very difficult times

melikesthepeculiar(7)September 16, 2010

I live with my parents. They are finally splitting up after many years of miserable marriage.

My mom is retiring and leaving and moving to California to be near her sister and mother. I will be staying here with my dad. My grandparents paid off our house years ago, and so they "own the house". They claim if my dad and I can pay all of the monthly bills, we can stay here. If not they will sell the house and we will be kicked out.

I have 2 part time jobs (work from home). A car payment. I pay for half of all the bills. My dad is unemployed but gets disability and some other payment (he has epilepsy among other things, and takes a ton of medicines for it and other medical problems). However now he will not be receiving primary health insurance from my mom anymore and we are trying to get him medicare part D.

I feel the pressure of all of these things and I am having to handle all of the problems. I am basically my dad's caretaker now (although I have pretty much been for years anyway), which is why I need to work from home. I refuse to put my father in an "old folks home"

I can understand my mom wanting to be happy but she is abandoning my dad and I and leaving us (and she can, and does do everything her sister and mother tell her to do) and her mother and step-father have a significant amount of money and can do whatever they please, which is very intimidating.

Luckily I have a brother that I am close with and he is trying to help with everything (despite all of his financial woes and life issues, and that he busts his butt at with long hours at his job)

This is all a lot to deal with and I needed to vent.

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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I'm sorry to hear this is all going on.

I've never had to deal with anything like that, so I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but please, vent all you need to!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 9:26AM
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Vent away - I think it can be even more distressing sometimes, to deal with the divorce of parents, when you're an adult, than when a child, because everyone presumes you'll understand and 'cope', whereas it is understood that a child will feel insecure and unhappy. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this.
Although it must feel like a ton weight at times, you are doing a great thing for your father. I'm glad you have a brother to share your worries and concerns with. I wonder whether it would help, to have a meeting with your father's doctor, to explain the changed circumstances, and review whether there are additional services he might be entitled to now, or even whether there might be less expensive medications that could be offered.

Anyway, I'm sure you're doing all that: feel free to vent away here. I think there's also a caregiver's forum here too.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 12:15PM
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Thanks for the support everyone. Now a few days before she is leaving she has handed my dad a "separation contract" (not the same as divorce papers). It was drafted up by my rich grandparents lawyer. It also had a threatening letter handwritten by my grandfather saying that my dad better sign it or else they are going to sell the house and kick us out. What a terrible way to do things, taking advantage of your money to control people with threats. I always knew my grandparents hated my dad, but the fact they are wrapping me up in all of this is really irritating. And my mom lies to them, telling them all kinds of stories about how terrible I am, so now they hate me. Just two months ago I was visiting my grandparents and they seemed happy to see me. My dad is so angry, hurt, and distraught about these events that he is going crazy with paranoia and the desire for revenge. He talks out loud to himself and I can hear what he really thinks and wants to do (not harm anyone, just things he wants to do out of spite and to get back at people) and he wants to resist my grandparents efforts and argue and cause trouble. I have pleaded with my dad not to do any of that, and I told him it is best to sign the contract and let my mom go. I told him to let go of it all, let it happen, he will be happier, etc. And to think of what is the most reasonable and intellectual decision, what will help him and my brother and I. The contract does say that we can live in the house so long as we pay the monthly bills. It seems legitimate, but you never know with my mom and grandparents...they could probably do whatever they want and there's nothing we could do about it. I am worried also about my finances and if I will be able to pay my portion of the bills- will I end up having to move out because I can't pay the bills? And I am going to go insane living with my crazy dad. He can be difficult to deal with at times...I can understand my mom's decision to an extent. But I am just doing what I feel is right and standing by the people I care about. I can't in good conscience simply abandon my dad and think only of myself. I don't know what is going to happen, especially if I have to move out of the house. Everything is here that I own and need...the things I need to do my work for 2 jobs and the internet service, all of my belongings, my entire lifes worth of gardening/plants/landscaping, my aquarium with my pet newt..everything would be turned upside down and lost in an instant should I have to move out. I would have to sell a bunch of stuff, put other stuff in storage, tear apart my newt's cage and risk him dying from sudden changes in his habitation (I've had him for probably 15+ years), figure out how to move and deal with bills and where to stay and how to work and pay my car all at the same time, take care of my dad, find him a place to live, deal with his and my own very important medical costs. I would be devastated. I can't even think about it anymore.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 5:17AM
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melikesthepeculiar, somewhere in the posts, I think you said that you are about 30 years old. It seems that you have taken on three generations of issues. Yours, parents and grandparents. IMO, that's a lot to handle for a young guy. I hope you can work it out.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 8:12PM
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Stop this - just stop it.

