Skip to main content

Posted for Susan D.



Last summer I saw an article, and I believe it was on your web site, about the financial hardship to a family care giver. I have searched your whole web site and I cannot find it! Darn! I would love to have that article, or something similar, if you know of one, or can point me in the right direction!

I have given up my career to care for my 88 year old Mother. I have lived with her for 10 years now, with minimal weekly financial support. I do have a woman who comes in 2 days a week to take care of Mother, but the rest of the time it is me.

I have a brother and a sister who live here(both married) who are sometimes available to be here if I want to go out (maybe once every week or two). My problem is that after taking care of Mom, the house and all the
responsibilities involved with maintaining a home that was built 50 years ago, after this I have no time or energy left to do my art work!

I had an art career before moving in with Mom. Actually the real problem is that my 2
brothers and my sister feel that I should not get paid anything extra (after Mother passes away) for all the years that I have been here taking care of her. They say I have a house to live in and don't have to buy food!

I know a woman who is doing the same thing I am doing, but she was "hired" and is getting paid $50,000 a year, plus all her expenses are paid and she has a car to use and gets the weekends off! When I told my family this they said that was "different," that because I am a family member I should not expect to get paid, because it is my Mother I am taking care of! This is a real serious problem, because now I am 58 and if I don't receive a salary for my time being here I will have some money, but not nearly enough to support myself! Plus, I don't know how much energy I will have to go out and work!

If there are no unforeseen illnesses (Mom is in fairly good health, thank God) I will inherit some money, but not nearly enough to cover what I have lost over the years of not being able to produce my art and bring in an
income! Several years ago I wrote a letter to my family and sent it to each one individually trying to explain that I felt it was only fair that when Mother goes home to God, that I be compensated for my devotion, commitment and time! They just laughed at me!

I know I cannot possibly be the only person in this situation! You must run into this with other people that write to you. HELP, PLEASE! I am thinking of hiring an attorney to state my case, so I can be compensated. Do you know of one?


Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hello Susan

I am sorry to hear about your situation. What I can share with you is from the stories other caregivers have shared with me in situations like your own.

There are many steps that you can take.

Firstly, do you have the Power Of Attorney to control your mom's finances? Is your mother coherent so that you can discuss this situation with her openly and frankly?

If there is an inheritance that you will receive after she passes, many caregivers are asking for to receive it now, when they need it most. You can draw a salary from your can also I believe set up some form of estate and receive money but it is impt to speak with a lawyer and accountant about these procedures.

Secondly, while your mom has lived fifty years in a house that she built with your father, is it very big? Perhaps you should think of selling it and downsizing into something smaller that will accommodate both of you, without the major upkeeping expenses, taxes etc. Then you could also use the profits to pay you a salary.

Siblings and other family members can really be estranged in situations like this. They don't want to assit in the care or the finances. Sometimes it can be due to family dynamics, old patterns, who was the favored child etc. It is often difficult to convince them of your own needs in the situation you are up against.

I know of a woman who was 66 who cared for her dad with Alzheimer's who was 95. She was the baby of the family. She needed to have a surgery on her back. Her older brother who was an attorney had the power of attorney and was spending the father's money on himself and his new younger wife. This woman put the power in her brother and thought she didn't have any recourse. After research and speaking with legal aid, she was able to take back her power and approach her siblings. The time came for her to have to place her father in respite because of her physical limitations in caring for him... all of a sudden the brother finally started to contribute financially in the right way.

While each situation is unique,you will have to continue reaching out to find the information available to make it work for you. There are choices so don't be dismayed.

As far as the articles, these were the ones from the site that I thought might assist you.

Please keep us posted. Richest Blessings,
You have presented a very intelligent question. My family and I will be moving in with my Mother-in-law and I will most likely not go back into the work force. I will be the one to take care of her 24/7. My husband feels that I should be granted an income. If we hire outsider for help they would get paid. So why shouldn't we.
I am getting a reverse mortage for my mother so that if she reaches a point where she may become in compaciatedshe will have a income,so i will be able to work part time and pay someone to care for her,this is a way for her to have her own money to provide for care,it is only me,no support or assistance from the family at all,also i am getting government grants to have her home modified for her to return and will rent my home out,also a means of income,since most of my time will be spent with her,i will not be living there just spending most of my days,see i work nights,i will rent rooms to college students,a souce of income,also i will look into establishing a home based business,another source of income,SEE YOU MUST LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE,PLAN AHEAD,these are some of the ways that i will have a income for my MOTHER and I.She is eligble for alot of grants,which do not have to be paid back,also for deferred loans,even when she passes on,it will not be a burden on me as her heir,every thing is based on her income,so you may want to look at some of these suggestions,i myself will look into getting a lawyer to bettre guide me in this process,so that my MOTHER and I are protected,so i pray i have given you some help. BE BLESSED.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.