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s/o do you expect your children to care for you in old age?


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I was gobsmacked when my husband's childhood best friend visited us with his partner. They had no children nor ever wanted any.

 

They decided to up and move to the area where the partner was from. One of the reasons they stated "was so our nieces and nephews will take care of us when we're older." They are currently late middle aged.

 

These two men had NO relationship with any of the nieces or nephews nor had they ever tried to culture one. They'd never even been around kids in their whole adult lives. They referred to straight people as "breeders" (for having kids). Yet they were expecting them to take care of them just because they were family?

 

I don't expect my kids to take care of me much less my nieces or nephews! I can't even imagine moving near to my nieces with the expectation that they would play nursemaid to me in my old age. I fear these guys will be in for a cold dose of reality when they are older and the nieces and nephews are living their own lives, possibly thousands of miles away.

 

I read a statistic once that the only thing that will give a person less than a 50% chance of ending up in a nursing home is having three or more daughters, or three or more daughters in law. So the odds are that our children will NOT take care of us.

 

Do you have any expectations that your children will care for you? If so have you discussed it with them?

 

I haven't discussed it with my children (though they have asked which of them will get the house when we die!) but I really don't have any expectations. I just hope not to ever be in a care facility because I treasure my privacy.

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Your post makes me thankful we have three daughters :)

 

Nope--no expectations, really. However, in our culture you don't put someone in a care facility unless it's the absolute last resort and the person has the kind of medical needs that simply cannot be managed at home.

 

I imagine we'll be there for my parents as they are/were for theirs, and I hope/pray it's a good example for all the family. But do I EXPECT it? No.

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I really don't have any expectations. I just hope not to ever be in a care facility because I treasure my privacy.

 

This is how I feel. I would never "expect" one of them to, I'm just not the type to "expect" things from people, especially something as personal and intensive as care in old age...but I would hope after having this many children they will find a way to keep me comfortable outside of a nursing home. I pray a lot that my death won't be a long, drawn-out one that inconveniences my family at all.

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I hope my kids will want to take care of their Dad and me, but I don't expect them to. But people have different definitions of what that means.

 

To my mother-in-law, it means never putting her in a nursing home or other care facility. To my mother, it meant making sure she was in a decent nursing home (or other) and visiting her sometimes.

 

I wouldn't expect either of my kids to take me in to live with their family, but I hope they will want to be sure I am cared for.

 

To expect nieces and nephews, especially ones with no real relationship, to care, is... ludicrous! That said, I think my relationship with my siblings' kids is such (at least today) that they'd look out for me if my own kids couldn't. But I wouldn't expect it in any case.

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No. A million times, no.

 

If I'm unable to care for myself, I hope and pray they'll find an appropriate facility and visit regularily.

 

If I'm finding myself unable to take care of myself, and not experiencing dementia, I intend to make those arrangements myself, not wait for my kids to do so.

 

I've worked in home care. I've seen how incredibly difficult it is for the caretakers, and I do not ever wish to put that burden on my kids. I want to enjoy my relationship w/them, not be a burden for them to lug around.

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Studies have shown that you really need to have a lot of daughters to lessen your chances of being put in a nursing home. Do not count on your sons or your DILs. They are most likely busy caring for DILs' mother and father.

 

My dh and his two brothers live in a different state than their mother, and can't do much for her. My FIL is already in a nursing home because of Alzheimer's. MIL has made a mess of her life, financially speaking, yet refuses to sell her home and move to the state where all her children now live (we would move FIL to a home near us), because she has strong hoarding tendencies and won't part with her stuff. So yeah, I guess she's pretty much on her own...her choice however, but it is what it is.

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Hmm...I guess I'll be the lone opinion so far. Yes, absolutely I expect my children to care for us when we are older. That may mean just helping around the house, or doing errands, or it may mean hiring help/live in nurse, etc. If I need to be in a nursing home, I expect them to handle that and my affairs while I'm there.

 

I can't imagine not helping my own parents when they are older and I will raise my children the same way-we take care of our elders.

