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Reply with quote  #16 
I do think how much a child puts into the care of their parent should be taken into consideration.

Of course, it's not something that would go over well if the person doing the caregiving were to suggest it.

Those who are not actively caregiving will either think the money is the motivation, or they just won't understand how much work it really is to be a caregiver and won't understand why it should be taken into consideration.

Of course there are all sorts of variables that need to be taken into conseration.

There are children who take on the caregiver role because they also need to be "taken care of" in a sense.
In some situations there is a co-dependence scenario going on.

Just as with everything in the world of elder care. It's complicated.
Reply with quote  #17 
There are children who take on the caregiver role because they also need to be "taken care of" in a sense.
In some situations there is a co-dependence scenario going on.

I agree with Wendy up to a point on this, that there can be a co-dependence scenario in place between parent and child but I don't believe it starts this way.   I believe it comes about for a number of reasons, mainly because nobody knows how long the caring will be needed or what other factors kick in, as in job losses and in those situations where many, many years go by, the caregiver's life ends up changed beyond belief.   The carer can make plans for taking care of his/her own future till the cows come home but if along the way, lucrative employment or realistic income is denied to them for whatever reason, then all expectations go down the drain.   So when there is no meaningful income, for years and years, then the carer will need to "be taken care of" or assisted in some way in order to survive.   If there's some miracle way of living on nothing then I'd really like to hear about it because it seems to me that that's what must be expected of us!    Otherwise, we're going to need a miracle that comes up with the winning lottery numbers.
Reply with quote  #18 


You are a 100% right.  A caregiver child in many cases gives up pretty much most of their life and many times their own income.  It is really unfair to call someone who does all that a "codependent".

Because in most cases it is the child who was the "responsible one" growing up that ends up being the caregiver. The sibling who caused grief for the parents as a teenager, borrowed money as a young adult because they spent more than they earned and then never paid back the money they borrowed. Isn't in most cases the caregiver child.

The only reason the caregiver child becomes somewhat codependent is because their world literally shrinks if you're doing 24/7 "hands on" caregiving.

First your social life ends, friends start to distance themselves or quit inviting you to social events because you can never go.  Than if you have to stop working you lose the interaction of having coworkers and being amongst peers.

I really can't think of anything more life changing other than having a very serious terminal illness yourself, than what caregiving does to many people.

It impacts your life socially, mentally, physically, economically, and emotionally.

Your just not the same person going in that you are at the end of the journey.



Reply with quote  #19 
John, there are many scenarios that lead to care giving. For me?  I was the "wild child". Even though I rarely borrowed money and I did pay it brothers did the same and possibly more.

I was the one, the baby, the only girl, who went off for months at a time and would rarely make a phone call collect.  (way before cell phones).  They weren't crazy about my second husband, but they accepted him and eventually even liked him. We had little need of them, but they decided that they enjoyed us. My husband would go fishing with Dad.  But it was me that stepped up and went to bat for Mom. I learned, I hurt, I lost sleep, physically, I suffered. Yes, 

You can't get a grip on the wide range of care giver experience by projecting your own. Many family caregivers exist, that do what they do because they feel that it IS rewarding, right, and fair.  

I thought this thread was about arranging a fair estate, if there is an estate.   
Reply with quote  #20 
Fair means fair. It doesn't mean equal shares.
Reply with quote  #21 
correct, nothing about equal as far as shares.. of whatever estate there my be, if any. Exactly why, the primary family CG, needs to be paid in the present.

"Fair" isn't about inheritance, neither is "equal".  

Reply with quote  #22 

While paying the adult child who is the caregiver is a good idea, many times the adult child doesn't even think about payment as they start off on the caregiving road thinking "this is my parent, they took care of me now it is my turn"....and this goes on for quite awhile, sometimes for years.

Before they know it a routine has developed and it just becomes expected that the adult child take care of the parent.  You normally don't hear other siblings, relatives, or even family friends suggesting that the caregiver get paid. They usually stop at telling you how wonderful you are....LOL. But rarely does anyone bring up money and payment.

In a perfect world the adult child and parents would have a discussion at the beginning of this journey if it looks like it is going to be a long journey and work the finances out.

What some people fail to realize is that by the adult child either moving a parent or parents in with them or vice versa they are in fact helping to protect an inheritance.  When you're looking at 60K a year per person if the elderly parent were placed in an AL or a nursing home.

So there are many cases where the inheritance that was intended to go to family has been left well intact because one adult child did the hands on caregiving.

Most parents want to leave their children something, not it give it all to corporation running elder care facilities.

Anyone who is has any moral compass would realize that child should be compensated in the will.  Doesn't mean they should get it all, but their share should be larger.

I mean what kind of person who for years had little to no contact with the parent, did no caregiving, have the nerve to think they deserve the same as a sibling who did it all?


Reply with quote  #23 
John, that is what forums are for.. People who plunge into this DON'T know.. Some may come here to vent, others come to learn...some do both.. and that is for the best.  
Reply with quote  #24 
the "family" that doesn't do anything, is "don't know, don't care".  
Reply with quote  #25 
When MIL came to live with us, I didn't expect "payment".  But never in my wildest nightmares did I envision that she would outright refuse to contribute to the household expenses, even when I showed her that running the O2 concentrator 24/7 and having her room kept at a balmy 85 degrees was costing me an extra $50 a month.  Meanwhile, my wife used up ALL her sick leave and vacation time taking her to multiple dr appts when gas was above $4 a gallon.  Never once offered to buy a tank of gas.  ONce she suggested stopping at KFC on the way home from the DR, and of course, it was "let's go dutch".  HInts didn't work.  Then I would find her writing checks to her son who only stopped by to get the check, and causing arguments every time.  I hate to say it, but her passing saved my marriage.  All of the stress and resentment is gone and we are MUCH happier without her (sorry if that sounds terrible).  LIke I said earlier, it's now water under the bridge, but boy, did I learn a lesson about how to treat MY kids.  And being a staunch conservative, I do believe that if an elder has money it should be used for their support, rather than expect the taxpayers to pay for it so that the "inheritance" can be preserved.
Reply with quote  #26 
Lucky are those families whose elders make plans. They determine that someone will paid for their care, whether it is a facility or a family member. They do not "use" a family member for free labor. They are neither burdens to society, nor to one family member.

