possible caregiver for my parents

My parents are living in a retirement community in an independent condo. They are 91 (dad) and 86 (mom), my mom has vascular dementia and my dad is still mentally sharp but is getting physically frail.

My situation is unique in the fact that the retirement community they live in has a benevolent fund, which will allow them to stay at the community even if they run out of money as long as they have paid their way for 3 years. They have been there 3 years and now they need to go to assisted living.

But since my mom has dementia, she would have to go to a secure memory unit and dad would have to go to a non-secure assisted living, about a block away.

So they would have to live seperately after 65 years of marriage. I want to bring them into my home, quit my job and take care of them. My other siblings do not want me to take them out of the community for fear that after several years if they need to go to a nursing home and they are out of money, they would get stuck in a low rated nursing home.

My argument is that I can keep them for 5 years before they run out of money and give them a much better quality of life (and keep them together) and there is only a small chance they will need to go to a nursing home and then get stuck in a bad one.

Any thoughts from people who willingly take care of their parents with dementia? What would you do in my situation?

Comments for possible caregiver for my parents

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by: Kevin


You and your folks are in a tough position and it is very generous of you to consider having your parents come stay with you. It is a 24-7 job and if your siblings are not on board with your idea, they may not want to provide your much needed respite. It can be more work and hardship that you might have imagined. But in many cultures, it would be expected.

Both options are not ideal. Separating your parents after being married for that long is very sad. I would say it is important to consider what would happen if your parents live past when you expect (I have met a number of people over 100!). Would it then have been an issue to be out of the workforce for that long for you? Also maybe a family meeting to discuss the situation, with a mediator if necessary. Family dynamics around these types of decisions can become easily elevated.

I can't tell you what I would do as I don't know what I decision I would make in this spot - even having lived through it with many families over the years. I suspect I would love to have my parents in my home but am not sure I could cope with the true expectations of this for a long period of time. I might also think that having my mom safe and my dad close by enough to visit daily (if that is how close it is) would be another feasible option - and might keep his mobility and strength in good condition. I hope we can come up with a better way to keep our loved ones together!

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