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Reply with quote  #1 
Both of my parents require 24 hour care.  My mother worked full time and took care of my dad for many years.  I didn't listen to her when she said it was wearing her down so she finally collapsed and now her health is worse than his.

Once I started taking care of them both her health improved but dad started asking her to do things for him every five minutes.  I guess she felt guilty about not wanting or not feeling like it.  Dad is very negative.  I take care of them both 24 hours a day and since noone else in my family is inclined to help or even give me a break - I pretty much on my own.  My parents have too much income for the state to pay me to care for them at home and my dad feels like I am suppose do this for free so he does not pay me "anything"  I never get a day off / dad cant walk and mom is so weak she barely makes it to the bathroom.

My father thinks I am his slave.  He fell and broke his hip and will be in a facility for several months.  Since he went in - I have been cooking him breakfasts and basically running back and forth to the facility several times a day.

My dad asked me for steak and eggs the other day so I took it to him.  He started crying and told me that in 2001 my sister had him sign a will under duress leaving her everything.  My mom didn't know anything about it but my sister has been acting very strange since she found out how much money my mom had actually saved up.  Now I believe she wants my mom to die first so that she could use the will she got from my father.  Now that my mom is sick - My dad has never worked a day in his life.  My sister seldom visits but had the audacity to ask me not to feed my mom unless she asks for it  (my mom has been on a starvation mission because I think she doesnt want to be home when my dad gets back.)

I was heartbroken when I found out what my father did behind my back. More disturbed that he never took action to change it and disturbed that he still expects me to care for him and my mom free of charge indefinately.

He has been in a facility for about a month now and wants to come home.
He is so mentally abusive that I really don't think that I want to do it anymore.  I have no time to myself.  They don't care that I need personal items and I'm really tired of doing this by myself especially knowing what I know now. 

They make to much money per month for the state to compensate me to do the care for them at home.

I feel like I'm losing myself.

Can anybody please help me?


Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Pia and a warm welcome to you.

The short answer to your question is a resounding H*L* YES.  For God's sake, you are giving them everything (and you really need to get some time back for yourself and learn how to set boundaries).

My parents pay me and I don't do half of what you do although I am on 24/7 call.  My folks pay me a little over $400 a month but your parents should be paying you a whole lot more.  You need to be able to afford good medical insurance and have money from them enough for you to put into a savings account at the very least as well.

Someone else on this board will be able to give you much better advice than I can but I still feel you should charge your parents for all of your time and work.  And cooking your father steak and eggs for breakfast when he has breakfast at the rehab facility is ridiculous particularly given how he treats you and what he's done behind your back with his will.  Based on that alone I would not be caring for him if my father had done that to me.  But that's just me.  I treat everyone very fairly and when I'm not treated with fairness, I reject the people who are unfair to me.

I have to run now but I'd be interested to see what kind of responses you receive.  The majority of the folks on this board are not paid although God knows they should be.  You stick to your guns and demand it from your parents who can very well afford it.  You are sacrificing your life for your folks to hand over their money to your greedy sister?????  Makes no sense.
Reply with quote  #3 
Frankly, if I were you I would walk. Your parents have the money to pay for their care. They are not showing any gratitude or appreciation, and you are losing financially. Let them manage their own affairs as they see fit, and go and get your life back.
I care for a difficult parent, but I get the Australian Carers pension, and he does say thank you for what I do, even if he is often a pain in the @ss. I wouldn't be doing it for free.
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Pia,

Annabanna and Rosie said it so well, that I have nothing to add. I just wanted to welcome you to the group.
Marathon Woman
Reply with quote  #5 
Unbelievable!  I was POA for DF and used his money to provide 24/7 care during the week so that I could maintain my job.  I took the weekend shift with no pay, but I had have not even that.  My job allowed me to put food on the table and a roof over my head AND keep my sanity.
No, it's not about money, but hunny, it must be for your sister!
Good heavens, run for the hills.  Inform your DS that since she has the expectation of inheritance, so also has the responsibility to care for dear dad.
Sounds like a mess.  Save yourself.
And did I say welcome to the Board?  Come here to lay out your thoughts, get advice and rant and rave.
Beautiful day
Reply with quote  #6 
You should heed the advice of those that posted before this.

Keep in mind, you may have to deal with things like I did. When my mother started reimbursing me and contributing to the household bills, she thought she owned me 24/7....set ground rules, and boundaries early on.

Good luck and my thoughts are with you....BD

Reply with quote  #7 

So he made out a will in 2001 leaving your sister everything.  Time goes on and things change.  Just because he made a will THEN doesn't mean he can't make another one NOW.  
It would be wrong to put your dad 'under duress', but if you are taking care of them it would be nice if all the work you are doing is acknowledged in his will.
I do like the idea of handing the whole mess off to your sister- hey if she's getting *everything*, she can have your parents RIGHT NOW! :-)
Reply with quote  #8 
OhDear is father changes his will on a weekly basis.

Sounds like they should be your sister's responsibility. 

At this stage of the game you should be working and saving for your own retirement.  Not sacrificing a job/career to be their free help.

Mary E.
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Pia,

I totally agree with the others here..  Have a talk with your sister and tell her that you found out about the will and that it isn't fair to you at all..  Either she should start helping equally with your parents or you will ask your father to change his will..  If he refuses, YOU must stop helping, because you are enabling the situation to continue as it is..  I can't imagine your sister letting this continue, knowing SHE is the sole beneficiary.  (I think money IS the root of evil.)

