Jump to content

Menu

How will you take care of your elderly parents?


Recommended Posts

Have you thought about or made plans on how you will take care of your parents when they are too elderly to do it on their own? Will you bring them to your house, or have them live in a facility?

 

Will the way your parents treated you, as a child or an adult, factor into that decision?

 

I like to think that I am a kind-hearted person. It makes me sad when I hear stories of old folks in "homes/facilities" that never had visitors. I like the cultures that think taking care of their elderly is a priority. In theory, I would want to care for my parents when they are elderly (of course, based on their health and if it is manageable at home). I think old age comes to everyone, and I hope that when I am old, my children will give me the time of day.

 

In reality, I have very little to do with my parents now. Growing up, I was the "step child" to a very young step mother (only 10 years older than me and only 16 when she married my father). My father spent alot of time out of town during the week for work, so I was with step mother alot and frankly, she treated me like "the stepchild" in comparision to how she treated her own children. The teenage years were especially rough between us. My own mother was not around at all.

 

After college (which I did on my own), I left the state, got married, children, etc etc. 15 years later, I might see them once every 4-5 years. On the surface, on those occasional visits, the relationship is fine. But in reality, they disappoint me as parents and grandparents, and I could NEVER see myself acting the way they act. Never calling, essentially no interaction. Never comments on my FB page/photos EVER, yet I see her commenting on my sister and brother's FB all of the time. My dad even made a comment about a photo on FB last time I saw him, which I was shocked (it's under SMom's name, not his) "You look at FB?"...he was like "Oh, yeah, all the time!"..so I know they SEE the pictures of our lives, yet not a word to say... I call them on holidays, birthdays etc, because I want to know that I did the right thing. When I do call, they don't have much to say, don't ask a single question about me, DH, our children, nothing. I ask them questions about themselves to keep the conversation going. Gifts, if we get any, for holidays, which you can never expect until it shows up at your door, are almost always late (and it is not because they have financial issues, they don't AT ALL). Like we just got a Christmas card with $$ TODAY in the mail. Literally, TODAY! It's almost like, why bother sending at that point....kind of missed the point of Christmas. It is not about the gift part, it is about the thought behind it. My SMom posted on Facebook in mid-December that she was done with Xmas shopping. They got together at Christmas with my sister and brother (actually, half siblings) and I am sure they got their gift/money then. My children are the only grandchildren for them. Would you not want to send a little trinket/card/something AT Christmas for your only grandchildren?

 

It can go on and on with the little things they have done, or not done as the case may be, to hurt my heart. They all add up to just making me feel like I am so not a thought in their lives. I know many people here have similiar family issues from reading past posts.

 

 

So would I take care of these same people who essentially have not nurtured me at all? They live half way around the country, so would I move them to be closer to me?

 

My half-sister lives only 3 hours from them, and my half-brother lives 30 minutes away. They see each other often, as my parents make a point to visit them. So who knows if it would even fall on me to do anything but as the oldest sibling in the family, I think they would want my opinion/thought when the time comes.

 

Just some crazy thoughts I think about when I'm in my pity moods. I am sure we are a good 20 years from that point, if all goes well with their health. So, those of you with "disabled relationships" with your parents, what do you think you will do when the time comes to care for your elderly parents?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based upon your description of the relationship with them, there is not a parental bond with either of them, especially the stepmother, who is a peer of yours. Thus, I personally would feel no obligation to care for either of them physically or financially when they are elderly and in frail health.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most likely scenario in your situation (just based on the age difference of the parties) is that your Dad will need care first and your Step mom will provide most of it. Then when she's older and sick, it will fall to your half siblings.

 

As long as one parent is reasonably well, they honestly end up making the decisions. My father died after a long illness last year. I did do caregiving - and I visited with him most days. But in some way, it was like "training" for having to be the real caregiver. My Mom still, even though she is no spring chicken, was the one who talked to doctors more, made decisions ultimately, had to say what she wanted or Dad would have wanted.

 

So if things work out the way they might, your Dad could be ill and you could expect your Step Mom not really to consult you because she will be the caregiver.

 

It's hard to think about though. I'm so sorry that you have to feel so overlooked and that they don't show more interest in your precious children.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

honestly, I doubt we will have any interaction in their elder care until it's needed for us to step in and force a nursing home.

 

my dad has enough money to care for himself any way he wants. Something major would have to bring him to a nursing home. I can see him home alone a long time.

 

my mom and stepdad are getting ready to move out of state far away from anyone on either side. so honestly, they are on their own as far as we care. We had always said if my stepdad died(he's much older than my mom) that she would live with us. But if that happens...I am not going to get her. If she wants to come here she will need to ask. We do not approve of this move so late in life and she had issues getting her own mother in nursing care in a similar situation...and I refuse to force a court ordered guardianship..my sister has already said she won't do a thing. So I can see the 'idea' going out the window with this move and my moms past situation becoming my own.....:confused:

 

as for the inlaws....they do everything they can to not talk to us, not invite us, not include us and we assume they won't keep us informed when more care is needed. Dh won't put a dime to them, so it will fall to his sister. Who also won't call to tell us the deal.

 

So unless my mom changes her moving plans we really won't have much interaction in their elder care. I was willing for my mom but oh well. My dad wouldn't want help and I respect him for that. And the inlaws want nothing to do with us. :001_huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents are elderly (85 and 89). They live in a wonderful retirement community. They are in an apartment but if they need it there is an assisted living facility on the campus and a nursing home too. My eldest brother had planned to take them into their home. My parents wanted their independence and they did not want to move to where my brother lived.

