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My mom has no assets and has early onset dementia, needs care

Mom is 56 with early onset dementia, dad has divorced her and she has no assets, except a small disability check. I care for her in my home, I am married with 5 children from 8 to 16. Her situation worsens daily I have no POA, and am lost as to how I can receive benefits for the care of my mom or some assistance. Our life revolves around caring for my mom and I want to do that, but my children need me as well, and I am not in the best of health. I cannot afford to pay a elder law attorney. I'm lost and don't know what to do next. Besides dealing with my mom my relationship with my dad has deteriated considerably. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Status: Open    Apr 17, 2016 - 08:22 PM

Dementia, Caregiving

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Apr 22, 2016 - 06:45 AM

First and foremost.... Put yourself 1st, caregiver burnout is real, and it is not fun, you are no good to anyone if you are burntout. As a parent of 5 children, you probably already know that. Your mom is now your 6th child, and you have to remember that there will be times that she acts like a toddler, and patience and love is the only thing that matters.

Google senior help or elder helpine and your area to find some local organizations, they might offer free legal advice for seniors. Talk to her doctor, and if need be, find a specialist for ALZ, they will be a wealth of information.There are wonderful adult daycare centers, and with her being on disability, she might be able to get someone to come to you for a few hours 2-3 days a week, through her insurance.

You want to get a Durable POA, that is very specific concerning Medical, Banking, and anything else that you can think of, and if she is willing, have it state you and your spouse equally so that if you are dealing with her in an emergency, he can act as her authorized representative, signing all the forms, while you are with her. POAs are not recognized by federal intaties, ie... SSA, Medicare, Medicaid, VA... Most of those have a form on their website called Authorized Representative. Most legal forms can be found for free on the web, make sure that it is good in your state, and find out if your state requires POAs to be file with the clerk of courts. Her bank should have a notary on hand to notarize her signature for free. She just needs to be able to say "yes this is my decision".

Have a family night, where you play games, include mom in it, as it will stimulate her brain. Find old pictures and have grandma tell the kids about her family, what she did when she was younger, what you were like as a kid, etc... The younger kids will eat it up, and it will allow you to not have to choose between your mom and your kids.

Join online support groups. With your dad, he might feel that you are choosing her over him, and if their marriage and subsequent divorce was not the best, it might have him feeling hurt. Tell him if the roles were reversed and it was him needing the help, you would do it for him.

I hope this helps.

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