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Old 12-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #21
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What a quagmire/minefield!

Agreed the parents are being unreasonable and selfish. They want it their way on their terms and everyone else is supposed to work around what they want and never mind that others still have their own lives. That sounds harsh I know but after the experience with FIL I have even less tolerance for failure to plan ahead than I used to.

We went through that to a lesser degree with FIL two years ago. It became a part time job for DW, one she was able and willing to do but FIL failed to plan ahead and take responsibility for himself. It caused rifts that will probably always be there.

Run, do not walk, to an elder care attorney or elder care management coordinator, even one local to you. State laws differ but they can bring to the table expertise, experience, and knowledge to head off the worst of the outcomes.

I just finished reading Beyond the Grave. It has a lot of useful perspectives and experience. Highly recommended reading.

I second the recommendation to look into assisted living. There will probably come a time when your sister simply cannot physically take care of them herself even if everything else goes smoothly (good luck with that!). Not planning for the inevitable will make if more difficult when your family is pressed for time.
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Who should pay for one family member to act as caregiver to parents?
Old 12-07-2014, 05:28 PM   #22
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Who should pay for one family member to act as caregiver to parents?

One thing I think is important is for you and your sister to have some realistic and frank conversations about all of this, and be on the same page as you present a united front to the parents.
I see no reason for you to pay her, and I would imagine she would not be in favor of that, but it would be good to ask her what her thoughts are on the subject.
And I do think she would have to live in the house with them, otherwise I envision her having to run out from the apartment in a panic every time something happens. Exhausting and unnecessary.
Good luck to you in all this.


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Old 12-07-2014, 05:45 PM   #23
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Agreed the parents are being unreasonable and selfish. They want it their way on their terms and everyone else is supposed to work around what they want and never mind that others still have their own lives.
Not picking on Walt or anyone else, but several have said this. My Dad is behind it all, he hasn't told Mom (again). He did this in Mar, told my sister to give notice at work and prepare to move, told me he expected me to help pay expenses and lost income for sister and was angry that I didn't agree on the spot when he sprung the idea. Later that night after Dad went to sleep we ran it by Mom, when sister told her she'd been told to plan to move Mom said "nonsense, we're fine, we'll let you know." When we told her Dad wanted me to help pay sisters expenses, she said "what!!! That's crazy, we have plenty of money." The day after we left, it's clear Mom lowered the boom, as Dad emailed to tell sister to hold up. The only reason sister didn't give notice that Mon was her boss was out of town...

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One thing I think is important is for you and your sister to have some realistic and frank conversations about all of this, and be on the same page as you present a united front to the parents.
I see no reason for you to pay her, and I would imagine she would not be in favor of that, but it would be good to ask her what her thoughts are on the subject.
Sister and I have had many good conversations, but I think her intentions are clouding her practical considerations. She thinks she can handle the financials without help from anyone, that's not fair to her IMO, and a little naive. She is counting on some inheritance to retire, so she's not anxious to see parents spending their money - sister doesn't seem to realize the money is all the same in the end. She has a very good heart, but not great math skills, and not decisive or good at planning by her own admission.
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:51 PM   #24
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I can't thank you all enough for offering your thoughts on this mess. I was really mentally stuck on dead center, and you've all given me so many angles to consider that my mind is clicking again.

I am starting to think the time where my sister could be of use may be mostly past. My Dad told us when they fall, they can't get up on their own. Obviously sister across town in her apartment doesn't help there. I don't think my sister has thought about the considerable care they might need that she can't provide, especially if she's not right there all the time. Mom is adamant she doesn't want sister living with them. Who pays probably isn't going to be a central issue.

I could go on, but just wanted to say thanks for getting me thinking straight again. Much appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:58 PM   #25
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Not picking on Walt or anyone else, but several have said this. My Dad is behind it all, he hasn't told Mom (again).
Oops, you're right, I missed that in one of the earlier posts.

Still it seems your sister although meaning well will perhaps hurt herself both financially and physically by quitting her job and taking this on. Can she physically carry both of your parents? That's what it may well come to require and many of the medical people here will tell you that's a great way to do permanent damage to your back so you'll need help yourself. Not much future in that.

The distance that you're away makes this very frustrating to deal with. I'd at least call an elder care manager or attorney in their state to at least get an idea of what your realistic options are.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:10 PM   #26
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Good luck with the future planning, Midpack. I hope there is a back up plan following sister if she becomes caregiver. My Grandmother agreed to take care of an elder relative (though didn't live with her). It got kind of bad after 10 years at the end when an 85 year old lady was trying to take care of a 105 year old lady. It is too bad things don't all go the way that has transpired with my elderly neighbors. In their late 80s they have just left their house and moved into an independent apartment connected to nursing care. They said it's better to leave a bit early on your own terms than have someone later force you to do it.