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Wow, perhaps they expect to pay for it or were joking? When I was 14yrs old I volunteered at a nursing home and knew that I'd never want my parents there. If my parents live to be old enough that they need care, I'll for sure take care of them. (unless I can't because they require more care than a normal dedicated adult child can give) Regretfully, my mom probably won't live long enough for that, as she has cancer. I'll be caring for her during her 60's as much as I can.... My father, well, if he needs care I'll be there.

My husband's mom is living and 80yrs old. She's states and states away, so if I cared for her... I'd have to move there. I'm pretty sure that when she needs care it would be beyond my capabilities. We're kinda broke, but if she paid for our flight... or it was an emergency, I'd happily go stay with her for a few months. (I'd have to figure out some home things..)

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Yes, I would hope and expect that my children would help take care of us. We have been pouring out our lives on their behalf for many years. We plan to give them our earthly possessions and every other good thing when we die. They would be monsters of ingratitude if they did not do what they could to help us when we were unable to care for ourselves.

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Yes, we expect our children to care for us (me, actually, as I expect to care for my much older dh) to the best of their ability. I've already done it with my grandfather. My dh's parents are in their mid-70s, we expect to care for them when/if the time comes. I also expect to care for my mother eventually. To us, it's what family does.

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Yes, I would hope and expect that my children would help take care of us. We have been pouring out our lives on their behalf for many years. We plan to give them our earthly possessions and every other good thing when we die. They would be monsters of ingratitude if they did not do what they could to help us when we were unable to care for ourselves.

 

:hurray::hurray: Sing it!

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For those who expect them to care for you, what do you mean? Do you expect them to never move away from you and live near you forever?

 

Do you expect that if they have jobs that have them traveling that they give them up and stay put?

 

DH's parents live 600 miles away (used to be 2,600), my parents live 2,000 miles away (used to be 10,000).

 

Dawn

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I expect that my kids will do something to care for us, if they can. Maybe that means living with one of the kids; maybe that means one of the kids comes to our house a few times a week and helps us out. Or maybe it means they find a nice nursing home for us. I think we'll just have to look at all the possible options when it's time, but I expect that we'll care for our aging parents at some point, in some way, just like my ILs are caring for my GMIL, and I expect that our children will do the same for us if they can. (In return, I expect to be grateful for their care and will try to make it easy on them so that it's not too much of a chore for them.)

 

I would love to have a house that could hold three generations, so that we could turn it over to one of the kids (and their children) and keep a small part of it for ourselves -- take care of us in our old age, and maintain the property, and in return, you'll have no rent/mortgage payment.

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Do you have any expectations that your children will care for you? If so have you discussed it with them?

 

Yes and yes.

 

Our plan is to be financially comfortable enough to afford whatever care the DH and I might need, and barring something catastrophic happening before we reach our senior years, I believe we're on track for that. We've told our boys over and over that our expectation is that they will use that money wisely to see that we're cared for adequately in a decent retirement or nursing home, as the need may be. Our expectation is NOT that the boys (or their future wives) have to do any physical care-taking of us themselves.

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Expect...maybe.

Desire to cultivate our relationship and raise them with the values so that they will want to care for us...absolutely.

 

I fully expect to take care of my and Dh's parents when the time comes. I love them and think it is my duty as a daughter. Our sisters feel the same way and it will be nice to share that responsibility with them.

 

Now, I don't expect my dc to give up everything to take care of me with a debilitating disease. My grandmother was on the edge of that with my great grandmother. I completely respect her for taking care of her mother for so long, but the time came when Grandma couldn't care for her mother safely and had to put her in a home for Alzheimer's patients. I would hope my dc would do the same and visit often.

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For those who expect them to care for you, what do you mean? Do you expect them to never move away from you and live near you forever?

 

Do you expect that if they have jobs that have them traveling that they give them up and stay put?

 

DH's parents live 600 miles away (used to be 2,600), my parents live 2,000 miles away (used to be 10,000).

 

Dawn

 

I expect them to do what needs to be done, just as we do what needs to be done as their parents. There is no formula. Maybe they would prefer to move back to our home or maybe it would make more sense to move me into theirs. They might have to give up/cut back on travel and certain things, or they might not have to. If my care is beyond their skills they might move me to a facility near them and make sure there are frequent visits.

