier with her in AL even though her initial response was to pout and act like we were doing her wrong she now loves where she is and is actually making friends and participating in daily activities. God bless you and good luck with your dad.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am in a similar situation. I have my Mom at home with an alarm system that allows me to see her on video via computer, includes the panic necklace and home is wired to notify police, fire, emts if needed. They had the alarm system. I upgraded it. Costs us about $50/mo for all that, but I hear commericals for store bought ones now, that do all the same, without that huge intial set up fee. Wireless, hooks into internet service. My parents were not on line, but I set it up through their cable company and it helps me as I have internet then when I am at their place helping. Also, I would suggest looking at the free elderly programs in your Dad's community. Most towns have a 'council on aging' or such organization. The one in Tucson, does free repairs, mows the lawn, washes windows, hauls away junk, delivers fresh produce and more to my Mom...and of course, each thing scheduled involves someone 'checking on her' too. They have no charges, but do accept donations. Does he cook for himself still? Perhaps Meals on Wheels is another option, generally has no charge and delivers a daily hot meal with a couple snacks for other times. They also 'check in' and visit a little when they deliver. I also have phone numbers for police (do do welfare checks) and all friends, neighbors that I could call on if I needed someone to stop by relatively quickly. I made up a 'resource' binder for my parents early on, with dividers and sections for phone # of agencies/friends, doctors, neighbors and then, since I have POA and pay bills, all the contact info for all their regular bills, insurance company, repair and maintenance people. When they have MD app'ts, I fax mine and their questions and concerns to the doctor's office the day before the app't and with some doctor's they actually phone me during the app't and talk to both the parent and I about the app't at the same time. A couple docs, have even given me their email address or phone #, so I can text info to them. We had a caregiver for Dad before he was placed in a dementia unit. We started at 4 hrs/day 3 days/week and expanded as needed. Most agencies in Tucson, required a minimum of 4 hrs at a time and a minimum 2 or 3 days/week. But there are also private people. We have an eldercare attorney and a contract with the agency, so a case manager through the law office. Parents had the money for it and it's been a godsend back up for me as far as good advice, and someone to call on when I am not there. Hope there's some kind of helpful idea here for you!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If money is an issue, I should mention that I'm pretty sure you have to pay a monthly fee for the Life Alert. I did have a relation using it but I kind of think that's why she got rid of it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My best advice is to get a lawyer - file for guardianship of him and get him in the place he needs to be for his and your best interest. Yes - it will probably be approx. 1500-3000 dollars to pay lawyer fees for this but you will have peace of mind in that he is safe and well cared for 24/7. I also am an only child and had to make the decisions you are now making. It is so difficult to do on your own! Best of luck and many, many hugs!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

You said he can only afford about 6 hours a day of assistance. Get it! Decide which 6 hours are the most convenient for your dad, which 6 hours he would need the most help, and hire someone. Some people hire someone for the morning (8a-2p) to help get someone up and dressed and fed for the day. Or maybe later hours would benefit him more. Find out about this neighbor, when is this person around? Can his sister look in on him on a regular basis (and when I say "look in" I mean "look in", not care for)? Can a niece or nephew look in on him on a certain day at a certain time? If you can get this care coordinated with people stopping in to check in on him plus the 6 hours a day maybe you can get your dad covered for quite a bit of most days.

Get him a life alert necklace. The newer, fancy ones have a sensor that senses when a person goes down but I've seen them malfunction and would suggest a run of the mill button that your dad would wear around his neck and press if he falls.

You're not all alone. Ask for help. The sister. The nieces and nephews. Call a nursing agency. The neighbor. You just have to get organized and see what you have to work with. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.