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Old 12-07-2014, 06:25 PM   #27
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What about getting parents to move near you in an independent living arrangement for now? Might make it more manageable if things deteriorate later. They probably won't like that proposal, but I bet it would be preferable to assisted living now.

Just thinking out loud here...
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:42 PM   #28
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We had a terrible time getting my dad to even visit an assisted living center. When we finally got him to visit, his eyes lit up because he could see happy people doing things he liked to do and he would have his own small apartment. He signed up for their waiting list that day. Just a thought. Have your parents visited a modern, well run assisted living center?
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:53 PM   #29
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Sorry you are going through this . Frankly it is probably time your parents look into an independent living facility that is attached to an assisted living community . My Mom fought this tooth & nail but now that she is in one she loves it . Your Sister means well but this scenario usually ends up badly .
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:58 PM   #30
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No advice, just empathy. We've been dealing with similar situations with my MIL. SIL is doing the day to day help, locally. DH is dealing with all things financial (pays her bills, does the taxes, etc). The other 4 siblings are offering "advice" but no assistance. MIL is frail, but still living on her own.... but we know the days are numbered. Some of the other sibs are more concerned about what they say as their entitled inheritance rather than their mothers needs. MIL throws up roadblocks to any solutions we try to implement to support her wishes... then gets angry when her wishes aren't met. It's a frustrating situation.

I agree with the suggestion of you and your sister discussing things and making sure you're on the same page - then presenting any solutions/ideas to the parents in a united front. If they insist on "solutions" that aren't productive... you'll need to figure out, with your sister, how to gain control of the situation. At this point it sounds like your father is bordering on unrealistic solutions.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:03 PM   #31
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It is the experiences that we have had with my mother and FIL that has persuaded us to plan on moving to a CCRC in ~5-8 years. My mother moved to one at 72 and it worked great for her, and she was only in assisted living for the last six months of her life.

FIL didn't want to face the reality of moving, fought it as long as he could and his last year of life was miserable. The irony is that everyone in the family believes that if he had made the move a few years earlier he would have loved it and would probably still be with us.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:09 PM   #32
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Sorry I can't give advice, but I'm afraid I may be like your dad. Should I live another 10 years, I'll likely be him... fiercely independent and determined.

The survival instinct is still there. "I can handle the situation." I might listen to my kids, but I'll be the one to decide. When mistakes are made, I'll pay for them.

So, here's the thinking. When problems come up, like inability to maintain my home the way others think it should be kept... if it gets cluttered and messy, I'll decide if and when to hire someone to help. If DW breaks a hip, and must go to assisted living... I'll make the decision to join her. If we have trouble with meals, will have them delivered or get home health aides. If it's a matter of money decisions, I'll make them, or if I'm unable... have already given power of attorney.

(above and below... read "I" and "my" as DW and me together. We are of one mind.)

Yes... but there are so many decisions!... so much to handle! Well, here's how my mind works: Compartmentalize... health, physical injury, money, home, legal papers/obligations, even a disaster, like fire or incurable illness....
When stuff happens... already mentally prepared to deal with problems, including death.

Along the way... I love my kids and their families, but don't and won't visit distress in my life on them. It would not be good for them or me to be in the middle of each other's lives.

It's a mental comfort level, but not something I keep to myself. We... the family, together and individually have opened access to our thoughts, financial condition, plans for the immediate future, our will, and what 'they' can expect in the event of our sudden departure. They know about my electronics "hoarding" and have the info for cleanup and disposal.
They have learned to graciously accept the oddball behavior.

Being open with all of this has relieved my mind to allow for concentration on our personal future.... and at the same time has lifted the weight of responsibility from my family. The last thing I want is to shift decisions and resultant worry to others. DW and I will make mistakes... we'll lose some money along the way, and one or the other... (if the odds hold up) will eventually become dementia patients. The onset is already under way, to be handled as it happens.
.................................................. ..................................................

Some time ago, I wrote that we don't daily share our life's problems with our kids. We don't live in their lives, nor they in ours. We don't exchange presents, Christmas cards, or subsidize their needs and wants... except in serious situations. Those comments received some understandable criticism...none the less, it worked out, and there is no loss of love because of this. We remain very close and caring.
.................................................. .................................................. ...

And so, no advice. Every family is different. Just adding a personal outlook... maybe to help understand that an 'this' old curmudgeon is not necessarily devoid of sensitivity, and there is room for others to be different from normal expectations.