 

We believe that parents are not servants. Families are units and those who can pick up the slack for those who can't. Sacrifices are always going to be necessary.

 

I would be deeply ashamed of my children if they avoided taking care of their parents because it interfered with their lifestyle.

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For those who expect them to care for you, what do you mean? Do you expect them to never move away from you and live near you forever?

 

Do you expect that if they have jobs that have them traveling that they give them up and stay put?

 

DH's parents live 600 miles away (used to be 2,600), my parents live 2,000 miles away (used to be 10,000).

 

Dawn

I think that's an excellent question :bigear:

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I expect them to do what needs to be done, just as we do what needs to be done as their parents. There is no formula. Maybe they would prefer to move back to our home or maybe it would make more sense to move me into theirs. They might have to give up/cut back on travel and certain things, or they might not have to. If my care is beyond their skills they might move me to a facility near them and make sure there are frequent visits.

 

We believe that parents are not servants. Families are units and those who can pick up the slack for those who can't. Sacrifices are always going to be necessary.

 

I would be deeply ashamed of my children if they avoided taking care of their parents because it interfered with their lifestyle.

Interfere w/their lifestyle...and if that includes being able to financially support their family? The situation cited by Dawn would absolutely entail that.

 

ETA: You're also not considering their future spouses in the equation either.

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I read a statistic once that the only thing that will give a person less than a 50% chance of ending up in a nursing home is having three or more daughters, or three or more daughters in law. So the odds are that our children will NOT take care of us.

Given that the percentage of elders living in nursing homes is MUCH less than 50% (currently less than 10%), I rather question this statistic. Maybe they meant 50% less likely? Or maybe they're including assisted living facilities and anyone who stays short-term after a hospitalization?

 

I work in a nursing home. When you consider the level of care that those living in nursing homes need, it's way more than just "interfering with lifestyle". These people, by definition, need 24/7 care. Many need 2 or more trained, able-bodied individuals helping to meet their basic needs. If they're physically capable of helping significantly with toileting and so on, then they're at the nursing home because they're a danger to themselves or others and need 24/7 supervision.

Edited by ocelotmom
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Financially? No, not really. We will be prepared well enough that we should be fine.

 

Health and comfort wise? Yes, to a degree. We took care of my mom through her last illness, and we will gladly do the same for my dad and my husband's mom. I do think that families are ideally interdependent and supportive. I hope that I do my job well enough to pass those values onto my kids.

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Absolutely not. I do not want any of my children wiping my butt, spoon feeding me, bathing me, or lifting me in and out of bed. That's what nurses are for.

 

Those of you who are saying yes, do you actually know what is involved in caring for an elderly person once they have reached the point of needing care?

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The situation you described is kind of funky. *They* should have no expectations, even though they seem to.

 

Yes, I do expect my children to take care of me in my old age. That is what my parents did for their parents, what we have/are/will be doing for them, and what I believe God would want our children to do for us.

 

I realize "not wanting to be a burden" is the feeling of the current generation. And I'm not suggesting anyone TRY to be a burden, or do less for themselves than they ought to in order to put the burden on someone else. But, I think the attitude of "not wanting to be a burden" feeds into kids' expectations that they should NOT be burdened, and you ARE a burden. That isn't how I view my or my husband's parents, nor do I want my children to take that attitude.

 

Of course I'm not really speaking to situations where family relationship are toxic, or a young family has a situation where they cannot possibly take on a burden without jeopardizing their own situation severely. But there's a difference between overwhelmed and inconvenienced, can't do and won't do.

 

So I expect to do as much as I can for myself (and with home health aides a lot is possible in terms of keeping someone in their own home). I would be disappointed if my children did little or nothing to help. But I wouldn't berate them about it, either, that's between them and God.

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I would expect to a point yes if it's practical and they are not already stretched too thin by other commitments. I grew up with my nana until she died when I was 5. We live with my mum now, I can't see that changing, she is 71 and still works full time. I think she will likely always live with us or my sister (not my brother so much). The only time we would not care for her is if she had complicated medical needs, I think specialists are often much better at dealing with that with family visiting regularly. My dh recently had a situation where an elderly couple in his extended family were pretty much left to end their days alone by their immediate family, dh travelled up to help them out with practical stuff a few times. We never could understand why their kids and close relatives weren't making sure they had food in the house/prescriptions and were coping. It was a very sad & lonely few months for them.