In my case, I have been taking care of my parents for years and the inheritance will be split in thirds.  My sister and brother do try to help, but haven't been able to pitch in equally.  The difference here is that I live next door to my mother and have my own house and financial plans for my future..  I haven't given up everything to caregive and am not going to be poverty stricken in the future, because of my caregiving...  It's no wonder you were heartbroken about the will - that is very hurtful..

What's hard for us to realize, sometimes, is that many parents just feel a sense of entitlement - that ONE of their children will care for them in their old age..  I think it's actually been happening for generations and in most cultures..  They totally overlook the sacrifice that this one child is making for them, and instead, sometimes turn it around and say to themselves, "I'm letting Pia live in our house and she's earning her keep."  In reality, those of us who do it without true recognition or financial compensation, if we need it, are a kind of unpaid servant.. 

We NEED to take care of ourselves, Pia, even though we love our parents and truly want to help..  Our health and our financial future depends on being a little selfish at times - well, let's say realistic and practical..  It doesn't mean that you don't love your parents if you stand up for yourself and be your own advocate..  They may have to get used to the idea and realize that Pia has changed, but you need to start now...

Reply with quote  #10 
First, get your dad to write a new will which will revoke the previous will.  It must be notarized.  (Good thing - there are usually notaries in the hospital).  Then take it to the county courthouse and have it recorded.  It does not matter what the new will says (who gets what), just that it has what your dad wants in it.  Getting a lawyer is the easiest way to get a will done.  If it is a simple will, Quicken makes a downloadable Willmaker software that will prepare a will for him. 

Also note that there are things that do not need to go into a will.  Accounts with a beneficiary (like my 401K and IRA accounts) are paid to the designated beneficiary on death and do not go into a will.  My accounts have a secondary beneficiary also (in case the first beneficiary pre-deceases me).  Checking and Savings and Personal Investment Accounts can have a "Pay on Death" form submitted for the account that transfers the money upon death to the designated person.  (Each financial institution will have the proper forms).

Once the financial accounts have been taken care of in this manner (Highly recommended as it avoids probate), the will should then address personal property and real estate and any special situations you may have.

wow....a complete lecture on wills!  that felt like a brain dump.  :-)

And sweetie, your parents have money.  That money should be used to take care of them.  Pay not only yourself, but also get in-home care for them.  You do not need to wear yourself into the ground for them (and your sister) when they have the wherewithall to afford the care they need.

I think it is very important (if there is ANY way possible) to arrange things so that their declining years can be spent with peace and love between you instead of resentment, anger, and exhaustion.
Reply with quote  #11 

Of course they should pay you for 24-hour care.  How are you surviving anyway?  How would anyone else survive?  No one else would do this for free.  You talked about your mother's health being compromised because she did not slow down.  This could happen to you.  No one should work 24-7, 7 days a week.

You mentioned your father is abusive.  Do you even want to do this anymore?  Do you even want to be around his abuse?  You can be your own advocate and stand up for yourself now, especially when your father is in a facility.  

Is your sister POA?  Or are your parents still handling the money?  The will needs to be rewritten.   That is so utterly unfair to you.

I really think this is too much for you to handle.  And, what is going to happen when they pass on????  What is your financial situation going to be like?  You may have absolutely nothing.  Unless you want to continue be a caregiver, how are you going to earn a living?  It will be tougher being out of the job market for a long period of time. 
Reply with quote  #12 
Why don't you use their money (that would go to your sister upon their death) and find them both a nice Assisted Living facility or get in-home care?
Reply with quote  #13 
i do caregiving for my mum, I do not expect any compensation BUT her Will is fair to me, since I am doing the most for her, whereas my brothers do little. If I found out my mom changed her Will to favor them? I would walk - seriously. ESPECIALLY if I were doing the 24/7 caregiving - and NOT WORKING - and not being able to save for my own future.

you are in a lose-lose-lose situation. I understand you wanting to help your parents, nasty and entitled as they are, or rather, your father. BUT. you need to draw the line, girl. And start looking after yourself first.

the sister is scary, definitely. why isn't she helping?

as far as steak and eggs and breakfastes being run over to your father who is IN A FACILITY which I assume serves meals? That is pure craziness. Time to step back. You are a person, a human, just like them.

You can help them with their health issues without becoming their slave. If there is an issue regarding their assets and they cannot qualify for help coming in, they need to start using those assets, pure and simple.

Slavery was abolished!! 

This board has helped many to grow a spine, so stick around, it may help you too !!! I only  mean that in the nicest way.

Nice people like you, i.e. "givers", get screwed eventually.

You have to get a little selfish now. Your father needs to grow up.

many prayers for you, and for some strength!!

Farm Gal
Reply with quote  #14 
Welcome, pia!  Looks like a lot of folks are already doing a fine job of covering other topics, here, so I'll just address myself to one line in your post that really concerned me.

~(my mom has been on a starvation mission because I think she doesnt want to be home when my dad gets back.)~

If your father is making your mother so miserable that she is suicidal, those two need to be separated, pia!  Have you tried to have a heart-to-heart with your mother about it?  It sure sounds like your father is so overbearing that your mother can't see any way out of the nightmare.  This may be a good time to slide him right into a care facility and let her have some peace in her life.  Also, as others have already pointed out, you are likely to be as exhausted as your mother is very soon if you continue trying to fill "her" shoes.
Reply with quote  #15 
Hi and Welcome, pia !!!
YES !!!!
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