I am a 55 year old women who is taking care of my 82 year old father. I have been taking care of him since 2011. I love my father but he is not easy to care for.

I take care of my father 365 day out of a year for 5 years. No days off and no vacation day. This should be against the law. My family and friends are no help because they know that my father is hard to care for.

He has a son that lives 15 minutes away from us and he has not seen his father in 5 years. God Help Him!

Well anyway, I am sick myself. It is getting harder and harder for me to walk. Some morning it is hard for me to get out of bed. I need knee surgery but I have no one to care for my father while I'm in the hospital and rehab.

We can't afford a private agency to live with my father while I'm in the hospital. The last time I checked the live in agency wanted $200.00 a day for live in service. My health insurance will not pay for my father live in service and his insurance will not pay also.

I am a caregiver who is doing the best I can. Trying to stay positive but who takes care of the caregiver when the caregiver is sick? This is why I say no one cares about the caregivers.

If you know of any assistants for me please let me know.
Thank you,

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HCG, I sympathize with what you write. We can put ourselves on the back burner, like we're not as important as the one we are caring for. And it's not like anyone else is offering to help. So we keep putting our own needs off. In this case you are top priority. You need to schedule your surgery. In your shoes I would call my local department of senior services at your county's human resources division. Depending on your area, it may be called agency on aging or some similar name. You can find some links to the agencies by clicking on the "Caregiver Support" link on the menu at the top of this page. Let them know what your problem is and tell them your father needs some temporary help. I hope that they will have a program available to help or that they will send a social worker out.

I wish your brother would be involved. That would make things so much simpler. But we can't make people do things they don't want to.

This would probably get more response if it was in the Questions section, so I'm asking the moderators to switch it there. Much luck with this. The main thing to remember is you are the top priority here.
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Jessie had all good answers for you. Is dad a vet serve during wartime as defined by the VA. If so, call the VA to ask what help they may be able to provide. The Area Agency on Aging is an excellent resource! They will at least know where to start so you can do what you need to do for you.
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HCG124, time for Plan B.... your issue is just more than needing to find someone to help your Dad while you recover from knee surgery. From what you wrote, you are becoming totally burnt out from being your Dad's caregiver.

Sounds like Dad's son fell off the edge of the earth once it became known that Dad would start to need help. Or was there other family dynamics involved?

Would your Dad qualify for Medicaid? That's something to think about as your Dad is getting older and you are also getting older... and as we all know we have our own share of age declining issues. Depends on your Dad's health issues, maybe he can get into a continuing care facility, then that way you can jump start your life again after surgery/rehab, maybe even go back to work and continue to add to your own retirement fund.

You're right that no one cares about the caregivers, but one has to realize we made that choice to become one. I hope your Dad has been paying some type of salary to you to be his caregiver, it's not unusual for that to be done.
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I would call you local area on aging, they should be able to send a social worker out to talk with you. In our state there are government services for those who are financially eligible to get support. No sure where you live but if you happen to live in Pennsylvania I could guide you with a phone call. You might call an "aging life care professional" in your area and see what they would recommend as well. As an aging life care professional I give people a lot of advice over the phone when people can't afford our services to get them started. Also finding a mental health psycho-therapist to support you in your role would be helpful. I am also a psychotherapist and work with caregivers. You really have a lot on your plate and need help. There is a lot of help out there it is just difficult to navigate. I am saying prayers for you.
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Been there ... got rushed to Hosp for heart...
Plan ahead... assume people coming to your aid know nothing about you and yours. I have a set of documents for so they can help the caregiver

PDF File of Life Program - Mass.Gov
The “File of Life ®”contains the same valuable information as the. “Vial of Life” but it is easier to find by Emergency Medical Responders. Because it is placed on .
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Here is a redacted doc part of our file of life in-case caregiver is sick or dead
Kathy Nealon Attorney 508 435-6969 regarding management of household and bill payment if I am not available.
In an Emergency call 911 Framingham responder has Smart911 data regarding our family.
MedicAlert Services (med information) 800 432 5378 They provided details
on my family and our home. The emergency needs are displayed at
Framingham emergency center if someone calls 911 from our phone

In a non emergency our preferred Hospital: Newton Wellesley Hosp. 617 243 6000
Have EMT/Ambulance take to:
Newton Wellesley Hosp. Newton, MA 617 243 6000

Local hospital: MetroWest Medical , Framingham Union
Hospital, 508 383 100

Insurance is provided by Medicare & Medx (BXBS) Medex plus Medicaid
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I agree about making the phone calls. You need to call your local senior citizen department. Here, it falls under the Disability department. So, you may need to check the yellow pages under your local gov't agency for it. Another option, is through your parent's doctor. He might be able to provide you with resources.

When my mom was first diagnosed with dementia, my dad was told about a federal program at the University that is studying the progressive stages of dementia. My dad contacted them, got a neurologist to take interest over mom. In exchange for their 'studying' mom, they provided a weekly caregiver and some limited supplies for mom. This program has progressed to now including respite care for the caregivers. So, call around. Ask the person if they know of any programs. Get the number and call.