 

My siblings and I work as a team to take care of my parents. The siblings that live close make sure they have rides to doctor appointments etc. My eldest sister visits them every Wed. to do errands with/for them. I call my parents every Monday morning to check on them. I live across the US from them but if I find out there are concerns, I make sure that one of the closer siblings knows about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We moved in with fil after mil passed away. We will do for him as long as we possibly can. Since we have been living with him, his health has done a complete turn around. It seems he just needed someone he could nag.

 

My mother is much younger than my dad. She will most likely do all taking care of him. If not, it could be very bad. Dad is not going to be one to go into a nursing home or assisted care of his own free will. He will not be able to live on his own. I truly believe my siblings and I would be fighting over my mom to have her come live with us. She would probably live on her own as long as possible and then put herself into a nursing home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I count it as a joy and a privilege to have my 80 yo mother living in my home. She is a valued member of our family and we want to honor her for all that she has done to love and support others throughout her lifetime. Although Mom is still mobile and productive, she has health issues that cause some difficulties for her. (For one, she is on oxygen 24/7 and is limited on how far she can go from her tank.) She is a widow on a social security pension, and cannot afford to live by herself.

 

When we reach a place that Mom requires more assistance, our plan is to have help come to the home and eventually we will use hospice care. I will never place her in a nursing home if it is within my power. My father was in foster care and then long-term nursing home care for a number of years and it was horrible for him and for us. Because of what happened with Dad, my husband and I want to do everything possible to keep my dear little mother home with her family and in the comfort of her own bedroom. Knowing that we love her and are committed to this gives my mother a great deal of peace.

 

I personally think this is the way it should be in families, but sadly our culture has drifted away from the ideal of personally taking care of the elderly. I realize that not all situations are the same, and some families just can't do it as we are. I don't judge anyone for making other arrangements for the care of elderly parents, yet my heart cries out for the needs of well-deserving, formerly hard-working elders that provided to the best of their ability for their loved ones and deserve to remain with their families as long as it is at all possible.

 

Blessings,

Lucinda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents live several states away in our home town where the rest of my siblings live. My brother has told me not to worry about either of them, that he and his wife will take the lead. In addition to wonder-brother and sil, one of my sisters is single now and very close to mom, I wouldn't be surprised if mom moved in with her.

 

My dad is married to someone my age, so I guess he's her problem. Not that we aren't close, but I figure she'll do it.

 

Brother and sil cared for sil's mom until she died. My sil especially is absolutely, completely, no doubt about it worth anything and everything in the world. She is a darling.

 

If my mil would move in we would care for her, but so far she won't do it.

Edited by Remudamom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the foreseeable future we will be moving much closer together - same town if not same property. That will probably be as far as we will have to go. My mom is too independent, fierce, etc. to become elderly. There is no denying she will get old, but I can't imagine her being elderly.

 

My dad will be confined to a wheelchair within the next 10-15 years. He has issues with his bones. I think Mom will need household help with him. But as long as his mind stays sharp and we can afford an aide, he will stay home.

 

Dh's mom has been talking about her retirement facility since I met her 12 years ago. She is in her early 60s so no need for one any time soon. I think if it comes to that point she will pick out one she likes and admit herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

In reality, I have very little to do with my parents now. Growing up, I was the "step child"

 

:grouphug: If I were in your position, I'd let the family they are close to deal with it, and only step in if they fall down on the job. I would not voice an opinion on some plan "that end" of the family has for eldercare. I would also expect to left out of any will, and take anything I got as a bonus.

 

Some people's hearts are hard, some people are too inflexible to change, some people feel as long as they are happy they don't have to think of anyone else, and some daddies go along with what Mama wants to keep domestic peace. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents moved in with us when we moved to this house, about a year and a half ago.

 

My dad has Parkinson's, Dystonia, and host of other ailments.

 

I wouldn't say we had a great relationship growing up...especially with mom.

 

I worked in a nursing home as a high school senionr and vowed we'd never put my parents in a place like that.

 

So...here we are. We do love them very much. There are things about it that are inconvenient, but overll I think it's been a bigger adjustment for them than it has for us.

 

In our mindset, it's just what you do for family. Period. I have been given far better than I deserve from many people in my life. So even though the relationship wasn't great when I was younger, I want to demonstrate grace in my relationship, which, by the way, is much improved over the years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother is looking after my grandmother, who is in a top range nursing home with alzheimers. Granma however felt very strongly when she was younger that she would NEVER want to go to a nursing home...but the reality was, when her mind deteriorated so far, there was no choice. There was no way my mother, who is an invalid herself to a large degree, could care for her at home. And granma has the money to pay for her top motel like treatment. So thats all worked out reasonably well- her room looks straight out over a lake, and the staff are genuinely caring.

 

My dad has cancer- slow though, he could be around many more years yet-...but his wife will take care of him to the end, so I am not worried about that. I will go and be with him but I wont be repsonsible for the care.

 

My mother is the one I am concerned about. SHe is presently caretaker for my grandmother and her invalid husband...while being invalid herself. Unless she goes quickly from something...she will most likely outlive the both and I dont know what she will do. I would say eventually she will book herself into a nursing home, most likely...but I am open to caring for her. Problem is, she lives on the other side of Australia to me and would probably prefer a nursing home to living with my dh! Let alone coming across the country.

