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Old 06-26-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
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Is it time to offer care?

Sorry for the long post. This is my 1st time here and I'm looking for some advice.

I'm 33 and live in Oregon with my husband and 6 year old son. I operate my own home daycare.

My Grandparents live in California (My grandpa is 88 and my grandma is 77). My grandpa has a lot of health problems and has been relying on my grandma to do most of the caregiving. My adult aunt lives with them (has always lived with them and is now 44).

There are several problems.. here are a few of them:
1. My Aunt is (has always) taken financial advantage of them. Has no job, pays them nothing. Eats and lives for free. My aunt is a complete slob, does no laundry, leaves messes, doesn't clean up after herself, doesn't cook for herself etc.
2. My Grandma has diabetes and it is getting out of control. She is exhausted all of the time, she is having a lot of difficulty taking care of my grandpa and my adult Aunt.

I would like to provide care for them but I am at a loss as to where to start. Their finances are completely being mis-managed.

I am far away however I would be willing to/and able to quit my business to care for them in my home, this would require them relocating. My mom lives 5 hours away, but is finanacially unable to quit her job care for them.

Would you just offer to do their finances? Would you apply for power of attorney? Would you move them ?

thanks!

Last edited by mf1681; 06-26-2009 at 12:50 PM. Reason: wasn't finished typing

 
Old 06-26-2009, 07:58 PM   #2
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

Discuss this with them. Don't treat them like children. In their minds you will be taking away their independence. They should be a part of the decision making as long as they can. They may be waiting for you to offer to help. Most parents and grandparents are afraid of imposing on and intruding on their children's lives.

 
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

I agree with Choice.

It is best to leave grandparents in their own home where they are happy. Moving them is too upsetting and would be away from their friends and others they know.

My parents lived alone at ages 93 and 98 until they both fell and broke their hips. No, things were not perfect but they were happy to be in their own home. We had hired help living on premises as long as my mom would allow them to stay, in other words she ran them off or we had reason to fire them. Old folks do not like making changes until they absolutely have to and your grandparents are not at that stage yet.

The best thing for your "grandparents" to do is inform their daughter living with them to get up off her backside and help around there. Your grandparents should set the record straight and give her specific duties, something they should have done many years ago.

It would be good if all of their children (not grandchildren) have a family meeting and discuss with your grandparents their needs at this time. Your grandparents need to make it known what they need and want.

It is admirable you are willing to take care of your grandparents, however, many do not realize what caregiving is all about. The caregiver must be at home, not out having fun and doing other things they normally do now. You will need to hire a sitter for them when you need to go shopping for groceries or other. In other words the caregiver must stay tuned in to their needs 24/7. The older they get and the more care needed the harder it is for the caregiver. You will need to have a very understanding husband and both of you realize things will be different, you will not have as much time for your own family.

I took care of my mother-in-law for several years and lost my own health in the process. I did everything with no help. Even tho it was my husband's mother, he still did not like having to be the forgotten shoe many times because his mother's needs had to come first and there were only 24 hrs in a day for me to take care of everyone. I still had teenagers in school.

As a family member we do need to step up to the plate and help out, but everyone must enter into caregiving with their eyes wide open and realize it is not a piece of cake, many sacrifices will need to be done on the caregivers part.

It is time for your lazy aunt to step up to the plate and do her part instead of being a burden.

 
Old 06-30-2009, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty800 View Post
I agree with Choice.

It is best to leave grandparents in their own home where they are happy. Moving them is too upsetting and would be away from their friends and others they know.

My parents lived alone at ages 93 and 98 until they both fell and broke their hips. No, things were not perfect but they were happy to be in their own home. We had hired help living on premises as long as my mom would allow them to stay, in other words she ran them off or we had reason to fire them. Old folks do not like making changes until they absolutely have to and your grandparents are not at that stage yet.

The best thing for your "grandparents" to do is inform their daughter living with them to get up off her backside and help around there. Your grandparents should set the record straight and give her specific duties, something they should have done many years ago.

It would be good if all of their children (not grandchildren) have a family meeting and discuss with your grandparents their needs at this time. Your grandparents need to make it known what they need and want.

It is admirable you are willing to take care of your grandparents, however, many do not realize what caregiving is all about. The caregiver must be at home, not out having fun and doing other things they normally do now. You will need to hire a sitter for them when you need to go shopping for groceries or other. In other words the caregiver must stay tuned in to their needs 24/7. The older they get and the more care needed the harder it is for the caregiver. You will need to have a very understanding husband and both of you realize things will be different, you will not have as much time for your own family.

I took care of my mother-in-law for several years and lost my own health in the process. I did everything with no help. Even tho it was my husband's mother, he still did not like having to be the forgotten shoe many times because his mother's needs had to come first and there were only 24 hrs in a day for me to take care of everyone. I still had teenagers in school.

As a family member we do need to step up to the plate and help out, but everyone must enter into caregiving with their eyes wide open and realize it is not a piece of cake, many sacrifices will need to be done on the caregivers part.

