Help with Caring for My Dying Dad

Updated on August 06, 2010
K.A. asks from Pleasant Hill, CA
10 answers

Three months ago I moved my Dad in with us as he is dying of cancer and could no longer live alone. I am somewhat familiar with this as I cared for my mom when she passed 17 years ago from cancer also. I was single then and for the most part was able to put my life on hold to care for her. Watching her pass was the hardest thing I had ever done. I am now married with a 10 year old son so it is not quite that easy this time around to put everything on the back burner to watch my dad go thru this terrible disease.. Trying to make sure my dad, husband, and son are all comfortable in our little house with 1 bathroom has become quite a task. I could go on and on about this but that is not the purpose of this posting. I work 2 days a week. Unfortunately my husband is not working right now but the flip side of that is he is home right now so he can watch out for my dad the 2 days I work. When my husband does go back to work I will need to get care for my Dad the two days I am out of the house as I know his insurance coverage is limited as to what they cover. Thanks goodness he can pay for with his own money. My questions is though (and I almost feel guilty asking it) is: Many people have told me that I can get paid for taking care of my dad. Is this true? Who do I contact regarding this? Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, K.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Yes--it is possible. We have a family friend with an ill mother...they said they could use $XXX pr month toward her care of use it themselves, which is what they're doing.

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answers from Sacramento on

contact the In Home Support Services (IHSS) division of your local county government. there are income restrictions, so if he has a good retirement income he may not qualify. call a local hospice and see what they can do to help you out also. sorry about your dad.

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answers from Charlotte on

Don't feel guilty for asking. Marda has a good idea calling the CA Dept of Human Resources. According to how long the doctor says your dad should live with this particular cancer (sorry, I know that's hard), you can ask for Hospice services. (In NC, Hospice will come to your house if you are considered less than 18 months survival time).

My husband's grandmother stayed with her family and paid them to take care of her. She had the money. It was good for everyone - they didn't have to suffer financially to take care of her, and she wasn't hurting by paying either - it's not like she could go out and spend the money anyway. It sounds like this is your father's situation.

I'm sorry you are all going through this - sending strength for the coming days, K..


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answers from Portland on

Hey, don't feel bad about asking this question. You pay taxes and should use whatever services are available. Whether or not you can get paid depends on your Dad's financial situation. In Oregon, a person can only own a specific amount in property, cash, and investments and if they own more than that they have to pay that down 2 years before receiving aid.

Call the California Department of Human Resources for information.

If your Dad has long term care insurance they may pay you for taking care of him. Also some medical insurance pays for in home help, such as housekeeping, grooming, nurse visits, etc.

My aunt lived with me, owned no property, had only SS for income and she received in home care in my home but I didn't get paid. Her in home care was paid by Medicare, I think. She had a nurse come to the house, periodically, and a personal caretaker 2 mornings/wk. That person gave her baths, changed her bed, did her laundry, and helped me in a few general ways related to her care. A social worker visited every so often to ascertain what care she needed.

My mother also lived with me for a few months and after she had surgery for gall stones, she had a visiting nurse come in once a week. I think that was also paid by Medicare.

Medicare assistance has no income or property limitations.

I am empathetic. My parents were in poor health their last few years. I know how difficult it is just to provide minimal care as well as to share your home. Your father needs more care than my parents needed. I hope that you can find a way to get paid.

You said your Dad could pay for care those 2 days. Perhaps he would consider paying you. I don't know your family situation but it's easier to make plans for money and assets while the family member is still able to participate in planning. If he's worried about his money running out, which has concerned every ill older person that I've known, the state will step in and help once he does.

Wendy mentioned Hospice. They can help you. My mother was put on Hospice a few days before she died. They were of help to the family after she died too. And I was a crisis voluteer that responded to a couple of home deaths in which Hospice was involved. They were a great help in those situations.

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answers from Sacramento on

Have you checked into Hospice care? You would be suprised at what they can offer your family and especially your father.

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answers from Topeka on

I Would have your Dad check with Social Security or his Medical Insurance and see if anything like that is available.
I don't know if your Father qualifies for Hospice Care now...but if he does, they should have Respite Care that might be available for you. I know that they have "adult day care'....sort of like a nursing home set up....think the public areas of a nursing home where they gather for meals and activities.
At the very least, talk with one of the counselors at Hospice and see if they have any suggestions for you!!!

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answers from Atlanta on

When my Grandfather was dying of pancreatic cancer it was difficult on the family because we all have full-time jobs. My mom found out about volunteers coming over certain times when the family needed but I'm not too sure what all they did.
Such as I don't know if they just sat there with him or if they actually "helped" him as far as bathroom, bathing, etc. My mom only used them when she needed a "break". You might could check with Hospice care to find out because I think that is where she found out about it. My heart goes to you because I wouldn't wish cancer upon my very worst enemy and its even more difficult to watch someone you care about so much fade away especially when you remember them having such "life" beforehand.
I never heard of anyone paying you though-that would have been good to know back then. Even though my Grandfather was very comfortable money-wise and did pay my mother to care for him and she felt guilty for doing so but my dad had lost his job and she was losing money at work because of all the time she was taking off and not having the vacation/sick days to take so she had to without pay. The way I see it is if anyone else was caring for him he would be having to pay them anyways and most likely 10x that amount so don't feel guilty for asking that question. Hugs :())

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answers from San Francisco on

you very well may be able to. It's called in-home health care. I would start by looking at the county listings in your telephone book and just start making calls. Someone will be able to direct you to the right person. I'm sorry I can't be more help with who to call, but I know the financial assistance is out there for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My mother cared for my father for 7 years before he died. There are services out there. She never got paid but maybe it's different if it's your father. I would call Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco. ###-###-####) They cover the whole Bay Area. They help with respite and support of the caregiver. For my mom she had a caregiver come in for free for a period of time. You may also be eligible for hospice care and in home care - like someone who comes and bathes your father. Family Caregiver Alliance can point you in right direction. I'm in Pleasant Hill too if you wish to contact me. Good-luck. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Interesting I know of a few people also in this situation....I'm curious to see what answers you get. I wish you patience and the very best for your family.

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