So..I dont know. I know that for my mother...she is the middle of 3 and the other 2 siblings just barely take any responsiblity at all. I guess it often happens like that- one of the kids takes the lion's share of the caring. I have a brother...he may take care too, and he lives closer...but we don't know yet.

 

My mother is only 65 though, so it is hopefully a fair way off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, for my dad, he pretty well set the example of his expectations when they took care of his MIL in her last few years. However, I doubt he'll be the sort to need care for a long time--he's far more likely to have another heart attack and die abruptly than to linger. My stepdad is eleven years younger than my mom, and so will most likely outlive her, so I don't anticipate having to ever be responsible for her care, either. She's said that if her cancer ever comes back with a poor prognosis, she'll utilize hospice care rather than drag things on with conventional treatment well past the point where she'd retain quality of life. I also have 2 sisters who live near her while I live a couple of states away, so even if if fell to us kids, the full burden likely wouldn't be on me. If it fell to kids to care for my dad it might be different--he's managed to pretty well alienate all 3 of his bio children, but me perhaps to a lesser degree than the other 2, and as the eldest I think I'd step up and deal.

 

More likely than having to care for my parents would be if something happens to stepdad and mom before little bro and sis (who are preschoolers) are grown, but I'd probably have to get in line behind my sisters for who gets them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dh and I with our siblings are/will be making those decisions soon.

 

My dh visited his mom that this past weekend. One sister was there and the other was not. My mil has lived by herself for the past 17 years after her husband passed away. It seems she may have beginning dementia and my dh and his 2 sisters are deciding on assisted living. She will not stay with a child as no one feels they are "able" to care for her. This saddens me, but perhaps they are right. There are pros and cons to assisted living.

 

My dad has lived alone since the 21 years after my mom passed away. He's more mentally alert than my mil, but she has the physical advantage over him. They are the same age or within 3 years....mid 80's. My brother, sister and I know a time will come in the future where he will need care. I would like to care for him, but I don't know if I'd be "able". He is a big man and if he fell I would need to call someone on an approved list to come over and help me get him up again. Still maybe it could work out.

 

It's good people are living longer. However, the children of a younger generation are not ready, able and/or willing to cope or help finanically, physically, etc.

 

It's very hard. In short, dh's side and mine know that it will probably be assisted living in the "same" city in which one of the children resides that will be the residence for his mom and my dad.

 

HTH.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom has her own plans. . . She has bought loads of long term care insurance so that she can hire someone to be in her own home. She also has made other financial arrangements so that she can remain independent for so long as she has enough brain cells firing to do so. She does NOT want to live with us, or in our town (4 hrs from her). She loves the town where she lives. She & I both hope she can stay in her condo forever. If she were no longer competent to make her own decisions, no longer had the support/network she currently does, and needed more daily care, I'd move her to my town, and either into a very nice facility where I could visit her very frequently (nearly daily) and have her to visit us very frequently. . . or move her into our house (we'd build or buy a larger one with an apartment for her) if she were willing to do that. Personally, my ideal would be an apartment/suite for her in or adjacent to my own home, with hired assistance to come help with her care. But, I doubt she'd go for that unless things changed in her life A LOT. She's in her early 70s now, but very determined to stay independent. Lord willing, she'll do so 'till she drops.

 

My dad passed away a long time ago. (Mom and Dad were divorced.) I'd have moved him to our town for rehab/nursing care and then had him live with us once he was well enough to be out of rehab, and we were in the process of arranging just that when he died in the hospital while recovering from a stroke. We were fixing to build a house at the time of Dad's stroke; we altered our plans so that we would turn the walkout basement into an apartment for him. . . when he died unexpectedly. :(

 

(My inlaws depending on us would be our worst nightmare. Fortunately there are 4 other sibs -- 3 of whom live closer to the inlaws than we do. We'd pitch in our $$ share if we were able & it were needed, but I'd never have them live with us. Ever. Never. $ -- yes; living with them -- I'd rather live in a tent with a herd of unwashed elephants.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am estranged from my biological father but he is married to a woman 20 years younger then he and they have a son together. He's 72 now, she's 52 and half-brother is 20. I figure he is their problem. He was such a horrible father that I won't feel guilty a bit not being involved in his care. I haven't seen him in 10 years and do not plan to see him again if I can help it.

 

My brother lived with and off of my mother well into his late 30s. He is now married and doing well. He had a hard time getting started in life (due to horrible father mentioned above and enabling mother trying to make up for it). Anyway, he owes her so dang much money that he has agreed he'll take care of her when the time comes. Sounds good to me. She'll live with him. I may need to help financially because she is destitute and he's not rich either. I live too far away to help physically.

 

My inlaws live on the same farm as we do. We do not see them unless they call for help with something. DH goes up, helps, then leaves. MIL will probably die first and then we'd be happy to take care of FIL if he wants to live with us, but we don't have anything to do with MIL. She's a horrible, horrible person. If she needs more care then FIL can give, her daughters will have to provide it. We've had enough of her. (don't judge us, she really is horrible. Getting older doesn't make her less horrible.)

 

No matter what, even though we feel little to no affection for all 4 parents, we would not let them suffer if it depended on us. We will do our best to make sure they are safe and have food, shelter and medical care. But there's no feeling of obligation to do any more then pay someone else to care for them. Unfortunately for them, it's the bed they have made themselves.