It is time for your lazy aunt to step up to the plate and do her part instead of being a burden.

 
Old 06-30-2009, 06:39 AM   #5
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty800 View Post
I agree with Choice.

It is best to leave grandparents in their own home where they are happy. Moving them is too upsetting and would be away from their friends and others they know.

My parents lived alone at ages 93 and 98 until they both fell and broke their hips. No, things were not perfect but they were happy to be in their own home. We had hired help living on premises as long as my mom would allow them to stay, in other words she ran them off or we had reason to fire them. Old folks do not like making changes until they absolutely have to and your grandparents are not at that stage yet.

The best thing for your "grandparents" to do is inform their daughter living with them to get up off her backside and help around there. Your grandparents should set the record straight and give her specific duties, something they should have done many years ago.

It would be good if all of their children (not grandchildren) have a family meeting and discuss with your grandparents their needs at this time. Your grandparents need to make it known what they need and want.

It is admirable you are willing to take care of your grandparents, however, many do not realize what caregiving is all about. The caregiver must be at home, not out having fun and doing other things they normally do now. You will need to hire a sitter for them when you need to go shopping for groceries or other. In other words the caregiver must stay tuned in to their needs 24/7. The older they get and the more care needed the harder it is for the caregiver. You will need to have a very understanding husband and both of you realize things will be different, you will not have as much time for your own family.

I took care of my mother-in-law for several years and lost my own health in the process. I did everything with no help. Even tho it was my husband's mother, he still did not like having to be the forgotten shoe many times because his mother's needs had to come first and there were only 24 hrs in a day for me to take care of everyone. I still had teenagers in school.

As a family member we do need to step up to the plate and help out, but everyone must enter into caregiving with their eyes wide open and realize it is not a piece of cake, many sacrifices will need to be done on the caregivers part.

It is time for your lazy aunt to step up to the plate and do her part instead of being a burden.
Thanks for your reply. I agree that it would be "ideal" for them to stay in their own home .. however these are some of things that cause me concern:
1. They aren't feeding themselves
2. My grandma doesn't have the "energy" to be my grandfather's caregiver anymore (she has her own illness)
3. Although there is an "adult" child in the home she is not mentally mature or responsible enough to be handling their household, which is one of the reason's this situation exists.
4. The money has been so severely mis-managed that there is debt piling up.

I'm not really sure why you would disregard an adult Grandchild from a discussion though, that may be different with every family I guess. In my family I am the only person financially capable of providing care for them.

I agree with the other poster as well. I think it may be time for a frank discussion.

My biggest concern is how to handle an adult child in their home misappropriating their funds.

 
Old 06-30-2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

Normally it is the "childrens" responsibility to have discussions and make decisions regarding their parents.

Are there children other than your mother and the aunt living with your grandparents? If so, they should get together with your grandparents and discuss the situation. If their children have no problem with a grandchild being included in the discussion then it would be o.k. for you to participate. Either way you can let everyone know what you are able to do for your grandparents.

If there are no other children, then you and your mother should have a discussion with your grandparents.

My point is that grandchildren should not step ahead of children and make decisions for their grandparents. If children do not step up then it is o.k. for a grandchild to rise up to the plate and help the grandparents.

Should it be necessary to move your grandparents then arrangements for your mentally incompetent aunt would need to be made.

I do have a question. Since your grandparents are not feeding themselves and your aunt does not prepare meals, who is providing meals for them?

The debt piling up should definitely be stopped.

When it comes to eldery parents or grandparents it is a challenge to figure out what is best for them with the least disruption of their lives.

 
Old 07-01-2009, 09:20 AM   #7
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

Thanks again for your reply. Writing these responses totally reminds me what a soap opera my family is. Do they have a "Disfunctional family" message board ?

Thanks for sticking with me here ...
Here is a little more background. My Grandfather is my mom and uncles Step-father (since they were 3&5) needless to say he's not a very nice man and has been rather abusive to them their whole lives. My Aunt is their 1/2 sister
(11 years younger than my mom and the Apple of my Grandfather's eye).

My Grandparents have enabled my Aunt to live with them her whole life. She doesn't cook, clean or even do her own laundry. She does not pay them anything for her bills or living expenses. The money she earns on unemployment goes towards buying Electronics, Sporting game tickets, taking her friends out to eat, supporting her "Ghost Hunting" habit and buying "Specialized Equipment" for her hobby. My Aunt and Grandfather are also Hoarders, they have boxes of papers, tools, Electronics, Junk, and furniture all over their home.

My Grandma is the only one in the house who does anything as long as I remember (My grandpa comes from the generation of "the housework is woman's work"). She does everything... cooks, brings them their meals, cleans, does Laundry, takes care of the animals etc. (you get the idea).

My grandma's diabetes has been spiraling out of control and she is EXHAUSTED, She has been sleeping a lot and physically doesn't have the energy to keep up with the house or my Grandpa. Who, instead of walking, has been riding around in their house on a scooter for the last eight years, and in the last 3 months has been diagnosed with congenital heart failure, and also now needs oxygen.