Edited by lailasmum
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Those of you who are saying yes, do you actually know what is involved in caring for an elderly person once they have reached the point of needing care?

 

Considering that I gave up college out of state in part to be there for my mom and family and that we cared for my mother through 14 years of cancer, yeah. I do. And when we needed help we brought in help (cleaning lady, home health worker) and when she needed more than we could do without sacrificing those precious weeks of just being there and talking with her, we moved her to a very nice hospice and 1 of us was with her round the clock. I would do it again in a heartbeat for my ILs or my dad.

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I expect them to do what needs to be done, just as we do what needs to be done as their parents. There is no formula. Maybe they would prefer to move back to our home or maybe it would make more sense to move me into theirs. They might have to give up/cut back on travel and certain things, or they might not have to. If my care is beyond their skills they might move me to a facility near them and make sure there are frequent visits.

 

We believe that parents are not servants. Families are units and those who can pick up the slack for those who can't. Sacrifices are always going to be necessary.

 

I would be deeply ashamed of my children if they avoided taking care of their parents because it interfered with their lifestyle.

 

:iagree: You do what needs to be done, as much as you are able to do while still caring for your own immediate family unit. I hope that my children WANT to take care of us, just like we WANT to take care of our parents.

 

 

 

Those of you who are saying yes, do you actually know what is involved in caring for an elderly person once they have reached the point of needing care?

 

Yes, yes I do. I watched my mother and my Grandmother take care of my Grandfather for years. I watched his health deteriorate to where he could do absolutely nothing for himself beyond lift a spoon to his mouth and that was on an incredibly good day. He and my grandmother moved into my Mom and Stepdad's small home. Most days he was fed by my mother, changed by my grandmother (and eventually my mother as well), he was entirely cared for by them. And you know what? It was BEAUTIFUL. It was back breaking, exhausting, emotionally draining, and beautiful. He was able to pass away in the home he lived in, surrounded by those that loved him. At the end, we kept constant vigil for a week, waiting moment by moment for him to die. It was brutally exhausting.

 

I can only hope I have the blessing to do the same for my husbands and my parents.

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Absolutely not. I do not want any of my children wiping my butt, spoon feeding me, bathing me, or lifting me in and out of bed. That's what nurses are for.

 

Those of you who are saying yes, do you actually know what is involved in caring for an elderly person once they have reached the point of needing care?

 

Yes. I know because I've done it.

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The odds of your child being able to take care of you is good if you've planned for it, you maintain your health into old age, and you are willing to live within your income. The situation some of us are in, where we are being asked to give up our jobs and medical insurance in order to play nursemaid, handyman, cook, home remodeler, chaueffer, etc in order to maintain a huge peice of property and a senior at our expense while ignoring our own children and spouses is just a bit on the ridiculous side. I personally am a lot more flexible; I don't see the need to keep a large home that I can't afford or maintain. I am willing to downsize and move to accomodations that work better for me. I will not have my kids paying my bills while I have money in the bank. I understand the inevitable will happen and I'm not going to drop a huge funeral bill on the kids -- those arrangements will be made and paid for ahead of time.

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

This makes a huge point. While I *do* expect our children to care for us to the best of their ability, I also believe that it is simultaneously incumbent upon the elder to make themselves as accomodating as possible.

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Expect...maybe.

Desire to cultivate our relationship and raise them with the values so that they will want to care for us...absolutely.

 

:iagree:

 

I have 4 boys. I recognize that there's less chance of that happening then if I had girls.

 

Watching my grandmothers, I realize how much of this can depend on how you create relationships with your adult children, in-laws, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Its very easy as you age to close yourself off in your home and expect everyone else to do the work of the relationship.

 

I intend to develop and and work at keeping those relationships. I refuse to hold onto possessions--a house, furniture, a kitchen--instead of being realistic and moving on. I also would expect my children to use medical care when necessary. Sometimes 'taking care of someone' means you're totally connected with their care and them, not that they live in your home.