Edited by katemary63
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly haven't thought of it. I pretty much moved out when I was 18 and haven't looked back. My parents divorced when I was about 4yrs old. There have been some horrible experiences in my life growing up so I am not close to either of them as an adult. We get along and no bad blood between us anymore. But just not that close.

 

My dad/stepmom live in FL and us in IL. They never call nor write. But they do send Christmas card and a little $ for the kids. We have been to FL about 4 times, last time was about 7 yrs ago. Dad/stepmom been up here once... when Ds#2 (or was it Ds#3) was born and they stayed about 2 weeks. We haven't seen them in 7 years now. But both have health issues and my dad struggles in cold climates (and when it gets below 70 degrees he is hurting). I doubt they will ever be able to visit us again. We get along fine. No bad feelings between us... just aren't close either. But when I do call them (about 2 times a year) we talk for an hour or so. They ask about the kids, Dh, and me. I think time just gets away from us.

 

Anyway, my stepmom has two daughters and a son living in FL. Stepsisters both are married and have kids. Stepbrother is single and he sees his mom/my dad occassionally. I would expect that if my dad/stepmom needed to be cared for.. my stepsisters would take care of them or they would go into a nursing home. My dad is in his seventies and has major health issues. I have two older brothers and I think they would take care of things for my dad. Oldest brother is divorced and his kids are grown (or nearly grown) and he lives in TN. My other brother and his wife (no kids) live in CA. But to be honest.. if dad got to where he couldn't live on his own with my stepmom... he would kill himself or allow himself to die. That is the way he is... he will not allow himself to be a "burden" on anyone.

 

My mom... she did move in with us for about 18 months. She just moved out in June. She couldn't take it any longer (and honestly neither could we). It just didn't work out well. She is now living in an assistive living complex back near where she grew up (Indianapolis area). She is near her brother and sister. She is much happier there. If she ended up needing any help.. I think she would stay where she is. The complex has varying levels of care- those who can live independently to a full care nursing home. My mom lives in a seniors apartment building for those who can take care of themselves, but also there are caregivers available and keep an eye on the residents and make sure residents take care of themselves (and schedule a lot of activities, and medical appointment/transportation for residents).

 

Dh's parents live on Long Island: FIL mom/stepdad lived with them for over 30 years. FIL's stepdad died last spring after living in nursing home for about 3 yrs due to colon cancer. Dh's grandmother is in her 90's and is still with FIL/MIL. Definitely FIL/MIL would be cared for by Dh and his 4 siblings as long as they can be cared for at home. SIL and her family live only 10 minutes from FIL/MIL. Dh's youngest brother lives about 20 minutes from them. Dh's older brother lives a few hours away in NY. Another brother lives in Ohio with wife and kids.. near her family.

 

We are trying to move to PA... get about 3-4 hrs from Long Island. But Dh's parents want to retire to FL-LOL. FIL's mom won't move and she is adament!!!!!!! So who knows if FIL/MIL will move to FL. Dh's sister and her husband want to move to AZ, but that won't happen for at least another 11 yrs or so until their Dd graduates (she is a miracle/surprise baby, 14 yrs younger than their son).

Edited by AnitaMcC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most likely scenario in your situation (just based on the age difference of the parties) is that your Dad will need care first and your Step mom will provide most of it. Then when she's older and sick, it will fall to your half siblings.

 

My father became ill and my stepmother did most of the caring. I turned up at one point for three weeks to provide crisis/respite care. He died in a dedicated hospice, but he had only been there for respite care for a week: four of his five children, plus my stepmother, were with him.

 

My stepmother is sixty, so thirteen years older than I and only six years older than my eldest brother. She's very fit and active. My half-sisters (her daughters) see her much more than my other siblings do, although we all keep in touch by phone, and see her about once a year. I assume that her care as she gets older will fall to my half-sisters.

 

My own mother is 86 and lives in her own home. She's in reasonably good health and is mentally completely sharp. My two brothers and I share care of her when something goes wrong. She had to go to hospital with an infection earlier this year, so my eldest brother, who lives locally, visited her for the first couple of days and kept us in contact. At the weekend, I travelled to her, collected her from hospital and took her to her own home. I stayed overnight, then my other brother picked her up to take home to his place for a week to recuperate, before taking her back home. When she becomes unable to look after herself, I would expect her to end up in a retirement home, with all of us visiting.

 

As far as I know, no one in our family has taken an elderly relative into their home. My FIL is in a care home in the US - the children contribute to the cost and both visit when they can, but by chance both live in the UK at present, whilst he is in Texas.

 

Laura

Edited by Laura Corin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no denying she will get old, but I can't imagine her being elderly. My mother is also fiercely independent, but illness creeps up on even the most fierce. She recently had to go into hospital with an infection; the major symptom was complete disorientation. Luckily, she was at the dentist when she became delirious, so they called an ambulance and sent her off to hospital, at which point my brothers and I could take responsibility for her until she regained her mind and her strength.

....

 

Dh's mom has been talking about her retirement facility since I met her 12 years ago. She is in her early 60s so no need for one any time soon. I think if it comes to that point she will pick out one she likes and admit herself. My mother also used to talk about going into a retirement home when she was younger. Now, she dreads the idea and won't be going until there is absolutely no other choice.

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:grouphug: If I were in your position, I'd let the family they are close to deal with it, and only step in if they fall down on the job. I would not voice an opinion on some plan "that end" of the family has for eldercare. I would also expect to left out of any will, and take anything I got as a bonus.

