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Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my question. I am a 32yr. old man who takes care of both his elderly disabled parents. My father is 63 and receives Disability of about $1700 a month. He has end stage COPD, diabetes and a host of other medical problem i.e. chronic lung disease. My mom is only 58 but had a stroke a year ago and while she is pretty mobile she no longer can work or drive. She also receives disability of around $700 a month. After rent and paying for medicine the are broke. Ive been taking care of both of them since my moms stroke. I don't know what to do anymore. Ive lost my job because I do everything for them. i.e. grocery shopping, doctors appointments everything. I am on call 24/7. I have two brothers but they don't help at all. I'm so stressed I just don't know what to do anymore. I won't abandon my parents but I can't keep doing this. Ive lost everything because I do everything for them. I don't know what to do anymore. Please any advice is welcome. I should say we live in Texas and neither one qualifies for Medicaid or food stamps. I already tried that. Thank you and God Bless

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mbryan, I would definitely do an internet search for state and local agencies who can help you find assistance for parents with disabilities. If your dad is truly at end-stage COPD, check out a local hospice for care. If they do not have any assets, Medicare or Medicaid will pick up the cost for at least six months. As for your mother, it sounds like she can no longer care for herself, is that correct? Again, the state or a local agency may have a program that can help a younger woman in her situation. 58 may seem old to you,but it's actually pretty young these days.

As for you, trying to honor your parents does not mean sacrificing your life for them. Losing your job because of their needs, not supporting yourself and planning for your own retirement are not only not a requirement, it's pretty stupid. Helping to ensure that they are cared for in an appropriate way is enough. Sounds like your mother could live for a long time. Taking care of her 24/7 for the rest of the time she has left is NOT your responsibility.
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Oh, and I'm on the net at an extended stay hotel I managed to get us into for a week to avoid temps in the teens this week. Next Thursday we go back to our cold, dismal house to stare at the walls. It'll only be in the 30's and 40's by then. Believe me, nobody wants to be here. Do what you have to to get this burden off your back, for your sake.
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MB, I started taking care of my mom at age 36 by myself. I feel you. I, too, have pretty much lost everything in the doing. 'Abandoning' your parent to the state isn't as harsh as it sounds. 3 months before my mom died that's what I had to do. I was on my way to a stroke from the endless stress. Without a POA I had no choice but to 'abandon' her...which simply resulted in the state doing what I couldn't...getting my mom into a nice nursing facility where she needed to be, with a team taking care of her around the clock instead of just me. I couldn't go on. Even after 'abandoning' her, I saw her all the time. It was business as usual, except that I wasn't on call 24/7 anymore...thank God!

Dude, I'm telling you, do what you have to do to be free of this. I'm not being mean, I'm being realistic. My sons and I are living in a house with no electricity, heat or running water in the middle of winter due to my mom's refusal to give a POA to anyone, my lost job and not working the last few years, not to mention financially supporting my mom for over 5 years in the beginning, money that should have been stashed into my account but went to her instead. When their time is over, and in your case it could be a long, long time before it's over, as in 20-30+ years before it's over and it's a very real and scary possibility that you'll be left standing with absolutely nothing. There's nothing and I mean nothing at all smart about total self sacrifice. I've been kicking my own ass for quite awhile now. Had I known in the beginning what I know now, I never would have taken my mom and her alz on. No way in hell. I would have insisted that she sell her assets and go to assisted living, I would have kept my job and my financial security and 11 years later I wouldn't be facing winter with my boys in poverty. It's not worth it, seriously. No parent should require this of their children. God knows I won't require it from mine. You'd best start making some plans to get out of this role or you could wake up one day, in your 50's and realize that the only thing you have to look forward to is homelessness. The only reason my boys and I aren't on the street is that my mom left her properties to my oldest son and they're paid for. But we might as well be. At the moment you can see your breath in our house and sometimes it's colder inside than out. Don't end up where I did. Do something, anything, to get them the help they need and get on with your life and for God's sake, look out for YOURSELF. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to give a tinkers damn how noble you were in caring for your parents....creditors are going to want the bills paid and they'll leave you in the cold in a skinny second if you can't pay because you haven't worked in years caring for the elderly. Nobody cares. Look out for YOURSELF because nobody else is going to.
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thats enough money to have cocaine and giant prawn both. whats the problem ?
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I appreciate all the helpful info thank you very much. I never thought that at 32 I would be taking care of my parents by myself. It's very stressful and lonely.
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Kaufman County can help you just by calling 211.
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Great answers geewiz and welcome mbryan...Many drug companies also offer discount cards that you can apply for online... you can get up to 75% off of generics also.... You can also try your Area On Aging in your community... they usually have great resources... some have a day care that cost little to nothing, maybe your mom could go a few hours a day and give you a break.... but I really liked geewhiz's answers.... there are also resources here on AC.... just have to look for them.... hope things get less stressful for you soon... others will come on with suggestions also..... and if nothing else, come back and share your feelings.... that helps more than you know.... you are going to be amazed at how many caregivers are in the same boat as you are..... so welcome again.... keep us updated.... hugs
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Have you checked to see if your folks qualify for 'meals on wheels'? How about food pantries from the local house of worship or community service organization. That might provide a bit of extra help. Your Dad may qualify for hospice and that would give you a home health aide a few days a week for him. If you are involved with a house of worship, they may have volunteers that would run errands for your folks: mine proves drivers to doctor's appointments and they have someone who will do grocery shopping for you. As for the prescriptions, research the local big box stores for a list of generics that are offered at low prices. Ask the MD if any of them would work rather than the brand name. If there is a particular med that is very expensive, some pharmaceutical companies have help for low income folks. If you have a friends that 'wishes they could help in some way' the research may be a good assignment for them. My friend called EVERY pharmacy to find the lowest cost for her meds! Guess what, it was the smallest/closest mom & pop drug store. AND they delivered. Since both parents are on disability, they each may qualify for Medicare. Are they signed up for that? Then they can go on Plan D for prescriptions coverage as well. I hope you find something in this laundry list that works for you. There are a lot of experienced folks here, come back and seek help.
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