Also through the doctor, mom got a social worker from the clinic. He was also directed to our local govt program for senior citizens. They proved 4 hours of caregiver respite. He was also directed to the Meals-on-Wheels program so that mom can get free lunch meals Monday-Fridays. So call around, and remember to ask if they know of other programs that you might be interested in.
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Honey. I have walked this walk. Walked it so far that I ended up dead on arrival at the hospital in April 2014. So, I understand. Goggle the laws in your state. In GA the law defines the responsibility of adult children of the elderly disabled parent. No. You do not have to do this alone, but don't expect anyone else to show up because that doesn't happen. Someone would have shown up by now. It was my experience that Senior Citizens, Inc and DHS was no help either except to tell me that my hubby was my total responsibility. That was not the truth. Self neglect is a form of abuse. Unfournately, this happens to many many caregivers because we are unable to care for our charges and ourselves. Investigate what your law is for adult children's responsibilities in your state. Then advise your siblings {might I suggest certified mail return receipt requested} of your siblings legal responsibility to their parent. In GA. if a parent is medically or financially needy the adult children, all of them are legally responsible. Dependent upon your situation, find out what is the best solution for you as the primary caregiver and your dad. Doesn't sound like anyone will show up and help you so how about siblings sharing the expense for in home care for your dad. Mortality rates for caregivers are alarming. Our doctor told me that caregivers often die before their charge. No one showed up for me until I was in the hospital with a ventilator down my chest. They collected my husband, looted our home, sold our car, and took all of our money out of the bank accounts and changed hubby's benificary on the life insurance during the 10 days I was in ICU. When I was released from the hospital, I returned to our handicapped apt and called the police, I thought we had been robbed. No one would tell me where my hubby was. I found him by having the police do a well check at his cousin's house. She then called me and asked me where my pension check was, because I was going to support hubby. I asked her where was I supposed to live in a tree, she told me she didn't care. 20 months later, I have my own apt and few things and moving forward. I was homeless for 15 months. Still have no car but I am on a bus line. I am healthly. Even my diabetes is in remission. I had been so weak and sick for a couple of years. I knew I was just going to lie down go to sleep and not wake up. Don't do it. Safeguard your property, your money, have an action plan on where you will live, take care of yourself. Hubby's cousin even made a report to the Division of Adult Protective Services because she did not feel that I had adaquately cared for hubby and that she did not think I had changed his diapers often enough. That went no where, but she got what she wanted, his ssa and pension and the life insurance. I had begged his sons and cousin to please help because I was so sick. I had gotten down to 83 lbs, kidneys failing, ptsd, 3 different types of anemia, diabetes and nerve damage could barely walk, and had had a pin stroke. Do contact your dr. If I had to do it over again. I would first safeguard the finances, lock down my property, have irrevocable benefaries on pensions and life insurance, and take charge over for a friendly visit and go get the medical, physical and mental help I required. Your life is worth it. The reality to these illness are they expensive. Unless you are extremely well off, there will be nothing left for the healthy spouse to survive on. If you are a child, even less and somebody always says the caregiver is stealing the charges property money or mistreating them. Really. And how would they know that. In the end, your life is worth more than the degradation a caregiver has to live through. Did you know that homeless shelters are full of people with dementia, Parkenson's, stroke survivers, people in walkers, amputees, old people? Guess that little news fact doesn't get out because before APS or DFACS or the nursing homes will take any action they happily turn a blind eye and let the sick and old go to the shelter, but will threaten family members that if you don't take care of them, you will go to jail. That is not exactly true in GA. I am not saying put your sick loved ones in the street. What I am saying is stand up and let the public know exactly what is happening to our elderly and the caregivers. It is horrible. I have found that families pushing all this on one person is the norm. The diease and illness is horrible enough, no one can care for their loved one alone nor should they have to. With help, we can all survive this a little better. And, check out the people that come into to take care of your loved ones. I could not believe what they charge to care for the sick. I will keep you in my prayers. Oh yeah, I have never seen my husband again. Cousin has conveiced him that I ran off with another man and stole his money and that she rescued him. Really, they both showed up at the hospital when I was in a coma in ICU to have a POA on my pension check authorized. Dr. told me that after I regained consiousness. Anyway, get your ducks in a row, Rescue and fight for your life and your charges. Please everyone speak out and make a difference.
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Moondance, I don't understand why the police were "useless". If your husband physically assaulted you ("knocked you around"), that could be a felonious assault. He's also committed a felony theft. And breaking and entering is also a felony. What was the response of the police? I really don't understand why the police were "useless." Could you elaborate?

Cutting a phone line is a crime against the provider, whether it's AT&T or Comcast. Call them. It might also fall under the jurisdiction of the FTC or FCC since he cut communication lines.

When someone calmly stated that my lines would be disconnected if I didn't consider their service, I called Comcast and they took that threat quite seriously.

If he closed a joint bank account without your signature, then he must have committed fraud if he forged your signature. What did the bank say when you contacted them?

As to help, the first thing I would do is request a PPO against him. Call your local county courthouse and ask how to get this accomplished. In our area, there's a PPO office with volunteer attorneys who help complete the Petition. Then you would have to take it to a judge for execution. If you call ahead the PPO staff might be able to arrange for someone to go with you to the judge's courtroom.

The sheriff then serves the PPO.

Also, contact a local woman's shelter, the local county or state bar association, and ask if there are any attorneys who handle pro bono divorce work. You'll definitely need representation, and definitely would want to consider a countersuit as well as injunctive relief to prevent him from absconding with any more money.
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Don't forget, if you hire a caregiver check to see if they have workman's comp in case he/she gets hurt on the job.

If the caregiver doesn't have workman's comp, then you need to check with your homeowner's insurance carrier about getting a workman's comp rider.
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