 

We have light plans in place for both sets of parents. One is currently being cared for at home by their spouse. Although we live far away we are in contact with family in the area and arranged/pay for respite care.

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Studies have shown that you really need to have a lot of daughters to lessen your chances of being put in a nursing home. Do not count on your sons or your DILs. They are most likely busy caring for DILs' mother and father.

 

My dh and his two brothers live in a different state than their mother, and can't do much for her. My FIL is already in a nursing home because of Alzheimer's. MIL has made a mess of her life, financially speaking, yet refuses to sell her home and move to the state where all her children now live (we would move FIL to a home near us), because she has strong hoarding tendencies and won't part with her stuff. So yeah, I guess she's pretty much on her own...her choice however, but it is what it is.

 

 

So true!

 

My brother lives two blocks from us which is two blocks from my parents. He never had a FIL, that person died before he was married, and his wife was estranged from her mother. His MIL died recently and they had very, very little contact. He has no intention of helping make decisions about our parents when the time comes, though I know he will visit them regularly because he did this for our dear grandmother right.to.the.very.end. He was faithful in that regard. But, he totally buckles when the tough decisions come down the pike. His wife is narcissistic so frankly, it's probably for the best anyway.

 

My sister lives out-of-state and was bankrupted in her divorce from her psychotic husband. It is going to take her many, many years to get back on any kind of decent financial footing and will likely live in an efficiency apartment for many years to come. The Michigan economy will be decades recovering so she'll probably never move home. She will come to visit once in a while and she'll stay in constant contact with me about what needs to be done because she loves them so much, but the reality is, she won't be in any position to help.

 

So, it all falls on me. I'll do it because I have a great relationship with my parents. However, we'll also have my MIL because dh's sister and brother do not give a rat's rear about them and just hover hoping she'll get sick and die before her money is gone. :glare:

 

I can't be in two places at once and manage multiple sets of medical professionals, appointments, you name it. Our plan is for them to go to a good assisted living facility who can help us manage everything. My mom and MIL are great friends so hopefully this will pan out for us.

 

However, neither has an expectation. My mother insists that we put her in a nursing home and forget about her. This comes from the fact that she ruined her own health taking care of her mother-in-law. People just live so much longer with serious diseases than they used to due to medical advancements so caretakers become much more worn. She doesn't want that to happen to me. I'm not willing to dump her and run, but knowing I'd like to have some health left in order to enjoy my own grandchildren, I do think that we'll go with a plan in which they are somewhere with a staff that can do the physical care, while I visit very often, take them on outings, bring them home for the holidays, and be their patient advocate.

 

MIL's family...the women routinely live into their 80's independently and tend to go another decade with assistance with some of the women making it to 100 if they are living with someone who is mega vigilant about their care. BUT, there is a dementia that runs in those women so let me say that it ISN'T a walk in the park taking care of them and they've caused more than one family to come apart at the seams while juggling their needs. MIL's sister and her husband nearly divorced when grandma was living with them. I sided with aunty's husband, it was not pretty and his MIL was killing his relationship with his wife and their children. So, my eyes are wide open and I'm all for highly rated facilities with caring employees and NOT having the folks at home for 15 years after they are no longer able to live alone. It might be different if there wasn't dementia.

 

I do not expect my own children to take care of me. Sure, it would be nice. But, they are facing a rotten employment future, lots of competition for jobs, long hours, lower pay for the work accomplished compared with our generation. My own dd would like to homeschool her children someday and yet knows that with wage stagnation and inflation they'll likely need to be dual income. I don't think it's moral for me to expect my children to put themselves or their families in financial peril in order to accomodate me.

 

As for the OP's relatives' situation, it's ridiculous and wrong! However, I've seen that. My cousin and her husband opted not to have any children and they have almost NOTHING to do with their one and only nephew. But, they have every intention of moving near him when they retire because they think he should be obligated to look after them in their elder years.

