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Old 03-22-2016, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
88 posts, read 53,062 times
Reputation: 115

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Hi folks, I'm new around here and this part of the forum caught my eye.

For the caregivers, do you have plans for after your loved one passes on, and no longer needs your care?


I'm going to use my relative Sally* as an example. She was the youngest of her siblings, the only one to stay at home with the parents. Her father was an invalid of sorts for around 40 years before he died. But Sally used to work outside the home, until around 25 years ago when her mother entered her final illness. After her mom died, dad liked having her around, needed to have her around essentially. So, she had lost her good job to a shakeup anyway, she stayed at home with her father, moved with him to stay near another sibling in a different state, and cared for him full-time.

When her father died at 100, Sally had a dispute with one of her siblings over a sentimental piece that she wanted to inherit. It was a dispute she lost. After her father's funeral the sibling sold the property where she and her father were living, and evicted her. So she went to live with an aunt, who suffered from a degenerative disease for decades, and, except for a few short breaks to go out of state & help her nephews/niece during the short time her sibling was dying from cancer (not the same sibling who sold the house from under her) she stayed with her aunt to the end.

Obviously there was a lot of financial stupidity and lack of foresight in this story, but anyway, following the death of her aunt, Sally found herself homeless after all was said and done. In her 70s now, she is disabled herself, but couldn't deal with Social Security Disability at the time that would have been appropriate, just ended up taking her retirement benefit early, which of course makes it permanently smaller.


I think I know what she should have done differently in the past, that's easy. But what can she do now?

There is one other person I know of in a similar situation, cared for his mother by himself for 15 years, then after she died, he split the sale of her house with his siblings per the will, moved away, and descended into mental illness and substance abuse and the ravages thereof.

He acts like he wants to die soon, suicide or OD or whatever health issues he has. But Sally does not have a fatal illness or reckless behavior. She could go on living for many more years.


ETA It seems like I'm asking a financial question, this is true, but not only.

Sally is a person who has been under the direction and oversight of one or more older family members since she was born. She was never able to move out because of her parents (I don't really get it either). She's completely non-self-directed. Also, she has not done anything to speak of for many, many years. In the sense that she does not have anything to say in a conversation. She is used to having someone else, a more dominant person to tell her what to do while she sits there tending to them and hanging on their every word. Understandably considering all this, she is not an independent person by any stretch of the imagination. I just thought I would add that.

Money can sometimes be gotten, or lucked into. The other issues, one would hope so as well, but how? is the question.


Thoughts?


*name has been changed

Last edited by Claudia Dare; 03-22-2016 at 05:25 PM.. Reason: add another part, and then to give her a pseudomym instead of just an initial.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:10 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
7,361 posts, read 12,894,103 times
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I'm taking care of my dad. My wife and I are living in my parents' house, which was deeded to us. My mother passed away 4 years this month and we convinced my dad he should move to an assisted living but he had to go to a nursing home a year and a half ago. When Mama died and he moved, all of us had already decided for the most part who got what. Everything was split up when he moved. He said he wouldn't need it and wanted us to go ahead. We went through just about everything. The spoon collection, the Toby mugs, weapons, pictures, etc. My dad is still alive but everything is taken care of already.
A few years before Mama died, my parents talked to my wife and I, and my brother and SIL at separate times, asking what we wanted out of the house. We both said the same thing, we don't care. We did decide who was getting what and most of that has been taken care of. Only thing left is a little money in an IRA that we split 50/50 when my dad dies, if there's any left. Sorry this "person" and her sibling had this problem.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
88 posts, read 53,062 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by kygman View Post
We did decide who was getting what and most of that has been taken care of. Only thing left is a little money in an IRA that we split 50/50 when my dad dies, if there's any left. Sorry this "person" and her sibling had this problem.

That's definitely the way to do it, but in this case, the possibility of her father dying some day could never be spoken in his presence until he had done it. Even though he was in poor health and ancient, it was not to be acknowledged, which is the equivalent of saying "You kids fight it out among yourselves after I'm gone."

I'd say they both had around an equal claim to the item under dispute, but her sibling won from a place of power.

Are these the only parents in the world who don't worry about what happens to their caregiver child afterward?
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,882 posts, read 17,196,676 times
Reputation: 40776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia Dare View Post
That's definitely the way to do it, but in this case, the possibility of her father dying some day could never be spoken in his presence until he had done it. Even though he was in poor health and ancient, it was not to be acknowledged, which is the equivalent of saying "You kids fight it out among yourselves after I'm gone."

I'd say they both had around an equal claim to the item under dispute, but her sibling won from a place of power.

Are these the only parents in the world who don't worry about what happens to their caregiver child afterward?
OP, you said that the man was an invalid "for 40 years" and he died when he was 100 years old.
It is pretty hard to believe that Sally did not have the guts to discuss the issue of his will and her inheritance at any point from the time that he was 60 years old to when he was 100.

