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mcunliffe

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My dad was diagnosed with ALS just over 3 years ago and those symptoms have been very slowly progressing. He was more recently diagnosed with FTD, and those symptoms are more of what we are seeing and his doctor's feel has been there before the ALS diagnosis was made. As my parents marriage is very unstable, they have relied on my siblings and I a lot for emotional support and decision making.

I am trying to figure out how to navigate these waters of stepping in and helping to make decisions, without overstepping my bounds and taking away control from my parents or disrespecting their wants/wishes. My Dad has mentioned several times that their finances are a mess and he has no idea how much they are spending a month. From reading on here financial issues with FTD are not uncommon.

I am trying to step in and help by going through all their spending and set up a budget, but my Dad is reluctant to give me the "full picture" on their spending. My Dad has had full financial control for the majority of my parents marriage. My Mom is completely unaware of how much they bring in a month and how much they spend a month.

My parents are stuck. They have all of these decisions they need to make (modify their current house or move, get the modified van now or wait, insurance plans, retirement, budget - so on and so forth) but they are just stuck. I am having the same conversations with them on a daily basis of what they are trying to decide. I'm feeling totally overwhelmed. I'm sick of having the same conversations and not having any action involved.

I don't know how my Mom is going to handle all of what is coming down the road. They had been separated for two years, but when my Dad received the FTD diagnosis she moved back home to help take care of him, but he was already short tempered and mean towards her and I can see that behavior has already heightened. Sorry, this is dragging on...... but I guess what I am having a hard time with and need advice on is when to step in. I want to be the good child that steps in and helps carry this burden with my parents, and I want to honor their wishes and wants, but it seems like what my Dad wants totally differs from what me and my siblings feel like is best.

Ugh, I don't feel like I'm explaining myself very well. I can only imagine all of the fear, anxiety, depression and anger that both of my parents are experiencing facing the reality of what they are dealing with and will be dealing with and I am trying to respect that, but they are not moving forward. How do I help with out disrespecting/disregarding what my Dad thinks is best. How do I help both my parents when they seem to be at odds with each other of what they want at every turn. How do help keep my Dad in check and not let them get into total financial ruin when my Dad thinks his mind is clear and he is still making rational decisions. (Today he told me is going to get into the investment game!!!)

Sorry this is so long... probably more then anything I needed to vent and connect with some other people out their who have gone or are going through similar situations. Thanks in advance!
 
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lgelb

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Welcome and sorry you are here.

Utah, do you have financial power of attorney? If not, I'd try to work that out with your dad, for the greater good. Also, the reconciliation with your mom may not last and that would further complicate things. A Will, advance directive and general PoA if/as applicable in your state are also essential, and in regards to your mom as well.

Once or while the paperwork is sorted, I would advise taking your parents to meet with a financial counselor (often available via your/their bank/credit union/former employer/church/whatever or a third party) and get an operating/capital improvements budget and plan in writing. They may still waffle but it's a point of departure. Your local clinic, MDA or ALSA chapter may also recommend a social worker to help them come to terms with their relationship and housing under the new normal.

You and your sibs are in the classic no-win situation. We will support you however we can, but you also need help on the ground where you are.

Best,
Laurie
 

mcunliffe

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Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
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Loved one DX
Country
US
State
UT
Thank you Laurie. All of the paperwork makes my head spin just thinking about it, but I know it needs to be taken care of... and sooner than later. My siblings and I are supposed to be meeting with the clinic social worker soon, so I am hoping that will help not only get us more informed, but give us some "tools" to know better how to support both parents. While I wish this situation on no one, it's comforting that there are others out there than can relate and give advice.

Thanks again,
Kess
 
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