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Do I have to take care of my aging parents?

What happens if I decide not to get involved at all with parent what is the worst that can happen to me, go to jail. I am ready, I can't help my 79 year old mother who lives in Florida. I am 60 don't have any financial means or time to help her & I have not seen her since 2008 now she thinks I can drop everything and help her can't do it. I told her to call elder services of Florida, she does not want to she has no funeral arrangements and uses all her money to feed 50 cats. I told my wife I am ready to go to jail for as long as it takes but I can't pay her bills or drop my job and go over at a whim.
Status: Open    Feb 02, 2015 - 09:07 AM

Caregiving, Relationships

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Feb 03, 2015 - 07:41 AM

In approximately half of all states a "filial responsibility" is on the legal books indicating adult children have a legal responsibility to support their parents when their parents don't have sufficient income to take care of themselves. For more specific information on this type of law, check with an elder care attorney in your state.

It is possible self neglect, a form of elder abuse is occurring. There are many things that can cause an elder to stop taking care of themselves including, dementia, depression, disease, poverty, and isolation.

If you suspect elder abuse or self neglect, there are often local agencies that you can contact to help assist an elder who is not taking care of themselves. Adult Protective Services are duty-bound to investigate every claim of abuse and neglect that is reported to them. They have experience in dealing with self-neglecting elders and have a number of resources available to them to help an elder in need.

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By dsu44 on Aug 13, 2016 - 07:21 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Wow!! It just seem that you are just distressed and it would take too much of your time to care for your Mother, but it also seem that your kicking and screaming means you really need to and no matter what happened to you as a child or adult, you have to care for your mother because you are losing sleep trying not to do the right thing. Even if you just arrange for care, call animal rights to get rid of the cats, etc... You have to do something than just kick and scream about it. HELP HER!!!

By kathleenmanson on Sep 03, 2016 - 12:30 AM | Like (1)  |  Report

Are you serious @ sufffisher1? You really want her to call an elder services and hire a caregiver all by herself. I understand, you might be a very busy person and can't spare time for your mum and haven't met her since 2008. But can't you spare 5 to 10 minutes to find out a good in-home caregiver in Florida and hire them on the spot via a call. You got time to post this but not to make just one call juz for the sake of your mum. Shocked to see this!! Usually, elderly people at this age tend to be very aggressive at this very age. Can't blame them...right? I guess you need to make some study on this thoroughly:

By bmartin3 on Mar 22, 2017 - 12:26 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am in this exact same position, and I came up with a reasonable solution for me.
If you were this opposed to taking care of a parent, you have every right to be. These people on this board don't know you. Either you don't want to do it because you have really good reasons that other people can't understand, or maybe you are a terrible person in which case you should not be taking care of this parent, right? What I think is shameful is that there isn't just an automatic way that this is done as a country. If we don't do this as a nation, if we don't care enough to do it as a country to have a way for elders to immediately get help when their life changes, then the whole country doesn't care, so ignore people who judge you when they might be the ones complaining about 50 cents more taxes a year that would solve this problem for everyone.
Before you do anything you need to make an anonymous call to animal control about those cats. Then she's going to have more available and come to work with.
Here's what I did. After an estranged relationship with my father who had never been a good father, he called me to say he had cancer. He said he would reimburse my plane ticket. When I came down he didn't have cancer. He had Alzheimer's and was calling 911 all the time. I told him I would only come down with my daughters if he let me be his power of attorney.
In Florida here's the difference. If you legally become her guardian, you have to file reports and you will be held legally responsible for her well-being just like a parent does for a child. With power of attorney with a good lawyer, you can have the power to do every decision sell the car sell the house change her residence etc. you want to be the guardian only in cases where you definitely want to keep control of the situation. If someone came along and try to be her power of attorney and she signed a new agreement, then you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. When someone told me this, I said "if someone comes along and they want to do it, God bless him and God speed. They will be doing me a favor."
I did hire a woman to visit him a few times a week, like the person suggested above. Eventually they ended up taking his ATM card and stealing his money. I separated his money into two accounts so that no one could get The rest of it. Then I did call a place for mom, they were helpful but they didn't have anything in his price range. Eventually one of the places they suggested gave me the number of a different guy who deals with much more inexpensive residential places. I know I wasn't going to pay a dime towards it, so it had to be the amount of his Social Security. The nice man eventually found a place where he would definitely be safe even if it didn't have a swimming pool blah blah blah. Did not cost me one cent. I sold the car with his name and I just wrote poe for power of attorney. With some of the money I disposed of the condo. I had a garage sale and sold all his stuff. I couldn't sell the condo because he had a reverse mortgage, but maybe you can sell her place. I wrote out a personal services contract and used some of the money to reimburse myself for plane tickets and $20 an hour, because I was missing many hours at work, I would lose my apartment because I couldn't pay for it , and that is way too much to ask. There's no way I was gonna lose my home for him. When I wrote out the power of attorney they also made a will.
You can also follow the suggestion on this page to see if you can legally divorce her. Parents can give up their kids for adoption when they can't take care of them so this is only fair. After you call the animal control, you can bet that they will probably call Elder services or DCFS. When one of those places calls and you already have done the legal separation, then they have to take care of it. Like I said, parents can give up their kids when they can't take care of them and you can give up a parent when you can't take care of them. You may feel self-conscious but don't let anybody judge you.

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Feb 02, 2015 - 12:42 PM

You can legally divorce your parent. Contact an attorney in your state for assistance. Gather your budget info to help make your case for not being able to help financially. You will also need to explain why you are emotionally disconnected from your parent. Alternatively, you could file legally to serve as her conservator. Feeding 50 cats while she cannot afford it is proof that she needs help managing her finances. You would need to attend a class to learn how to be a legal conservator of her person and her property. An attorney will be a great help to you.

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