 

Some people's hearts are hard, some people are too inflexible to change, some people feel as long as they are happy they don't have to think of anyone else, and some daddies go along with what Mama wants to keep domestic peace. :grouphug:

 

I wouldn't worry about it as there are other family members who are obviously favored by them. Don't sweat it like you are the only one responsible. Honestly, do you expect to be treated equally in their will with your siblings when they pass away based on how they act now?

 

My mil was in your situation. She lived far away from her mom while the other siblings lived close. She was an afterthought to her mom her entire life, and her mom said so to her directly. Her mom told her that she would inherit nothing and that she expected nothing from her. When she needed care at the end, the son (who was slated to inherit 90% of her estate) took care of her, moved her in to his home, etc. She didn't feel guilty about not doing anything, visited her a few times, and attended the funeral. The lifelong scenario she endured was emotionally painful but she has come to terms with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not a bad thing to discuss, but when it happens it may end up very differently than you expect.

 

Sometimes parents refuse to move, you can't move, and sometime dementia will make the situation very, very difficult.

 

Self-education and knowing the local resources is good, but you'll be working it out at the time in most cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom and I have always had a rather... difficult relationship. In recent years my dad and I have become very close. We, Dad and I, could have always been close, except for some misleading ideas about him I was raised to believe. That makes my relationship with my mother even more difficult.

 

However, I only live a few miles from them. My brother lives in Richmond, my sister in Fredericksburg, which means that their care will fall on me until I am no longer able to take care of them. Dad is welcome to move in with us, he's pretty unobtrusive and as long as we have the TV hooked back up we could hide him in a bedroom :p My mom wants a lot of attention. If it came to her needing to move in with anyone, the odds are better we'd hire a nurse to watch her over night and I would spend the days over there.

 

Terrible, isn't it?!?

 

We've HAD to go over this lately, because of Mom's health. We even looked into buying property where both of our families could live together, but in separate houses. Found a beauty of a farm west of Richmond with a trailer in the backyard. I've never wanted to live in a trailer till I saw that place. Unfortunately, the plans fell through, real estate market and all ;) Ideally, though, THAT is how we would handle it. Two houses on a few acres. Dh and I get our privacy and Mom and Dad have us close enough to respond immediately. If I needed to stay with them, only the backyard would separate us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brother and I live only two blocks from mom and dad. So, since we are close enough to check regularly, we'll maintain them in their own home (inherited from grandma) as long as we can. My sister currently does not live in-state but we do expect that to change. She is in the process of getting divorced from her scum-bag, I've been diagnosed and know what is wrong and know I'm mentally ill but I could care less and you can stuff the meds down your own throught, just about violent, definitely psychotic, husband...did I mention we have problems with him??? Anyway, she will be moving back as soon as the divorce is final and she can get a position or enroll in grad school. She is good with medical things and will help as well.

 

I fell very blessed to have two other siblings who are willing to help and take responsibility. My parents are easy going people too...whew!

 

Faith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents are both passed away, and lived the way they pleased until it happened. They did not want me or my brother involved at all in their care and made all decisions and arrangements themselves or with the assistance of the hospital social workers. They managed at home with help from home health staff. They absolutely preferred intimate care like that be given from strangers as they had a horror of having their children provide it. I know my dad would have shot himself if he got to the point that he needed me or my brother to give him a bath or provide incontinence care. And I am an RN.

 

My MIL is in a nursing home, but it is by her choice as my SIL has begged her to stay with her and her family. MIL is an odd duck, and doesn't much like being around people who try to talk to her or engage her at all, so the nursing home suits her just fine, SIL drives her nuts. My FIL is remarried and lives with his DW. They are both very independent and proud and I doubt they would ever consent to move in with anyone.

 

If I were you I wouldn't worry about it, which will probably be hard because you seem like a caring person. It sounds like they just aren't interested in being close to you and your family. I'm sorry they are that way, my own dad couldn't have put a name to all of my kids and wouldn't have known them if they passed him in the street. Some people just don't value family and that is their loss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have noticed in this thread that 'we' are making the assumption that 'we' will be making the decisions for elderly family members. But, being elderly does not mean that a person always becomes demented or mentally incapacitated. I know I would be furious if my children tried to take away my right to make choices just because I was old. Perhaps instead we could look at our older family members and find out what THEIR expectations are and if we would be wlling to fulfill what responsibilities THEY want to place on us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is all past tense now, but this is how it went with us. My dad was living on the opposite side of the country in poor circumstances. We conspired with his sister and her husband to get him to move near us where we could "look after" him. He became ill a year or two after he was here, but was able to care for himself at his apartment with a little help. Then he passed away.

 

We convinced my MIL to move near us after FIL died. She was very active and in great health, but was 80 years old. At the time of her unexpected death, we were adding on to our house so there would be a room and bathroom on the ground floor that could be hers if she ever needed to live with us (she didn't know that that was partially the reason for our addition.)

 

Susie in SWVA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, it just depends... which parent dies first, how old they are, how able they are to make decisions... I also have a grown brother with autism that I have to factor in...My mom will most likely never live with us. She is on her best day very critical of me and my dd and doesn't respect decisions we have already made for our family. I don't imagine that will ever change. My hope is that she can live as independently for as long as possible. Her mother, my grandmother, is 87 and still living alone and doing very well. I would help her sell her large hard-to-manage property and help her move into the condo my parents have bought 'for future' needs. I would help move my brother off their current property and find him a good place to live. I would visit, help make sure she has what she needs. and all that.

