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  1. #1

    Default Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    My question involves a person located in the state of: California

    Mom is 92 years old with a multitude of problems but none so serious she cant be cared for at home in a hospital bed.
    This I have done for 10 years now. Her finances do not support hiring a caregiver more than two days a week for 8 hours.
    She needs 24 hr care so I am her full time caregiver and happy to do it but making ends meet financially for me is becoming impossible.
    I have not had a vacation in years and if I get sick there is nobody to fill in. Yes, I could put her in a facility but that costs money too.

    Mom has a daughter who lives about an hour away but seems to have no interest in her mothers care or condition. She sends $100 a month saying thats all she can afford. She has done this for years now. This amount doesn't even begin to help pay a caregiver at $26hr or moms other needs.
    I have spoken to her about it and always the same story..no money. Cant afford to send more. I accepted that as fact until recently I discovered that my sister has been making a 6 figure income since long before I took mom in. Sure she may have other bills I don't know but supporting her mother should be high on that list. What can be done in this situation? Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    3,045

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    Does your mother qualify for Medicaid ? If she does you might have to consider putting her in a nursing home. Does,she need help with bathing, eating, dressing,ect If she does she meets the non financial requirements for admission to a nursing home. Have you contacted nursing homes in your area ?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    She does qualify for long term nursing home care under medi-Cal which is what we have here in calif.
    I would prefer to keep her in her home until such time as her condition requires a facility but without financial help I may have to go that route.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,221

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    You might want to take a look at Section 270c of the California Penal Code. It states:

    Except as provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 4410) of Part 4 of Division 9 of the Family Code, every adult child who, having the ability so to do, fails to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance for an indigent parent, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    The exception referenced above can be found here:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...er=2.&article=

    Although these laws have existed for many years, I have never seen anyone take action to enforce them and have no idea how to start. Perhaps more experienced folks can chime in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,350

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    Quote Quoting L-1
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    Although these laws have existed for many years, I have never seen anyone take action to enforce them and have no idea how to start. Perhaps more experienced folks can chime in.
    Indeed, my search indicates not a single appellate case involving prosecution under that Penal Code section, suggesting that prosecution, if it was ever done, was extremely rare. I'm not surprised, since the standards for determining exactly when a parent is "in need" and the extent to which the child must provide support are undefined and thus very vague; I doubt the criminal statute would survive a constitutional challenge.

    The main purpose of Family Code sections 4410 et seq that impose an obligation on a child to care for a needy parent was to provide a way for a county to recover some or all of what was spent on care of the elderly parent from the kids and thus relieve the state of that burden. It was enacted long before Congress enacted Medicaid as a joint federal/state program to help provide aid to the elderly. As far as I know, California counties no longer provide much aid to the elderly ó it is now done through Medi-Cal, the Medicaid program administered by California. As a result, the case law on the civil side starts to dry up after the enactment of Medicaid in the 1960s. Since the feds provide the bulk of the funds the state and county no longer carry the lion's share of aid to the elderly and these provisions are not used much any more. It is still the case though that a needy parent may sue their kids to get support under these statutes. California is the only state I'm aware of that imposes an obligation on children like this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,523

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    Quote Quoting condenado
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    She does qualify for long term nursing home care under medi-Cal which is what we have here in calif.
    I would prefer to keep her in her home until such time as her condition requires a facility but without financial help I may have to go that route.
    Have you done any research to see if Medi-Cal would cover some in home care?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    Have you done any research to see if Medi-Cal would cover some in home care?
    Yes I have. Her monthly income is too high to qualify. She had long term care which helped some but that ran out in 2006.

    I'm not surprised, since the standards for determining exactly when a parent is "in need" and the extent to which the child must provide support are undefined and thus very vague;
    Hmm. That would explain why she sends $100..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,727

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    The facts are, as it stands, apparently your mothers needs are covered which releases your sister from being obligated to pay anybody anything.

    I suspect your argument will be that you are covering anything not provided for by other systems. Well, thereís the rub: no uncovered expenses means nothing for your sister to pay.


    If your your mother does without if you stop paying or providing, then you are as guilty as sis for not providing for your mother. It is a catch 22. Beyond anything else, it isnít up to you to decide if the law is enforced in a manner you belive it should be.


    btw: depending where your sister lives, there are areas a low 6 figure income is mid to lower class income.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    Moms needs are not covered that's the point. I cannot provide that which I nor mom can afford. Caregiving without a break for 8 years is not realistic or helpful for either party.
    It appears there is no law requiring that a family member help the other. Sister sent mom to my house "temporarily" till she got a ramp put in. That was 8 years ago.
    I had already spent 6 years caregiving for dad till he died.

    I don't know if her income is mid high or lower. But seems to me that someone making that kind of money could come up with more than $100 or a bit of physical time to help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,727

    Default Re: Support or Lack of It for a Parent

    Quote Quoting condenado
    View Post
    Moms needs are not covered that's the point. I cannot provide that which I nor mom can afford. Caregiving without a break for 8 years is not realistic or helpful for either party.
    It appears there is no law requiring that a family member help the other. Sister sent mom to my house "temporarily" till she got a ramp put in. That was 8 years ago.
    I had already spent 6 years caregiving for dad till he died.

    I don't know if her income is mid high or lower. But seems to me that someone making that kind of money could come up with more than $100 or a bit of physical time to help.
    so what is lacking? She is cared for, yes? She has meds, right?


    You can’t force your sister to do much of anything. I understand your issues but here resllly isn’t anything you can do to make your sister change.

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