How can I get help managing all these responsibilities?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 24, 2016
Darlaj asked...

My father has been bed ridden for several months and it's just me and my brother and my brother has Cerebral Palsy recently he has been hospitalized on a resporator and is being sedated daily he is unable to communicate or respond now I have responsibility of my disabled brother how can I possibly get a power of attorney now and how do I go about getting guardianship of my brother with cp who is age 34 I need to still pay the rent and bills for my father even while he's in this state also how do I go about getting his social security benefits transferred into my name so that I can continue to run his house because the doctors are telling me they don't know how long he is going to be in this position or if he will come out of it or what should i do help please I am overwhelmed suddenly.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

You have such a full plate, it's no wonder you're feeling overwhelmed.

Fortunately, there's one call you can make that should be able to provide help with many of the issues you're concerned about: a potential guardianship for your brother, financial management for your father, including his Social Security payments, possible referrals to in-home help or community care"”and maybe even some support services for you while you're handling this too-full plate.

Consider getting in touch with the local Area Agency on Aging. Workers there should have a good handle on resources available to help you in the area, what is available free or for a low cost and even which individuals or agencies may be best to consult. You can find it at

People always advise caregivers to take care of themselves"”and sometimes that can feel like annoyingly impossible advice. But do consider friends, neighbors, members of religious or social groups you know who might also be able to lend you a hand"”or even give you a little needed time off for yourself.