I hate being an only child (some medical too much information).....LONG

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mstang67chic, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Ok, technically I'm not an only child but I'm my mom's only child. And it is going to hoover.

    Basically I now have parental difficult child's of a sort. And before I start, just for clarification's sake, we're talking about my mom and (step) dad....he adopted me but I still see my bio dad so this is just to make it clear as mud.

    Background on both:

    Mom - heart issues, prior bypass surgery, stent, arthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, fibromyalga, blood pressure, thyroid....all kinds of stuff. AND she still smokes. Or rather, smokes again as she quit for 2 years after her bypass.

    Dad - artificial hips that are showing MAJOR wear on at least one, degenerative disc disease in his neck, prostate cancer treated with radiation, radiation poisoning (for lack of a better word) from over radiation during treatments...resulting in loss of bone strength (multiple pelvic fractures), fried colon resulting in colostomy and lesions in and around the colon/rectal area, some sort of foot/leg issue (circulation???) resulting in horribly swollen legs and feet as well as bad, bad, bad, sores on his feet.

    The house they live in was Dad's childhood home....his father built it and it's about 70 or so years old. Had the maintenance been kept up on over the years, especially the last 10 or 15, the house would still be in ok shape. Now? Light a match. The living room was added on at some point and the ceiling tiles are falling down. Without them, you can look straight up to the roof and also see what was part of the front of the house before the addition. It's drafty, poorly (if at all) insulated, the electrical is scary, plumbing/septic needs work, bathroom floor moves, the tub/shower is .....I don't know how they do it. I've been trying for a long time to talk about it and about maybe doing something about it like....ohhh I don't know......MOVE! But every time I bring the subject up I get one of two responses. In the past my mom would acknowledge the need to do something and say we'll talk about it later.....and never did. Or....she would get defensive/upset/mad and not talk to me for days. (stubborn much?) Neither one of them are in the best of health and especially in the last year or two just can't keep up with even the most simple of things around the house. Clean? Nope. Dishes? Takes Mom days......mainly because she waits till everything in the house is dirty and THEN does them. I have gone over in the past to help but now...it's a combination of she tells me no and honestly, as bad as this sounds, I can't stand to be in the house. It stinks, there are fleas and I can't do it. They both smoke in the house and have for years and years. Even before I quit, I thought it reeked. It smells of meals from the last God knows how many years, the dog, whatever critter is in the roof.....it's just awful.

    Dad has been in and out of the hospital more and more recently because of his feet. (and because his doctor is an idiot but that's another thread all on it's own). He's in again and it's now to the point that something HAS to be done to the house. Dad is probably never going to walk again because of the pelvic fractures and his hip issues. The ortho guy won't operate on the hip because Dad's bones are so weak. So....he's going to be in a wheelchair. Only one slight problem......because of the way the house is laid out and the shape it's in.....there is no way in hades you would be able to get a chair through. None.

    Mom has talked to a friend of hers and one of my aunts. The friend, my aunt, my cousin and I are going to go over at some point in the very near future and do some heavy duty cleaning. (as in....Hound....I will GLADLY trade you) Even then.....if Dad comes home and the home health care people (that now will be coming even though I suggested it a long time ago) may still call social services just because of the shape of the house physically.

    I'm trying to figure out how I can help (aside from the cleaning) with anything. Or who I can contact to get them help with housing, social services, etc. AT this point, I don't much care if I step on toes....Mom hates it but she knows they need to do something. It's mostly been Dad this whole time. He refused to let people come in, he refused to leave (I'll die if I have to live in the city. Ok first? It's not a flipping CITY.....the town has about 10,000 people....MAYBE. {Haozi...your town.} And besides.....with his health, he was outside THREE times this summer. THREE. That's not counting going to the car for doctor's appointments.) Well guess what Dad.....tough nuts. You guys need help.