Talk to VA if your father served, talk to his Dr. Get SSI going, do whatever you have to do to find him a nursing home or a situation where he will have sheltered care. Most likely he qualifies for medicare and medicaid, and that will cover most of the cost of a nursing home.

You do not owe him your sacrificed life. In a better frame of mind, he would know this. If he is COUNTING on your sacrifice, it will explain why your mother has left.

You need a room and board situation for now... you don't need to be paying bills on a house you don't own. Its time for you to get your own life going, whatever it is... Your job is to be the son, not the caregiver, and that is what you ought to be, stop in to see him often, let him make his own friends in similar circumstances, but then get on with your own life.

No - no matter what you ever do in that house, it will not satisfy... you need to get yourself and your father out of their reach.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 1:48PM
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I ditto shilty.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 8:49PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Talk to the social services in your community. You may not have to put your father in a nursing home, but you could get home health care. Hang in there.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 9:35PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Another ditto for Shilty's post. Hold my virtual hand, and read it again.

And acknowledging that you will probably feel *guilty* -- they've likely been piling the guilt onto you all of your life. Sweetly possibly, but relentlessly. Please don't feel that way. They do not have the right to inflict guilt-causes onto you, and you shouldn't accept that it is okay for them to do so.

Also acknowledging that you are/may be influenced by your religion to think/believe that caring for parents is a duty. Especially, is *your* duty. Been there, done that, won't do it again, and won't permit my descendents to feel that way. Love is NOT about controlling others and it is NOT about requiring others to serve/care for/live for you and it most especially is not about expecting others to do for you just because they are related.

Do NOT sign any thing presented by any relative -- and that includes your mom -- or their lawyers.

If you haven't already, close this computer and get yourself to SSI.... now! If they aren't open, start your search for a lawyer... you need one even if everything is okay in your life, and you need one even more when everything is not okay.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 2:19PM
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I don't know if you need a lawyer, but it might be that your dad could use an elder attorney. They specializes in law for elderly folks. You may think that you/your dad may not have the money for a lawyer. However, there are organizations that have resources for the elderly. One of them is AARP. The link is below.
In the meantime, take the suggestions offered here. If your dad is not on SS, (Social Security) give him the information in how to apply.
Get proactive.

Here is a link that might be useful: AARP

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 7:43PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Last night, I realized I didn't say one thing that should be said, even if everyone already knows it.

You can't make any choices, much less *good* choices, until you are knowledgeable about the subject, or in your case, subjectS. Information is available, but you need to figure what you need (yeah, that's circular!) to know. Write down all the different aspects: lists and outlines are old-fashioned but handy in multi-faceted issues.

Just to begin you have 'residence', 'medical care' (sublist the diabetes and whatever other specifics), counseling (both for you and your dad - not just to understand, but good counselors are a great source of info on many subjects), eldercare (if not a problem now, it will be), insurance/medical costs payment, and so on.

Don't forget to set up a daily time management program... the $10 that a schedule book costs is worth a $1000 in helping keep track of everything from doctor appointments to when/where to pick up the dry cleaning. Just seeing what you need to do (and being honest about how long it takes to accomplish each item) is a definite way to gain more available time.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Shilty says "stop it" and I agree. Your post is troubling, not because you are in a bad place but because you seem to be feeling very sorry for yourself instead of getting out your front door and seeking the services that can help you change your situation. You are worried about the "aquarium with my pet newt"? In the face of all that is happening, who can possibly take seriously the fear on your part that if you have to move the newt might die?

What is distressing is that you sound as if you have been manipulated your whole life by mom and dad, maybe brother, too, and have been rendered incapable of standing up for yourself. People on this forum are giving you advice that you would do well to take seriously. Your father needs custodial care beyond what you can reasonably provide, and there are services available to make your lives more manageable.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 3:42PM
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peculiar, in rereading my post, I think I have been hard on you. You really are suffering, I know. But the truth is that no one can solve this problem for you and that it's crucial that you get out of your house and make some moves.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:06PM
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I don't have to tell you that you are in a difficult situation. But I would like to give you something to think about.

You state that you don't want to put your father in a "home". That's understandable. BUT.... he needs care. And he would do better if he had more people around to sitimulate him mentally. If all he can look forward to is seeing you and the TV, his mental abilities will go downhill even faster.

He may not like the other people, but they will make him think and react. Even if all he can do is complain about the food, etc. it's something that keeps him going.

One real advantage of a home is that he can discuss with the other people, things that happened in the world before you were even born. The older person profits by renewing these old memories. It keeps the mind active.

Anyway, think about this while you decide what is your best action for BOTH of you.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 3:35PM
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