 

My dad would be welcome to live with us, but we do have pets, and he has severe asthma so honestly that would never work. If mom died first, he would be moving and downsizing in a heartbeat already because he is tired of the big house and property. He would live on his own until he couldn't and then we will make decisions from there.

 

I don't think nursing homes are so terrible. Flame me if you will. Yes, the quality of care varies wildly. Yes, you have to be a regular visitor and know exactly what is happening. My other grandmother, thanks to Alzheimers, gradually went from a very social butterfly to a sad woman looking out her window at home. When we couldn't keep a full time health person to regulate medications and so forth, my dad and his siblings made the difficult decision to place her in a nursing home. At first my grandmother cried, didn't like the idea, and was very upset. About 2 weeks after her move though she was happier than we had seen her since my grandpa's death. She had a routine, she saw many people every day, and at one point even her sister was in the nursing home with her. She thanked my dad for giving her back a social life, such as it was. For her, for a short time anyway, the nursing home was a blessing.

 

We are fortunate to live in an area with many options that we can chose from as my parents age. It is a large retirement area so there are retirement communitities with 'graduated assistance' meaning they can move into an apartment with no assistance and assistance be added as necessary. We'll see.

 

My FIL died unexpectedly 11 years ago. My MIL hasn't seen us since and lives 2000 miles away. I assume my SILs will make any decisions accordingly there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My birth mom is back east, near my oldest brother. When her time to pass arrives, she has already made arrangements. Until then, her care is mainly taken care of by her husband. If he is unable or passes, she will live with either my oldest brother or with me.

 

My dad is in southern CA and is cared for by his wife. If he suddenly needed a place, he would come here with me until his passing.

 

Of course, those options don't consider if they need extensive medical care or need to be in a "home" for some reason.

 

My in-laws live together nearby. FIL is not in good health. If his time to pass comes within the next year or so (I think this may be likely), then I worry about MIL. We get along just fine.... not living together. She could not sustain herself financially without FIL. So... she would have to do something and she adores her son, my dh, so I wonder if she would want us to accomodate her...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both of my parents have died. Had they still been alive they would most definitely have been welcome to live with us. I would have been happy about this and truly there is no other way from the culture I come from.

 

Now as much as I would not like it, when that time comes my in-laws would also be welcome in our home. I'm expecting it and I wouldn't have it any other way. In my culture, it is our duty to take care of our elderly relatives. Indeed it might not be easy, enjoyable or pleasant but it would done.

 

I do think this would be much harder for those of you have don't really have close relationships with your parents. It is sad, but I don't think they should expect you to take care of them and you shouldn't feel bound to do so either. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try not to worry it. You never know how the cards will play out, but imo it's ok to know you don't feel responsible for your parents.

 

DH and I believe our responsibility lies to our children and they owe us nothing. So, we don't feel we "owe" anything to our parents just for being born, and yes what we do for them as they age completely depends on how they treat and treated us.

 

When we looked at houses, dh only considered ones with a bedroom on the first floor for my mom (if someday she needs it). But if mil needs care she'll have to hire it or move into a facility (she has money), since dh is her only family. She's not allowed to be around our kids unsupervised. It's sad, but it is what it is and we're ok with her living (and dying) with the consequences of her own choices.

 

I guess another reason not to treat our own kids like crap. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would want my mom to live with us. I actually almost did not buy this house because it is a split level with stairs up or down. I was worried about how we could have her live with us down the road. She told me to worry about that when the time came. I will seriously move to a ranch before I will put my mom in a nursing home. I love my mom with everything that I have and I want her here with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have noticed in this thread that 'we' are making the assumption that 'we' will be making the decisions for elderly family members. But, being elderly does not mean that a person always becomes demented or mentally incapacitated. I know I would be furious if my children tried to take away my right to make choices just because I was old. Perhaps instead we could look at our older family members and find out what THEIR expectations are and if we would be wlling to fulfill what responsibilities THEY want to place on us.

 

:iagree: I agree with this wholeheartedly!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But... I will share what my mom did which has largely guided my views. She was born to wealthy parents who didn't want her and didn't raise her. After being born extremely premature, she was handed over to her grandmother. She then went to live with an aunt who loved her dearly but had little to provide financially. To her death, my grandmother never acknowledged she had a child. When my mom's father became sick and needed care, she went to him and cared for him until he died six months later.

 

As for me, my husband and I treasure our parents and would do anything and everything in our power to care for them in the manner that they choose. With all that has happened in our lives in the recent past, we feel so privileged to have people to love and to care for. I hope that my children will feel the same love for me when I am old.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think nursing homes are so terrible. Flame me if you will. Yes, the quality of care varies wildly. Yes, you have to be a regular visitor and know exactly what is happening. My other grandmother, thanks to Alzheimers, gradually went from a very social butterfly to a sad woman looking out her window at home. When we couldn't keep a full time health person to regulate medications and so forth, my dad and his siblings made the difficult decision to place her in a nursing home. At first my grandmother cried, didn't like the idea, and was very upset. About 2 weeks after her move though she was happier than we had seen her since my grandpa's death. She had a routine, she saw many people every day, and at one point even her sister was in the nursing home with her. She thanked my dad for giving her back a social life, such as it was. For her, for a short time anyway, the nursing home was a blessing.