    So....who do I call? I know I can't actually do anything but I can find out things. Also, both are on Medicaid and/or disability/SSI....what happens to the house/property? I know it goes to the state if they go into a nursing home but what if they sell the place so they can move to an apartment?

    I hate being an only child.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I know nothing of this, but sure feel compassion. I have three sisters, you made me very grateful. Would anyone buy the house? one of those we buy ugly houses companies? ( I really dont mean that in a rude way...just because of the way you described it I figure it could not be made to be show worthy for a normal sale???) they do have those guys and just wondering if that would work? seems better to sell if possible than to lose it but if it would never sell...can the land/property be sold?
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Some of the land is farmland and is rented to a local farmer. I'm sure he would buy the land .....or someone in the area would. I just don't know if it's allowed. That's one of the things I need to check on regarding the disability/SSI thing.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    wow, that is complicated. there must be certain shelters for preserving some monies for their needs. but who knows. for disabled kids they tell you about ways of investing for that is not counted for ssi etc. I hope there is some way for you. Id go with you to explore options as your cyber sister if I was close. no fun to do alone for sure.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, I dunno who you can call there but here we call community action because ours does at least minor home repair.......so while if they did help it wouldn't be a lot, every little bit helps. Try habitat for humanity, they may also come in and volunteer some home repair on a larger scale. Have they ever attended church? Contact the pastor, let him know the situation, see if a fund raiser could be held and maybe some volunteers with know how rounded up to help. I thought of this one because my mom has talked about her church doing it more than once. Perhaps you could contact the health dept to see if they have any clue of others you could contact for help.

    And before you ask to trade......you've not seen the upstairs or the family room. :rofl: But at least it's not like falling down or anything. (thank god and knocks on wood)

    We're getting into holiday season..........ummm maybe a huge church bake sale bizarre thing to raise money for the repairs? Sell off some of their "junk" (which is not always junk once cleaned up some antique places would snatch it up)

    And this is going to sound meanish but I wouldn't invest any of your own money into it if there is the slightest chance that social services won't let them remain in the house due to living conditions. You'd just be throwing it away.

  6. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    You can call Social Services and have them do a welfare check- once they see the condition of the house, they probably will say they cannot inhabit it, and would be forced to move - and then you could see about selling it.

    When SO's mom was living on her own, we arranged for Meals on Wheels to come in - it small donation and food was cooked specificially for a diabetic - two meals a day for the entire week. They contacted Social Services who sent a social worker out, and arranged for other things she needed, like diapers, energy drinks (like Ensure) and transportation back and forth to Dr. appts.

    If they sell the house and move into an assisted living kind of place, they can use their money - once they are broke state will take over - they are not allowed to own anything at that point, Life insurance has to be signed over, and they back check for 5 years to see how their money was spent

  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    How their money was spent? LOL Well let's see. Mom got a nice chunk of money when her disability finally kicked it. About six grand went to one of her sisters who paid to fill their fuel tank a few times (LP gas). Money went to another sister to pay back financial help. Mom did splurge a bit. She took some money and flew to New Mexico for a few days to see her oldest sister whom she hadn't seen in person in ten years....and she bought a few new clothes (NEW not from the Goodwill) for the trip. Oh and she bought a new car. A 1997 Chevy Malibu for four grand. Let's see...what else.....oh.... a new roof on the house.....um....groceries. You know.....the frivolous things. LOL
  8. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    You should talk to the social worker at the hospital BEFORE your dad goes home. He or She would be a key person for setting up services for your parents and a valuable information source.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stang...thats not frivolous. Why cant she have some life? Clothes, a car, food, the roof, go see a relative she might never see again? Seems sensible to me.

    Now as far as today, arent you the one who had the mother in law who lived in the apartment for the elderly and disabled? Can your parents not get into one of them?

    Your situation with your parents is much the same as what we are in with me. I am most likely going to be in the situation of needing to end up in a motorized wheelchair at some point in the near future. My house is not safe for that at this time. I need to have at least one bathroom and my kitchen remodeled to get around in the chair. My house is also a disaster area and I really dont have help to clean it up.