Wish you the best in a challenging situation.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:40 PM   #33
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They might be happier in assisted living with more activities and social connections, especially the parent that lives the longest. I don't have any advice on how to get there from the current situation, but I wish you luck.

I don't see why you should have to pay for your sister if they have the money. As long as they can well afford it, they should fund their own care whether it is paying your sister, a third party or an assisted living center if they have the funds. Why should you pay for your sister any more than you'd pay for a new TV for couch for them if they have plenty of money of their own and you have many more years of your own retirement you need to fund?

My sister worked for years as a paid caregiver to one of our elderly relatives. It worked out for awhile., but as the years wore on it became more and more demanding work and the time and lack of days off (none until they eventually found a relief caregiver) caused tension in her own family.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #34
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I just do not see why you should be paying for DS expenses....

Parents have the money to spend and they should spend it... we have hired someone to take care of our mom for three days a week... we do spread around some of the other jobs such as bills and investments (me) and making sure her pills are correct (two of my sisters)... three kids do not do much since they do not live here, but if it required more time and effort where it was a 'job', then we would be asking them for help...
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:08 PM   #35
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+1 Sorry, late to the party because our internet has been out. The oddest thing about this situation is your Dad's insistence that you pay. I don't get that. If your folks didn't have money that would be understandable, but that's not the case. I'd be tempted to respond that I'm retired and my planning didn't include paying for your expenses in addition to ours, especially since I know you can afford to but that would obviously cause more problems than it would solve.

I wonder if relocating to an assisted living facility would be a good thing for them to look into. My elderly uncle and aunt moved into such a place and loved it... they had a nice, albeit small apartment, plenty of people their age to talk and play cards with, and 3 meals a day in the dining room (nice meals too). Plus, when they needed higher levels of care they just moved to a different wing of the same facility. It is important to do that sooner rather than later - in my grandmother's case she waited too late and didn't qualify and ended up in a nursing home.

Unless DS is a nurse or experienced health care provider, it will be better all around. DS will be able to finish her career and I think your parents will be better off. The problem, change is hard and I suspect that your Dad will be resistance to change.

You may need to sic your Mom on him at some point if he continues to be unreasonable.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:09 PM   #36
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I resigned a hospital VP position to move to Florida to care for my father after my mother died. I can tell you from experience.....the plans needed to do this well are a process over time, not an event. And since your sister appears to be the only one willing to dive into the barrel, I believe she needs to be the point person in the process.

My bias is doing whatever your parents want in coordination with their primary care taker.....which sounds like your sister at this point. And adjust all expectations accordingly. Everything will change once the situation changes, and it will many times.

Dementia plays a huge role in older adult decision-making, even when it has not been diagnosed because they are able to function well. From what you have said about both your parents wishes (father asking you to pay, mother not wanting daughter to live in their house), I'll bet they both have some level of dementia leading to unrealistic expectations which is normal at that age.

I would support your parents and sister's wishes, be available to provide assistance as requested, and allow the inevitable to unfold.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:31 PM   #37
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It sounds like your parents have enough money to pay for an unrelated caretaker. So I see no reason for you to have to chip in just because they select your sister as their caretaker. They should pay her, which will reduce their estate and the amount you inherit. It seems to be an acceptable outcome for you.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:40 PM   #38
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It sounds like your parents have enough money to pay for an unrelated caretaker. So I see no reason for you to have to chip in just because they select your sister as their caretaker. They should pay her, which will reduce their estate and the amount you inherit. It seems to be an acceptable outcome for you.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:43 PM   #39
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Maybe the parents feel like they are helping the sister out financially if she moves to take care of them, like it's a job transfer almost for her, but although they have plenty of $ for their own support, they don't think they have enough to compensate her fully too, so the dad thinks the OP should do that in lieu of the OP being there himself to assume some of the duties.

If the sister is the oldest child, that may be why the parents think she should take care of them, not because she's the female.

Good luck with it.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:07 PM   #40
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It sounds like your parents have enough money to pay for an unrelated caretaker. So I see no reason for you to have to chip in just because they select your sister as their caretaker. They should pay her, which will reduce their estate and the amount you inherit. It seems to be an acceptable outcome for you.
Another +1

Just in general, I would think the only time kids would have to step in to pay for care for parents would be if the parents are destitute and the kids feel like helping out. In this case, the parents can pay for assisted living or an in home nurse/nurse's aide/helper. It could be a total stranger, and that person would have to be paid. The daughter could be paid and that would be a clean and efficient way to "equalize" the estate.
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