 

 

If family lives far away and they steadfastly refuse to leave the area where they've always lived, even an imperfect nursing home will be better than having them live alone. If they have dementia and become extremely belligerant and even violent, having trained workers overseeing them in a secure facility may be better than tearing your family apart and putting your family at risk.

 

Just to say that you have to be very flexible when it comes to eldercare. Sometimes the solutions are imperfect but ultimately best for the individual involved. And yes, you have to take their desires into account as long as they are mentally able.

Edited by GVA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not a bad thing to discuss, but when it happens it may end up very differently than you expect.

 

Sometimes parents refuse to move, you can't move, and sometime dementia will make the situation very, very difficult.

 

Self-education and knowing the local resources is good, but you'll be working it out at the time in most cases.

 

 

So true. I only want to do what our parents wanted. I would never impose my wishes onto them.. but I would have to insist on only doing what I am capable and ready to do.

 

If it got down to them insisting on living on their own and they were definitely unable to do that physically/mentally, then I suspect that us kids would have to talk and make decisions at that time. But I pray that it would never ever come down to that.

 

So far, my mom is settled and will be cared for. She is in an assistive community and loves it there. She hopes that she can stay independent until she dies, but if it got to the point that she couldn't.. then she can move into one of the other facilities in the community based on her needs.

 

My Dad, likely would kill himself if he couldn't be independent. Just the way it is for him. My stepmom.... she has her children who will see to her needs.

 

Dh's parents I am sure have their wishes laid out legally and what ever they want their children will follow their wishes. Nursing home will be in the cards if it is needed. They currently take care of FIL's mom (she has lived with them for 30+ yrs). They had to force her to put her Dh(FIL stepdad) in nursing home when physically it was impossible to care for him at home. He was in and out of hospital anyway and he really needed round the clock medical care/treatment.

 

When my mom lived with us for about 1 1/2 yrs before going into the assistant living complex... I flat out told her that she was welcome to live with us up until she lost her bodily functions or mental capacity. I was not going to be dealing with changing diapers, etc. But that is because I know I couldn't stomach that. And the fact that my health isn't the greatest either... I know my limitations. She would be able to go to my oldest brother though... he is a nurse and so that wouldn't bother him.

 

So far none of our parents want to put that responsiblity on their children. So if it got to the point that they couldn't even bath themselves... they would insist in going into a nursing home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother will be taken care of by one of my sisters, with whom she is very, very close (this sister has lived with my mother many times over the years). If that fails, my other sister will step in. If it comes to me, I will not care for my mother in my home. We can barely have a phone conversation...being in a room together is hard...living together, will Never happen. I send her money and things to make things easier on her, so my support will be in this regard. (I did the same for my father, aunt and grandmother until their deaths).

 

Beyond, financial support, I feel that by raising dd4 (my great neice) I have fulfilled any family obligation to take care of family. My other 4 sisters and brothers (2 live in the same town and don't work) can take care of my one mother (my father is deceased).

 

My husband's bio mom was a very negligent mother and he has very little bond to her. She was horrible to me during much of the first part of our marriage, so I have no relationship with her. If dh wanted to take care of her, that would be up to him, but I will have no part of it.

 

My husband's father is an ignorant racist. I can only stand to be with him.... about the length of a holiday dinner. He turns every conversation into a rant about illegals, lazy (insert race here)'s, etc. His only education above high school is from talk radio (he was a truck driver), so any conversation with him has an alarmist tone and one sided interest. He never sees any other point of view other than his, so you can't even talk to him. He was part of the neglect of dh, so I feel we have no reason to take care of him either. If I had to take care of him, I would need some serious meds to do so!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have noticed in this thread that 'we' are making the assumption that 'we' will be making the decisions for elderly family members. But, being elderly does not mean that a person always becomes demented or mentally incapacitated. I know I would be furious if my children tried to take away my right to make choices just because I was old. Perhaps instead we could look at our older family members and find out what THEIR expectations are and if we would be wlling to fulfill what responsibilities THEY want to place on us.

 

I agree, but assume that we are talking about co-decisions or what the 'child' is willing to do. Not that they would be talking about committing someone to a home involuntarily.

 

Most people in my family who have died, have got to the point of no longer being able to make these decisions for themselves. Dementia took my grandmother back to a child who played with dolls, but her body was in great shape and she lived for several years. She couldn't decide to eat, let alone make basic decisions. My father had brain cancer and was mentally lost for the last few months of his life. My aunt had lung cancer and ate pain meds like skittles. If my mother wouldn't have controlled her meds she would have overdosed or ran herself out of meds in a week and then been in excruciating pain for the rest of the month.

 

I work in pharmacy and see many, many people who shouldn't be controlling their own meds, even though they live on their own. We have patients who can't remember a conversation for 5 minutes and call and ask the same questions again, and again.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been dealing with this since minutes after I said, "I do". :glare: Kid you not, MIL told me, "I'm soooo glad he married you! I won't ever have to go into a home, you can take care of me!" minutes after the ceremony.

 

I've had cause to remind Wolf that I could have screamed, "ANNULMENT!!!" but didn't...if that isn't love, I dunno what is :lol:

 

Seriously, my MIL is in her mid 80s now. We've had reason to worry about her mental status. Unfortunately, she lives in another province, and refuses to consider moving to the city we live in. Wolf is her only child, and was raised being constantly reminded that he owed her b/c she adopted him, and that he was to take care of her when she was elderly.

 

Unfortunately, he can't stand to be under the same roof with her for more than a cpl of hours at a time before he flees. She's NPD all the way.

