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Old 01-20-2014, 06:12 AM
 
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Has anyone decided to relocate and give up employment to help elderly parents? My parents live in another state (a 2 hour plane ride) and I am trying to decide what to do when one of them is alone. My mother would be agreeable to moving to where I live but don't think my father would be. Difficult situation.

Last edited by doghead; 01-20-2014 at 06:20 AM..
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:30 AM
 
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I moved from PA to FL to help my mother, but I didn't give up my job because I was already working from home. So much depends on the circumstances I think - what are your options, what are you leaving behind, what is your parent like and how do you get along with him/her? In my case there were no good options - I have siblings, but none nearby and nobody willing to radically change their life to help Mom. There was also no money, thus no option of paid help and no possibility of assisted living, which is what my mother really needs. The plus side was that I wasn't leaving much behind - I'd moved to PA after a divorce a few years earlier, and hadn't really settled in too much or developed any ties. The minus side is that my mother is difficult, demanding, and starting to become demented. The main negative is that I've been locked into this for three years now and with no end reasonably in sight. Be aware that your parent can live a very long time in a state of "needing help" and if you're the help, your life is going to be tied up for that long.

Everyone's experience is different. I can't say I would have done anything differently. I can say I wish I hadn't had to do this and wish I could stop doing it and move on with my life. Give a long hard thought to your options before you make a move.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:52 AM
 
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I'm a caregiver for my mother, father and mother-in-law and if needed I would move and would continue helping for as long as needed, they deserve it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:52 PM
 
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I think it is most reasonable for your parents to move, even though your father is stubborn. You have to ask yourself what will I be giving up for possibly 10-20 or so years. If you qualify for a pension after a certain time, will you give that up? What about SS benefits for yourself? If you earn more, you qualify for more. You have to decide this sort of thing with an eye to your own situation.

You also don't say if mom and dad qualify for assistance where they live. Or if they might if they moved to your locale. Could they enter an ALF? Is there money to do that? Or would you have to have them with you? If that is the case, which is better, your place or their place? A wgn has said, you could be doing the caregiving, possibly alone, for longer than you think.

Also to think about is whether your parents would cooperate with you, or whether they would give you a hard time with their meds or other issues. I'd say if your parents are demanding and difficult, do everything you can to keep them in their own residence. Imagine yourself trying to get your father to shower! Imagine he refuses for weeks. Imagine how you get him to do this basic thing he does not want to do. Or imagine that he refuses his meds. Or that he wanders at suppertime.

Think about how this would impact your life. Also imagine that your parents live for at least another 10 years or longer. Imagine giving up a social life and the ability to travel as long a they live with you, or you with them.

But also, take into consideration their welfare. You don't just want to dump them in a place and leave. That's why I think the best solution is for them to live somewhere protected, but near you.

Good luck as you make your decisions.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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The 85 year old mother of close friends of mine had a very difficult time after her husband passed away. She was in poor health and wasn't expected to live for very long. So it was agreed that she would spend six months living with one daughter and six months living with the other daughter. It sounded great. She would spend time with both families, get to know her grandchildren and it wouldn't be too much strain on either family, as they always had the upcoming next six month break.

She moved in with her first daughter and six months quickly passed soon it was time to move to the second sister's home. Well, the sister #2 had planned a month long vacation so right then wouldn't work out and her son was starting college in the fall so next winter wouldn't work out either. So Sister #1 & her husband and family continued to care for Mom. It was planned that the next summer & fall Mom would stay with her other daughter and family. Well two weeks before she was set to leave little sister said "Sorry, my hubby decided to take me to Europe again for several weeks and after we return I am having foot surgery so can not take care of Mom". this went on and on and on.

Finally after caring for Mom continuously for two and half years the first sister and her husband planned their first vacation in years and arranged to drop Mom off at her other daughter's house for the next six months. After two or three days the sister was calling begging them to pick up her/their mother. The second sister ended up caring for Mom for one week.

Shortly after Mom moved back in with the first sister they made arrangements for her to move into an assisted living facility. Mom lived for another 8 years and was quite happy in her new home.

My points? Often taking turns with siblings does not work out. And, there is no way to determine how long someone will live with you. What you thought may be a six month commitment may end up being years. Just be prepared for anything.

Last edited by germaine2626; 01-20-2014 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:38 PM
 
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If you move, make sure you find new employment. I quit my job to care for my father. When he died, the estate was frozen until it went through probate (2 years later). I didn't have a penny. I found work within a couple of months, but it was a terrible thing to go through while grieving the death of a loved one. I'm just warning you to make sure you stay financially secure. Not many people think of what happens after the death.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:44 AM
 
5,706 posts, read 5,740,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doghead View Post
Has anyone decided to relocate and give up employment to help elderly parents? My parents live in another state (a 2 hour plane ride) and I am trying to decide what to do when one of them is alone. My mother would be agreeable to moving to where I live but don't think my father would be. Difficult situation.
Well you don't mention the financial situation of your parents and what you plan on living on.

You also sound like you're planning for the time when one passes away but what if they both live "forever" but can't be independent? AND there's the issue of dealing with mental problems versus "just" physical limitations". Because dementia is no joke and can progressively drive you mad, yourself.