 

Faith

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I have mixed feelings about this. I do not expect my children to take me into their home to care for me. However, I do expect them to be involved enough in our lives to be of assistance ... to know when we needed outside help if we don't recognize it ourselves. If we became less independent, we would move near our children if they wanted us to be nearer to make things easier on them. If you are involved with someone, it is really difficult to turn away and not help them. I hope I would do things to be less of a burden on them. To tell you the truth, the whole idea of getting old is scary to me. Knowing that our children will probably not get jobs in our area makes me nervous because I understand how important it is to keep tabs on the elderly.

 

It was a blessing to be able to help my mom when she got older. In most ways, she made it as easy on us as possible. But somethings made it difficult. I especially wish she had switched to a doctor and a hospital closer to me so that it would have been much easier on me. Taking her to doctors' appointments and the like, while time consuming, was a chance for us to get closer. But, it would have been so much easier if she had a doctor in my town and would go to the (excellent) hospital within walking distance of my house. I could have checked on her much easier than driving 30 minutes each way (double that in rush hour.) Some of my siblings shared the load ... my brother took over all of my mom's finances after her stroke took away her ability to balance her checkbook. At my brother's request, my mom approved a couple of us to be kept abreast of things because he knew how important transparency is. Three of my siblings lived far away. One visited often because he was here on business. Another helped me (via phone calls) with the medical side of things due to his experience as a surgical equipment salesman - he understood how hospitals operated and how doctors think. My one sister who was local was helpful in navigating the medicare and home health aspects, but was useless otherwise. She lived closest to my mom but never had the time to pop over for a quick visit. She always managed to be out of town when major health crises came up - and seemed not to answer her phone. In reality, for all her tough gal exterior who loved to tease me as too sensitive and whimpy - she was the emotional wimp and detached herself from the hard stuff. I still haven't forgiven her one of her disappearing acts. Mom fell and broke her pelvis. My sister was on vacation - at a golf resort 3 hours away. She did not answer phone calls. She did not come home. She left everything on my lap. She never even called my mom or me to see how she was doing. She would disappear whenever there was hard work to be done.

 

I know that I will probably need some assistance as I get older. I hope to make it as easy as possible for my kids.

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The odds of your child being able to take care of you is good if you've planned for it, you maintain your health into old age, and you are willing to live within your income. The situation some of us are in, where we are being asked to give up our jobs and medical insurance in order to play nursemaid, handyman, cook, home remodeler, chaueffer, etc in order to maintain a huge peice of property and a senior at our expense while ignoring our own children and spouses is just a bit on the ridiculous side. I personally am a lot more flexible; I don't see the need to keep a large home that I can't afford or maintain. I am willing to downsize and move to accomodations that work better for me. I will not have my kids paying my bills while I have money in the bank. I understand the inevitable will happen and I'm not going to drop a huge funeral bill on the kids -- those arrangements will be made and paid for ahead of time.

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

This makes a huge point. While I *do* expect our children to care for us to the best of their ability, I also believe that it is simultaneously incumbent upon the elder to make themselves as accomodating as possible.

 

 

 

:iagree: I fully intend to do my part to make it as easy on them as I can. I will move, I will manange my finances and my possessions wisely, I will be as little additional trouble to them as I can possible be.

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Hmm...I guess I'll be the lone opinion so far. Yes, absolutely I expect my children to care for us when we are older. That may mean just helping around the house, or doing errands, or it may mean hiring help/live in nurse, etc. If I need to be in a nursing home, I expect them to handle that and my affairs while I'm there.

 

I can't imagine not helping my own parents when they are older and I will raise my children the same way-we take care of our elders.

 

:iagree:

 

And we've talked about this in general terms. My kids have already promised me a red Mazda Miata when they make their first million. What a way to take care of their old mom! :D

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I expect that they will assist in minor ways, hopefully allowing us to have a room with them when we are old enough that caring for our own home is too cumbersome, but before we need real medical care that many would typically get from a nurse. I would pray that my kids will want to give back the love and compassion I am trying to show to them at this time. My oldest and I joke that when I'm old, she'll be pretty darn old too so we'll be BFFs. :lol:

 

I don't like the idea of my kid having to care for me in my last days if it is, ummm, messy, but I don't have a preference either way. I think it is the whole pay it forward mentality, and most of us parents have cared for our children in that way far longer than we would need to be cared for.