I have mentioned multiple times on this forum had I placed my parents in 2003, by 2007 everything would have been gone. My mother lived until 2011. Who would have paid for her? The taxpayer. Who prevented this scenario? I did. But what do I have to show for it? No career, no pension and ill health.

I never want to hear the word "equal" said in the same breath as inheritance or in any discussion of rights, because as far as I am concerned There was nothing "equal" in a system that made me an unpaid slave, a victim of "status obligation" who enabled everyone in my family to have lives, while I saved an ungrateful government big bucks.

Reply with quote  #27 

Mike, that is awful that your MIL was like that. But your wife should have dealt with her mother.  To have a do nothing brother show up for a check from mom, meanwhile her oxygen compressor is running up the electric bill. That was wrong.

When I refer to protecting an inheritance I am not talking about the taxpayers footing the bill. First off Medicare has  a 5 yr look back on finances, the elder just can't hand off the house and the bank accounts to an adult child and cry poor mouth. 

I am talking about the adult child taking care of the parent in the home, thus avoiding the monthly expense which on average is $6K a month. If it can be done,  I realize in some cases it is not possible to keep an elder at home.

But there is no perserving of an inheritance and the taxpayers foot the bill, unless someone  is very clever and has a crystal ball and can predict the future so that they time it right and sign over all their assets(and can you really trust anyone not run off with your money), wait 5 yrs. and then get Medicaid.

But that would be difficult to do.

I don't know of anyone or anyway that an elder can be living in an assisted living or nursing home on Medicaid while they have a hefty bank account.

Like I said Medicare does a 5 yr lookback and wants to know where the money went.

When the elder is taken care of in the home by an adult child that person is not burdening the tax payers, they're living off the elder savings in most cases, and by not having the elder in a facility not going through the money like Hitler went through France.

And if there is an inheritance left over when the elder passes and a house that is paid for, and you have an adult child who sacraficed years of their own life to caregive, maybe gave up a job, or in some cases got laid off because when their company did layoffs they got rid of people who had family issues, than that child should get more of the estate.

Because as Equality said, while other family members went on with their lives and earned an income and prospered, the caregiver's job and life became taking care of someone.

BC, you're right they don't know. I didn't know.  So when someone says well the parent should just pay the caregiver, it isn't just that simple.  Many of us had no idea how long the caregiving would go on for or how complicated it would become.

And again many of us start off(myself included) thinking well these are my parents of course I will take care of them, clueless as to how much this involves.

Reply with quote  #28 
again, John.. that's why forums exist.. the word is spread hard, how long, the cost. It is all here.

Reply with quote  #29 
John, you are intermingling the terms "Medicare" and "Medicaid".  Everyone is eligible for Medicare at age 65, regardless of income or assets, but it is means tested after a certain income level, meaning you may have to pay a premium.  "Medicaid" is for the indigent.  Yes, there is a 5 year lookback period, but I hear commercials on the radio every day for estate lawyers who make a living out of "estate planning", so that the rules can be circumvented.  I truly don't know what the answer is.  I am against government mandates, but I think if the Govt can force people to purchase health insurance, it should also force people to buy LTC insurance...just add it to the Social Security/Medicare tax.  It's not fair for someone to spend, spend, spend throughout their lives, then when they need care, to expect someone else (like the taxpayers or family members) to foot the bill.  Like the old saying, "If you fail to plan, you've planned to fail".
Reply with quote  #30 


I am very aware of the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.  I had to become an expert on Medicare dealing with two elderly parents who both worked and saved their money, I know who Medicaid is for.

My parents never qualified for Medicaid. Believe me I have seen first hand how it works.

Elder A works hard all their life and saves money, their reward if they require long term care, you pay for it. So money you might have wanted for your kids and grandkids now goes to the AL or NH.

Elder B spends the last 40 yrs p***sing away every penny they earned, their reward if they need long term care, the taxpayer foots the bill.

As far as those estate lawyers go what they do mainly pertains to the spouse of the elder who needs to go into a nursing home.  For example the spouse is allowed to keep around 108 K of their money and in some states the home they own(isn't that nice of the govt) if they're trying to get the elder in the home onto Medicaid.

An estate lawyer may even tell them to spend down some of their savings, go buy your daughter a new car. But there is no way around keeping an inheritance in tact and getting Medicaid.

The estate planning you are hear advertised on TV isn't really much different than those ads for after you have a car crash come see us and we will make it all better.

Not to say seeing an estate elder care lawyer is a bad idea, but what they do is go over as I mentioned earlier what the spouse who is still well enough to live on their own can keep. As I said I believe the current amount is 108K and the home.

They have to abide by the current laws.  They don't have ways of telling people how to hide money in order to go on Medicaid. That is the reason for the 5 yr lookback.

The elder can't say "oh the 300K I had in savings and stocks I bet with at the horsetrack and lost it all, so where do I sign up for Medicaid".

I agree that people should plan for their old age, but it is really out of whack in this country that two people can share a room in a NH, and one is paying 60K a year and the other is getting a free ride.

What is wrong with this picture?

Might sound like a lot, but what happens if say the healthy spouse is 76 and lives another 14yrs.

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