Even if the father truly felt that he was Immortal (which I sincerely doubt) it was obvious to his children that he was going to die sometime. Just because the father thought that he was God, did not mean that his children should not discuss with him what would be fair & equitable in the end.

I don't mean to sound flippant or disrespectful but IMHO both the person receiving care and the caregiver need to be open to bringing up & discussing difficult issues with the other person.

Yes, what happened to Sally is wrong but I really don't know what she can do about it now. And, where were the extended family when all of this was happening over the last few decades? Why did not anyone else talk to father about his will, or help Sally apply for SS Disability, or discuss what was "fair" with the sibling after his death?

OP, she is your relative, can she move in with you now that she is homeless?


___________


PS. In my family, the elderly parents & elderly relatives care about our caregivers and make sure that they are provided for after they die. We also make sure that things are "fair" for all of the siblings.
I do not know how other families do it. I hope that they provide for long time caregivers and are fair to everyone in the family.

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-22-2016 at 08:50 PM.. Reason: added PS.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
88 posts, read 53,062 times
Reputation: 115
It was an unusual family with unusual relationships, I guess. Actually, some extended family members have given advice over the years, or asked pointed questions about the future, but to no effect.

She's been living in my house for a year, but it's a really, really miserably bad match. It's just as I knew it would be: I don't even want to be in my own home, and my kids are uncomfortable as well. I'd rather not do this forever --- in fact, it's not a sustainable situation at all.So I'm trying to brainstorm for some other ideas.

No one else in the family is willing take her in. Not even for a respite visit, unbelievably.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:50 PM
 
6,606 posts, read 3,806,188 times
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What happened to Sally is sad and reprehensible. It sounds like she was picked when a child to be the one to forfeit her life for the convenience and service of the rest of the family. It is particularly appalling that they allowed her to end up homeless.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Northeast US
88 posts, read 53,062 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
OP, you said that the man was an invalid "for 40 years" and he died when he was 100 years old.
It is pretty hard to believe that Sally did not have the guts to discuss the issue of his will and her inheritance at any point from the time that he was 60 years old to when he was 100.

Unfortunately, it's true... and you know what's also hard to believe, is how effectively she is able to deflect any suggestions or talk of changing the situation. I really think it's based on a lack of ability. Why would she want to burden me? I have to think she's unable to behave differently.

Seems to me this kind of thing was more common in the old days (except the part about the siblings leaving the caregiver homeless after it's over, that's never been OK). But to have one sibling stay home to care for parents and not have much of a life of their own. This situation is like that, taken to an extreme degree.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,882 posts, read 17,196,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia Dare View Post
It was an unusual family with unusual relationships, I guess. Actually, some extended family members have given advice over the years, or asked pointed questions about the future, but to no effect.

She's been living in my house for a year, but it's a really, really miserably bad match. It's just as I knew it would be: I don't even want to be in my own home, and my kids are uncomfortable as well. I'd rather not do this forever --- in fact, it's not a sustainable situation at all.So I'm trying to brainstorm for some other ideas.

No one else in the family is willing take her in. Not even for a respite visit, unbelievably.
I am sorry that Sally's family did not accept the help offered by their extended family.

Please contact your local council on aging for help. I am guessing that Sally is low income AND disabled AND elderly. I would hope that would put her on the top of the waiting list for subsidized, low income housing of whatever type is appropriate for her functioning level.

If you do not get help through the council on aging contact other agencies for assistance. Or you can contact an attorney that specializes in elder care.

Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,882 posts, read 17,196,676 times
Reputation: 40776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia Dare View Post
Unfortunately, it's true... and you know what's also hard to believe, is how effectively she is able to deflect any suggestions or talk of changing the situation. I really think it's based on a lack of ability. Why would she want to burden me? I have to think she's unable to behave differently.

Seems to me this kind of thing was more common in the old days (except the part about the siblings leaving the caregiver homeless after it's over, that's never been OK). But to have one sibling stay home to care for parents and not have much of a life of their own. This situation is like that, taken to an extreme degree.
I agree that it was more common in the early twentieth century. My parents (born in 1920 & 1922) mentioned things like that happening to their much older friends and even a few people near their own age.

I was born in 1952 and of all of my friends and classmates and neighbors I can only think of one person(who was ten years older than me) who was "groomed" by her parents to completely give up her life to be a caregiver (her parents did not allow her to get married).

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-22-2016 at 09:54 PM..
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,841 posts, read 25,219,256 times
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Sounds like Sally was rudely used and abused by many. But if you can't or won't stand up for yourself, you will end up as someone's doormat. I took care of my parents for more than a decade. I can still remember screaming matches with my useless sister. Explaining to her that she had no vacation. Her vacation was coming to my house to do elder care so *I* could go on vacation! I did it 50 weeks a year and she could darn well do 2 weeks!
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