 

My parents...they're less than 20 yrs older than me, so hopefully we have some time before that becomes an issue. Despite my mother announcing to me that as the only daughter I had to care for her if it becomes needed (I told her I'd give her bus fare to get to whatever nursing home was closest) I just can't imagine the 2 of us under the same roof.

 

Of course, now that I've become disabled with RSD, it rather makes it all moot...I'm simply not physically capable of providing care. If they can't be independent, then they're beyond my abilities. The stress levels alone would have me popping meds like a pregnant woman and Tums. Not good.

 

Oh, and the fact that Wolf just about passes out at the thought of any of our parents living with us has to be considered as well. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We currently live across the country from our moms (both our dads have passed away). My mom is still young (mid 60s) and healthy. My brother and SIL live 10 min. from her, so if we are still living far away when she gets elderly and needs help, they will be there. I don't expect her to need help financially, but we would certainly do whatever we could if she needed us. If we move back to that area someday, we'd help out. If she needed to move in with someone, I'd be open to having her with us. She might like a retirement home better, though. She has long term care insurance.

 

My sweet MIL is in her mid 80s. She lives alone and is active and in fairly good health. She's extremely close with her daughter, who lives a few hours away. If she needed to move in with someone, I'm positive she'd move in with her dd. I don't think she'd need financial help either, but of course we'd do what we could if needed.

 

It is difficult to think of us being across the country when our moms get to that point. We have looked into moving back, but so far there have been no opportunities. And now with a recession going on, and since we are upside down in our mortgage, I don't expect we will be moving anytime soon. DS and I could spend summers there to help out, if that would be useful.

 

Wendi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never BTDT so I feel kind of naive on this subject. I lurk on a board of caregivers (specifically, caregivers to elderly with personality disorders). If anyone is interested in what they have to say on the subject, take a look at this thread. Some interesting things I've learned there:

 

- difficult people tend to get more, not less, difficult with age

- some people on that board have cared for their elder for longer than they raised their children

- hands-on caregiving opens yourself to accusations of elder abuse, and you need take legal precautions against such accusations

- they quote a stat: 50% of caregivers become injured or die before the person they care for dies

- if an elder insists on living in a situation that is not good for them (for example, living alone when they are not capable), you can't force them to change without having them declared incompetent, which is nearly impossible to do

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom lived with us while she fought a loosing battle with cancer many years ago. Now my dad lives a few states over with almost no contact. His health is declining, but he doesn't want to live here or wants my help. I imagine a neighbor will find him one day. Not the way I want to go, but not my choice to make for him either.

 

My in laws are well enough off and neither would take in their own parents, so I don't see them coming to live with us - tho I wouldn't have a problem with it if they did.

 

My mil particularly has insisted assisted living and a nursing home is best and was really very unhappy that her father refused that for her mother and that her mil doesn't choose it for her fil. She says it's a burden on the family to take care of them.:glare: NOT my or dh's POV, but again, no one is asking me.

 

So for us, there isn't much worry us having to do something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never BTDT so I feel kind of naive on this subject. I lurk on a board of caregivers (specifically, caregivers to elderly with personality disorders). If anyone is interested in what they have to say on the subject, take a look at this thread. Some interesting things I've learned there:

 

- difficult people tend to get more, not less, difficult with age

- some people on that board have cared for their elder for longer than they raised their children

- hands-on caregiving opens yourself to accusations of elder abuse, and you need take legal precautions against such accusations

- they quote a stat: 50% of caregivers become injured or die before the person they care for dies

- if an elder insists on living in a situation that is not good for them (for example, living alone when they are not capable), you can't force them to change without having them declared incompetent, which is nearly impossible to do

 

The average person really doesn't know how bad it can get, and I'm not talking about the inconvenience at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

My mother's life-long emotional and physical abuse will warrant her nothing from me. If she needs care, she can use the money she stole from my college fund. She likes my brother so much; HE can care for her. :glare:

 

My dad has funds set up for that sort of thing; however, if he needed to live with me, he could.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They live in a retirement center. They have their own home, but there is assisted living there.

 

The problem is that they moved to Arizona to buy into this place when we lived in CA. We now live in NC and they just told me that this may be the last time my mom can reasonably travel out here (next month.) She is 80 and in poor health.

 

I don't know what I will do. Traveling out there requires either 4 days of driving each way or a flight and rental car (high cost).

 

My mother cannot handle the kids, period. Everything they do that is normal kid behavior irritates her and she makes EVERYTHING a spiritual issue and a twisted spiritual issue at that. (I will just go in my room and PRAY for an hour or two that your boys will learn to trust in Jesus and learn to behave.) I wish I were kidding.

 

We limit their time with her, but have determined NEVER to leave them alone with her.

 

Dawn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've already made plans for my mother to move in with us when my grandmother passes. (We are both her caregivers, Mom lives with her and I stay while Mom is at work.)

 

DH's mom often jokes that she is moving into our garage when she retires. Fine with us. Oddly the older that I get, the more I want my family around me.

 

Now, as far as DH's dad goes, I can live with him as long as DH's mom is around to help. But I've already warned him that if he gets to a point that he needs more care than that, he will be going to a nursing home (the one two streets over that we can see from our kitchen window).

 

And as for my dad, he can find someone else to worry about it. He has done nothing but try and use me and mine since my parents divorced. He chose himself and his new "family" over us time and again, so let him reap that little sowing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...