    Tony works, Billy basically does nothing and all I hear is "we have to do it". I am trying to figure out who "we" is. I assume we is me. If we is me, its not getting done. LOL. Because I simply cannot get up and down.
  11. keista

    keista New Member


    Oh, I'd be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO RICH if I had a nickel for every time I heard "WE have to ........" Eventually my response became, " Well, go ahead!"
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Keista...in my case it really is very unfair. There are three grown adults in my house. Tony leaves my house at 4:30 in the morning and gets home about 7:15 at night working 5 days a week most of the time. Some weeks only 4 days. Of course, he is only working 10 hour days but the rest is traveling. Billy works about 32 hours a week. I get off scott-free as far as they are concerned. The fact that I am disabled isnt worked into the equation. I have pointed out that I would rather work than be disabled but that doesnt mean anything. It really makes things difficult. Tony tries to understand at times and then other times he is so overwhelmed with all of it that he just breaks. I dont blame him and it just makes me feel useless. Its hard.
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    Janet, I completely understand. I wasn't/am not disabled, but was literally doing everything around the house (including raising 3 kids) and then husband would come up with all these "WE have to....." things, and it was never WE, it was ME! GRRRRRRRRRRRR

    Oops! Sorry for the hijack.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We must be the only ones up...lol.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "We" is always "more than one person".
    Therefore... next time you hear that line from Tony, tell him...

    Why, Thank You! I didn't realize you were hiring a maid to help me! Will WE ever get a LOT done.
  16. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Janet....none of that is frivolous at all...I was being a bit of a smart alec. Because you know....somewhere there would be a bitter pencil pusher who would say that that was irresponsible spending or some such koi.

    As for them moving.....I've been talking to my Mom about that for a loooong time. Dad is the one balking. He says he would "die if he lived in the city". However, Mom said he has at least acknowledged that they may have to do it.

    You think?

    That is part of what really gets me going. He's angry about how his health turned out because HE'S the one that is supposed to take care of Mom. (her health issues started before his with the exception of his hip replacements) But his own stubborness has put more on her than she can handle.

    He's supposed to be released in the next couple of days with a wheelchair. Not that there is room in their house for it.....not even the 2 1/2 rooms they are living in now. Instead of husband and I going over there to put insulation in the open ceiling areas and close it up somehow, Mom just closed off everything but the kitchen, bathroom and their bedroom. Fortunately for her, those rooms are beside each other in that order.

    I'm off to research apartments and regulations. by the way...thanks for the link Heather!
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Question: Do either of them qualify for VA benefits?
  18. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Nope. But we are going to look at the apartments across from the shopping center on the right as you head north through town. The section in the back is income based for 62 and up or disabled.
  19. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My very strong advice is this: contact an estate lawyer ASAP. It is not always true that the money from the sale of a home has to cover assisted living costs after the gov't takes over. You must be informed. Each scenario is different. Do they have a will? Did they use a lawyer? Find those 2 things out first.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    First things first - :hugs:

    OK. I know how the "only child" bit goes. I am one. My parents are still married, so not even a step much less a half sibling.


    My Mom was an only, as well. After having to take care of her parents' things... She and Dad decided I would never have to go through that.

    So... Her cranberry glass is just "pretty", not an heirloom. The milk glass belonged to my great-gma. The coffee table and end tables I grew up with, that gpa made, are already in my living room... They got "new" ones, nice but no sentimental value for me. Same for their table, china cabinet, etc. Asked me if I wanted the bed frame (HUGE monstrosity)... No... Sold it, got Sauder. And on and on. I pretty much know what's important... And I have most of the big stuff already.

    But - Gma & Gpa's wasn't as bad as you describe.

    I don't know what to say besides - keep pushing for the apartment... But don't sink much money into the house, sweetie.