So my Aunt needing nourishment (Since grandma is too tired to cook) has been taking them out (with their money) to places she wants to go. They end up eating meals that are totally inappropriate for them (since they both have diabetes). Huge giant burgers (over 1 lb), Olive Garden, Denny's Grand Slams with extra syrup and Cakes for Dessert (at breakfast?). Other than that, they purchase a costco size package of Hot Dogs and eat microwaved hot dogs until they run out. My aunt eats out on their money most of the month.

Well all of this sort of came to a head about 3 months ago when my Grandpa was hospitalized for almost a month for his congenital heart failure. We found out he hasn't been paying things for over 5 years, he maxed out credit cards, didn't pay taxes or vehicle registration. In these 5 years they have been living it up.. going to the Dollar store and buying JUNK (all this time my Grandmother thinking the bills are being paid). Well this is according to my aunt, who now decides to take over their checking accounts.

I honestly don't know who is doing the spending right now. But it's out of CONTROL and I think unless we come up with some solutions we are really going to be in a pickle. I don't think my Aunt is just going to just hand over responsibility of my Grandparents accounts (as she is getting a free ride right now) and my grandparents don't have any control over her, they don't want to challenge her at all, but I feel like they are being taken advantage of and need help.

Ugghh thanks for letting me vent

Last edited by mf1681; 07-01-2009 at 09:22 AM. Reason: .

 
Old 07-02-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

Sometimes in split families, the husband's kids take care of him and the wife's kids take care of her. That means spliting them up. I do not know how much of a bond your grandmother has with her husband or if she is plain tired of him. If there is a tight loving bond it would be heart breaking to separate them, I would not go that way.

Your aunt could provide for herself since she is getting an income.

Your grandfather could apply for Medicaid and be taken care of in a nursing home.

If it works out for you to take care of your grandparents, would you take all 3? Something to think about.

The spending must be stopped immediately. If taxes have not been paid on their house, they will lose it.

My dad took the checkbook/financial etc. away from a neice that was taking care of his sister's money. She was spending her aunt's money on herself. It can be done. Do you think your grandmother would give you power of attorney to handle their financial affairs?

Someone needs to find out exactly what your grandparents financial affairs/debts is all about before they lose what little they have.

Their food choices needs to be changed to a healthier type. Your grandmother's diabetes can be controlled via proper diet and medication. She is still young enough to not give up on ( I am 74 and diabetic). I would be less concerned for your grandfather's diet since he has congestive heart failure, diabetes and his age.

Their house being full of stuff is another matter, don't bother it, they are hoaders and should be left alone to live with their stuff, they will never change. If it is a fire hazard then help them clean it up to meet the fire departments standards.

 
Old 07-03-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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Re: Is it time to offer care?

I think you are on point Misty. Once their finances are in order I definately think some of these changes can take place including: My aunt providing for herself, and my Grandpa being placed a nursing home, or at least being able to hire an in-home caregiver a few days a week.

If it works out for you to take care of your grandparents, would you take all 3? I would take care of my Grandma and Grandpa. My aunt needs to grow up and learn some responsibility. Unfortunately if she doesn't do it while they are living, can you imagine the mess when they are gone? At this point no one really cares if she stays in their house that she dumped up. But the checking accounts shouldn't be made available to her anymore.

Do you think your grandmother would give you power of attorney to handle their financial affairs? I will be visiting in July and I am going to offer my help with their budgeting.

They have 2 homes (their primary home is paid off, their vacation home, that they never use,has a very small mortgage), they have monthly bills and Food expenses. They have excellent retirement packages (my grandpa retired from the post office and my grandma a telecommunications company), and it amazes me they run out of money mid-month. I know it will start a war with my Aunt because she doesn't want to stop the Gravy Train. If my Grandma says "no she doesn't want me to help" I know it's because she is afraid of my aunts wrath. I'm at the point where I can't continue to let this go on anymore, you are absolutely right they will have nothing left. If she doesn't take my help we may have to look at the power of attorney route.

I really see they have lots of options, maybe they just need some choices.
They could rent/sell the Vacation home and use that extra money towards in-home care/or living expenses.

I think the ideal situation would be: My Grandfather being placed in a nursing home where he can be taken care of properly, My Grandma living with me (she said she doesn't want to live with them anymore) so my aunt won't take advantage of her and my aunt can stay in their dumpy house.

You are totally right about the hoarding thing, 2 years ago I spent 2 months cleaning their place with my mom and sister. I spent a couple thousand dollars to stay in a hotel (because the stench from their pets is just horrific and uninhabitable), cleaning products, new flooring, and dump fees to get it semi-decent. 2 years later it's right back to where it was before. My Grandma suffers because no-one wants to visit (it's really unexplainable). Unfortunately it definately complicates the maters.

Thanks so much for your responses, it definately helps talking to a neutral party!

 
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