New York City or West Palm Beach? What Would You Do?

I’ll tell you my (rather long) story… I’m from New York City (currently living in the Bronx) but I grew up in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. I came down to West Palm Beach, Florida to take care of my dad (87 years OLD). A year and a half ago, he fell, broke his leg, messed up his shoulder, broke a couple teeth. He’s been locked up in a nursing home for the past 14 months so I came down to Florida to help transition him to being back home. He can’t walk, can’t drive and is stuck in a wheelchair. palm beach

I had planned on staying in Florida a couple weeks and then going back home to NY, but I felt guilty about leaving dad because he’s so helpless. His wife is also sickly, also stuck in a wheelchair, waiting on a liver transplant and hooked up to an oxygen tank 24/7 every single day. Dad has been taking care of her the last few years, but now he needs someone to take care of him. I stayed in Florida for 4 months helping dad and his wife. All was going well.

So I went back home to NY for Christmas with the intention of coming back to Florida in a month or so. While I was gone, all hell broke loose. Dad’s wife fell sick and was taken to the hospital and dad was left home alone. Unfortunately, he fell out his wheelchair, and just like the commercial “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up” dad couldn’t get up and the police and ambulance came to the house to rescue him and brought him back to the nursing home.

All this happened while I was still in New York. It was my intention to come back to Florida in a month or so. Now, I’m debating on whether to come back to Florida, or not. Dad and his wife are still in the nursing home. Dad is doing OK but his wife (not so good). I’m debating on when and whether or not to come back to West Palm Beach.

Many of the unknown factors are making it difficult for me to decide. Dad is well enough to go back home but he needs 24 hour care 7 days a week (remember, he’s 87 and has been a pack-a-day smoker for 72 years). Plus, he’s the most finicky eater on the planet. He doesn’t eat vegetables, only drinks Pepsi, and has zero appetite.

Which means if I come back to Florida, I probably won’t be able to leave anymore. I’ll have to take care of dad everyday by myself. I’m not sure if I can handle it all on my own. Feed him, bathe him, makes sure he takes all his medicine, drive him to doctor appointments, do all the food shopping and cooking, and can’t leave him home alone.

To complicate matters, his wife is not that keen on my staying at the house. She wants to sell the house and move to an assisted living facility. If that should happen, and I give up my apartment here in New York, I’ll be homeless. And if I keep the apartment in NY and come back to Florida, I may not be able to come back to NY for many years, and the rent will keep me financially drained… Yikes!

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