You really can't plan something like quitting work and moving in advance of knowing what the situation IS - unless your parents are cooperative in advance planning. Except for retaining your own financial independence.

I would NEVER EVER consider it if your parents are difficult or in denial and refuse to sign paperwork giving you all the proper authority required. Advance Directives, Power of Attorney(s) etc. So THAT'S the priority for now, IMO. And knowing their affairs. Unless you're independently wealthy and can live from savings for a long time.

I didn't move but did close my business. I moved into my mother's house because her doctors said she needed supervision/support after bypass surgery, and I agreed she did. I took a "small" part time job and had savings. I even had to quit that little job because she was so noncompliant with her diabetes and more - I kept getting calls at work with emergency trips to the ER. She also insisted on driving, crashing into the garage and hitting deer, etc. So - constant battle.

She resented me being there and was miserable to be around. My overarching motivation was to keep my son's life stable because he was VERY close to my mother (he was starting college) but she was even miserable towards him. Going to the grocery buying cheese then yelling at my son for eating it. (even though she didn't eat cheese herself and even though I had bought another pound of the SAME CHEESE sitting right there. ). Everybody was supposed to walk on eggshells and pretend to be invisible.

My mother didn't have anything but a will (leaving most of her large estate to my son)...and was as hard headed as they come about doing anything more. As it turned out after a few months, she had a stroke and ended up in a nursing home where her lawyer got an "illegal" POA by sneaking in at night and getting her to sign an "X" with his secretary, a notary. My mother had a "fake" husband (common law-ish) for 40 years and it was HIS lawyer. When she got sick, he moved out. Then they tried to get everything she owned in HIS name but failed. At least there was that.

THEN he refused to allow her to come home to die in peace and she rotted away there for the next year until she died. I stayed in the house and tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy while cleaning it out/organizing it over that year. It was awful and a very life changing depressing situation for my son, since all of a sudden the grandparents he thought he had were strangers and mean. Not to mention his entire freshman year of school was even more difficult than it needed to be. The whole ordeal was about two years but felt like about five after it was over.

Proceed with caution because it's usually a thankless job if a parent is not buying into it for whatever reason. Giving up employment for a thankless job that might get you in a horrific financial situation for a long time is NOT something I'd ever consider. It all depends on THAT, IMO.

It appears the depression era generation are really experts in denial and not giving enough thought to their own mortality and end of life needs. Not to mention the raging growing dementia situation. I am grateful I only had to deal with my mother's standard depression and being obnoxious, not technical dementia.

There are some opinions floating around that adult children "owe it" to their parents to give up their own lives for them - indefinitely. Not something I subscribe to; if you read the many threads here about caregiving you'll see the spectrum of "help" is very very broad and shocking.

In MY personal life experience the main reasons the adult children are caregiving is because 1)there's no MONEY to do otherwise or 2) The parents are willfully refusing help or suffering some mental illness to do anything logical.

Facts and figures from Alz dot org:

An estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's disease in 2013. This includes an estimated 5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer's.

The number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will grow as the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to increase. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million—a 40 percent increase from the 5 million age 65 and older currently affected. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease


Latest Facts & Figures Report | Alzheimer's Association

Last edited by runswithscissors; 01-21-2014 at 07:29 AM..
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:04 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 5,659,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doghead View Post
Has anyone decided to relocate and give up employment to help elderly parents? My parents live in another state (a 2 hour plane ride) and I am trying to decide what to do when one of them is alone. My mother would be agreeable to moving to where I live but don't think my father would be. Difficult situation.
I'm sure some have done as you post here -- relocated and given up employment. However, what kind of financial shape does that leave you in as you age?

Much more practical to try to move your parents closer to you, if you feel you will need to be providing any sort of regular caregiving services.

Home care services (as long as they are less expensive than your earned wages), can provide assistance and potentially allow you to stay employed.

I took time off for my parents, and still do for my father, but no - I would never quit my job, because then how would I provide for my spouse and eventual old-age/retirement?
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:15 PM
 
7,935 posts, read 8,527,622 times
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
If you move, make sure you find new employment. I quit my job to care for my father. When he died, the estate was frozen until it went through probate (2 years later). I didn't have a penny. I found work within a couple of months, but it was a terrible thing to go through while grieving the death of a loved one. I'm just warning you to make sure you stay financially secure. Not many people think of what happens after the death.

The OP would be moving to take care of two elderly parents, that would be their full time job. They may be able to work part time but to think they would be working full time doesn't sound doable. Also when you start a new job you can't be missing work, if the parents need to be driven to doctors appts for example, than what?

That is too bad about your situation, but that could have easily been avoided if your father set up a living trust. It is very important in situations like this to have your ducks in a row.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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OP, try to get them to pay you on an hourly or weekly basis for your services. That way, you'll have some funds if the estate has no money in it after they pass. Some elder care lawyers will do this for you...it is essentially a contract for employment. Also figure out whether the contract will pay into Social Security and offer you some form of benefits, e.g., a vacation or a raise on annual basis.

If that doesn't work, I sympathize. I am in a very similar situation now and after looking for a year for housing nearby (Mom has very particular criteria), there is almost none to be had. I am considering doing the same. In my case, I will be giving up a thankless job with benefits and compensation and moving towards Mom and a chance to get re-established elsewhere.
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