I got Myself into This

by Donna
(Dayton OH, USA)

I am 50 years old, lost my job 6 months ago and had nowhere to go. I lived w/my kids while I tried to get on my feet. Mom was dads caregiver at the time. I tried to live with mom and dad and found I was not welcome as both parents did not know who I was.

I notified my siblings about this who told me not to worry about it and to leave mom and dad alone to maintain their independence in their senior years. My resentment against my siblings began.

Then mom went into the hospital. I needed a place to stay so offered to take care of dad in their house. Dad had dementia and didn't know who I was. He required constant prompting and couldn't be left alone. My siblings did not offer to help so I could leave the house. My dad has money, but no babysitter was offered to help either, so instead my 18 year old son lives w/me and is my back-up so I can leave the house, or I take dad with me when I leave.

I now communicate w/my siblings occasionally, but dads care was on me. My brother who is Dad's Power of Attorney and in control of his money, promised to pay me a good weekly amount to do this, and I was grateful. I was not paid as promised. I am resentful again, but grateful that I can have a place to live free of expenses and be with dad.

It's been 4 months. I find my life has stopped. Dad's care takes 24 hours a day and I find my life running second place. I need to focus on getting a job.

I'm fearful to speak up. First, I'd like more support from my siblings and also, I'd like for my brother to follow through on his promise to pay me appropriately.

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Don't be a Doormat
by: Anonymous

To Donna and all the other people out there taking care of a parent. If you are doing all the work and you have a sibling with Power Of Attorney then you need to immediately stop and put the responsibility back into the hands of the sibling with Power Of Attorney. That is what having Power Of Attorney is about. With Power Of Attorney they have promised to take care of the parent in the manner that the parent has expressed.

It is not your responsibility to do it all. You can choose to help or not help (as they have done) but the responsibility lies with the sibling that has Power Of Attorney.

I really don't understand why people don't just stop. If they ignore the parent then they will be accountable by the courts. Power Of Attorney's are legal documents and must be adhered to.

Get Back on Track
by: Anonymous

Okay, let's go back to where you were before you thought this was a good idea. At first, you probably thought that living with your parents would provide both them and you with a solution to your (plural) problems. You probably thought that you could take care of them while living there expense free and look for a job and get back on your feet and move out when you got a job. Does that sound about right?

You also probably thought that your siblings would appreciate all the hard work that goes into taking care of elderly parents who have physical and mental disabilities, right? It never works out that way. You need to get back out in the world of people your own age who are earning a living. You also need to find a place to live on your own, no matter how small. Is your son living with you at your father's house?

Is your father able to take care of himself or does your brother (Power of Attorney) plan to put him into a nursing home or have aides come into the home to take care of him? No matter, no one else in your family seems too concerned. You have to get back out there and get your life back on track. The longer you delay, the harder it will be.

You could even work for an agency doing what you do for your father and make pretty good money. You have the experience.

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