You think you have it rough... lemme tell you about Fred

I want to tell you about “Fred.”

Fred is a farmer, about 70 years old. He used to be a preacher. Fairly simple man, but as nice as they come and wouldn’t hurt a fly. He is more or less retired (no “real” income, other than the pittance he makes from a small side business he has) and relying on his savings for living… which isn’t much.

About 2 years ago his wife was hospitalized for about 6 months. She almost died. She is home now and semi-functional but he still has to take her to the toilet and wipe her ass in addition to all the home/farm work.

While this happens, his brother-in-law, “Eddie” moved in with them. He is about 70 as well, and both physically and mentally ill. He’ll talk to the wall for hours on end, throw food around and piss and shit his pants from time to time. He’ll pick cigarette butts off the ground and either smoke them or eat them. He has to wait on him hand and foot as well.

About a year or so ago, Fred and his family was involved on a accident on the highway… someone hit them. Totalled their vehicle and injured them somewhat. The offenders insurance co thoughtfully offered to pay them out for their vehicle (worth about $1500) and gave them $3K as a settlement. He took it without consulting a lawyer. :rolleyes: His neck still hurts.

A month or so after that, they were driving home and hit a goose. The goose came through the window and beat the shit out of everyone in the van before it finally died.

He had an accident with a saw and had to be hospitalized for a few days with a bad cut.

His barn with his small side business burnt down about 9 months ago. He got some bad burns trying to save it.

A week or so after this a Moose wandered on his property and tried to attack him. It went nuts and chased him around. A neighbor saw this happen and shot it.

His daughter moved home around this time to help out (something good, hopefully).

He needed a new-ish vehicle terribly, so he finally got approved for a newer mini-van a couple months ago. Payments were “tight” but he knew he could afford it.

He found out this week his daughter (the one living with him to help out) has Multiple Sclerosis. The Doctor told him it’ll probably cost between $2000-$3000 per/month for care. She has no insurance and just recently lost her job.

He’s probably going to have to sell his farm, van and everything else he owns. He doesn’t know how much the government will help out with care for his family (they ALL need help) and he is scared stiff.

He said all he has left is God.

I feel so sorry for the man.

I don’t have anything to say, but if he sold is soul to evil king stan (not Satan, he changed his name due to bad publicity associated with Jesus) he could make a new immortal living as a rock star and when that living diminishes he could become a pornstar (similar to Tommy Lee). Other than that, his life really sucks.

Good god. He needs to hie himself to the Social Security office and sign everybody up for Disabilty and then take himself to the local Department of Human Services if he hasn’t already for Medicad for the daughter and anything else they qualify for.

Little does he know this is Gods way of getting back at him for leaving the business.

“Quit spreadin’ the word, will ye? We’ll see about that! He he he!!”

Wow. Are you sure his name isn’t Job?

Is he a friend of yours?

I agree- he needs to get to Social Services and find out what he and the rest of the crew are eligible for. Poor guy :frowning:

True. This guy is definitely not without any options. He should probably have the brother-in-law committed somewhere. It sounds like he wouldn’t be any worse off in an institution. And the government will help pay for someone to help with his wife. Even a part-time nurse is better than nothing at all. if necessary, sell the farm and buy a smaller house somewhere. Use the leftovers to pay off the van, pay the nurse, and treat the daughter. (Why did she lose her job, again?)

A lot of older people either don’t know about or are too proud to take advantage of what assistance there is though.

I kept waiting for the punchline.

It never came.


He needs to start writing Country songs. He could make a mint.

This is why I pay taxes. Tell him so, will you?

Yes, indeed. What everyone said here. Given the conditions of the wife, daughter and the brother, SOMEONE has got to qualify for SOMETHING.

Assuming this story is based on a real live person’s troubles I feel sorry for Fred, but as others have opined this is partly why people pay taxes and Fred needs to take the initiative to hook up with social services, which quite frankly he should have done well before now given the disabilities his wife and BIL are suffering (and now his daughter).

I do have one question. If you are Canadian and this guy is (assumedly) Canadian where are the comprehensive Canadian medical and social safety nets in this equation? I though this stuff was more or less automatically fully covered under your system.

Checking in to answer a few questions:

Actually, a customer of mine.

Yes, he is. The only thing that our safety nets are going to help him with (hopefully!) is his daughter, everything else is more or less shitty luck… and really, the purpose of the thread.

Crazy Eddie’s sister (Freds wife) will not commit him, that is why he is living with them in the first place. At least he isn’t hurting anyone… yet. I would easily believe he is certifiable. The guys is just nuts.

Fred and his wife get a small old age pension cheque in addition to their savings, but I think that’s something like a few hundred a month (I don’t know for sure, just remembering from my grandparents). He has no other “pension” per se. I do know for certain he is not financially well off. No question.

Next time I see him, I am going to strongly urge him to go to social services and see what is available to him. There just has to be something. If someone is unemployed and has a chronic disease, the Government will help treat them, not? I know if I need prescriptions, I have to use my private insurance. I honestly don’t know how it works with the unemployed/uninsured. There’s gotta be something… I do think the government will pay for the basic tests and doctors visits though.

Oops! Sorry.

I think she was laid off. I never asked. I was too busy feeling sorry for the man.

Damn. She has a lot of nerve expecting the guy who already wipes her ass for her to foot the bill for her nutty brother too. Sometimes people (even disabled ones) need a good swift kick in their emotional asses. i wonder if she’d be so reluctant if SHE were the one who had to take care of both of the men? Eddie’d be sucking his thumb in the loony bin in no time flat, I reckon. (Not to be crass about it. :D)

People like Fred are why the programs mentioned by other posters exist!! I hope he takes full advantage.

Federally speaking, there is a nifty item known as the Chronic Disease List, and if you are on it, you get your medication for a nominal sum indeed. Before my medical insurance through work kicked in, my husband got his Ventolin/Beclovent/Fivent inhalers for mostly free - IIRC, we had something like a $35CDN yearly deductible.

Also federally, medical coverage in the territories is provided out of our taxes. There isn’t any cash up front stuff, and everybody gets the same level of care. Mind you, I have some issues with the speed of quality care, but it beats the heck out of what I’m hearing other folks go through. You just gotta obtain and maintain residence in the Territories to get your free coverage. I don’t think many consider it a good tradeoff. :slight_smile:

However, for the provinces, I haven’t a clue. Provincial governments seem to be even more nonsensical in their governing than the Feds. However, I can’t imagine that there wouldn’t be a provincial equivalent. Rupert’s Land…where 'zackly are you? That puts you somewhere in about two-thirds of Canada…I know a very little bit about OHIP, and my mom knows a bunch…and I’m clueless of the state of medicare anywhere else.

Allow me to taunt Certain Persons…

SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!! SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!! IT IS A GOOD THING!!! (Yes, I am aware of its faults, but they’re not bad enough to torpedo the concept.)

He lives in Alberta

Ah yes… where Klein is screwing with our medicare… fun… shakes her head

Social services will surely be a help, but what about the church where he was a preacher? They’ve got to be willing to help out some how, yes?