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Caregivers: Parents live in disaster area

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phuggins
Fairmont, WV
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2006
1:53 PM

Post #2354247

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for this, but here goes...my parents are in their 70s and frail (dad has heart condition, mum is undergoing chemo). They can no longer keep up with house maintenance and their place is falling apart. DH and I live 12 hours' drive away and my sister lives 6 hours away. We visit every couple of months and try to help with maintenance, but it's pretty difficult. Three weeks ago my parents were badly hit by flooding and had 4 feet of water in their basement. Everything in the basement floated around and then settled wherever it happened to be when the water receeded. Their basement is now an impenetrable mass of furniture, tools, old newspapers, clothes, toys, leaking paint cans, and goodness knows what, all starting to grow black mold. My sister and I went up to clean the place, took one look, and realized they need professional cleaners, for which none of us have the $. DH, my sister, and I have been trying to convince my parents to sell the house as is and move to where DH and I live (without trying to be obnoxious and pushy about it). My mother won't sell or even let a realtor in the house until she "cleans it up." My dad won't even talk about it. I figure we (DH, sister, and I) have 3 options: 1. Let my parents stay in their falling apart house which is a health hazard, 2. Somehow scrape together the money to clean up their basement and let my parents stay in their falling apart house, 3. Somehow convince them to move closer to us. Option #1 seems heartless, Option #2 will be a financial burden on all of us, and Option #3 would be incredibly hard emotionally (although not financially) on my parents. (However, the housing markets being what they are, they would end up in a MUCH nicer house down here, plus be close to their daughters and grandson, plus have more access to amenities, etc.) DH, DS, and I have done a fair bit of research on housing possibilities down here, compiled a list of benefits of moving, and have sat down with my parents and gone over pictures and literature. We have also stressed that it is their decision what they do. I'm afraid that they might be paralyzed and do nothing.

I apologize for writing all this, our family situation isn't nearly as bad as others, but my sister and I want to help our parents and we don't know what we can do at this point. Any suggestions???

pam

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