 

We are told by God to not even utter "umph" towards our parents, even in their old age, as a respect for all the care they have given to us. This would be my goal with my parents, and I hope that sets the example for my kids.

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Yes, yes I do. I watched my mother and my Grandmother take care of my Grandfather for years. I watched his health deteriorate to where he could do absolutely nothing for himself beyond lift a spoon to his mouth and that was on an incredibly good day. He and my grandmother moved into my Mom and Stepdad's small home. Most days he was fed by my mother, changed by my grandmother (and eventually my mother as well), he was entirely cared for by them. And you know what? It was BEAUTIFUL. It was back breaking, exhausting, emotionally draining, and beautiful. He was able to pass away in the home he lived in, surrounded by those that loved him. At the end, we kept constant vigil for a week, waiting moment by moment for him to die. It was brutally exhausting.

 

 

 

I guess I differ on this. I don't think it's beautiful. My mother did this for my grandmother and it totally tanked her own health. Her back is ruined, her knees are ruined, she develped several health problems related to exhaustion and some of it is not reversible, and it's going to rob her of years she could have spent with her grandchildren. She loved my dad's mom, but now, looking back, she resents it. My dad thought it was beautiful too at the time. Now that he is considering retiring and thought he'd have a wife to do all of the things together he thought they would finally be able to do, but instead he is going to be a young caretaker of a disabled wife because of the beauty of having mom care for his mother. He now VERY MUCH regrets that he allowed that to happen or supported it.

 

I will be a very young woman and face caring for my mother while still raising children and it all relates back to my mom caring for grandma when she should have been placed in a medical facility.

 

Dh's mother took care of her husband who died a very slow, agonizing, long drawn-out death from cancer. It was horrible. Even hospice wanted him in a facility. She wouldn't do it. Hospice would only give her 4 hrs. of in home respite care per week because they were hampered by state guidelines that said if a spouse is a medical professional (MIL is a retired nurse, but still licensed) then they do not qualify for as much help. She nearly died from taking care of him - no exaggeration. When he finally passed, we had to have her hospitalized for neglect of her own health. (We lived six states away and couldn't help her.) There wasn't even a funeral. Dh's brother, a 12 hour drive from there, and his sister, 8 hrs. away, had used all of their vacation visiting in order to help her when they could and dh had flown down four times in one year to the absolute angst of his boss...one more trip and he'd likely have lost his job.

 

We now have MIL near us and deal with the fall-out of her doing all of that physical care for 1.5 years, 24/7.

 

I don't find it beautiful. I find it horribly tragic and when the end comes, the caretakers have all of the consequences that come from not having appropriate help.

 

But, everyone sees it differently and obviously, some caretakers never have to do that level of care before the end comes and their health survives quite nicely. In that case, I could see how it would be wonderful! That just hasn't been our experience.

 

Faith

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I don't have time to read all the responses but yes, we absolutely expect our grown dc to help care for us. I feel our society has gone so far from where family should be, it is really sad. Now if there are extreme medical issues then that is different yet simply caring for/housing an elderly parent I feel is something the grown children should expect and prepare for. Of o course dh and I will do everything we can to also prepare for independence for as long as possible.

 

Ideally, I want what my 99yo great-aunt has: 6 grown dc who each take a month to stay with her in her own home; nieces/nephews/friends also take 2-week stints. It is the most beautiful example of family I have ever seen.

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I read a statistic once that the only thing that will give a person less than a 50% chance of ending up in a nursing home is having three or more daughters, or three or more daughters in law. So the odds are that our children will NOT take care of us.

 

Do you have any expectations that your children will care for you? If so have you discussed it with them?

 

I took care of my Mom. All the women in my family took care of relatives. That's just what you do for family. My kids know this.

 

But I don't expect anything. Hopefully, it will never be necessary. I plan to just check out.

 

But if I need help, that's what the younger husband is for...;)

 

Seriously, I doubt anyone cares. I will follow the old Indian tradition of going out into the woods or a forest to die.

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I don't have time to read all the responses but yes, we absolutely expect our grown dc to help care for us. I feel our society has gone so far from where family should be, it is really sad. Now if there are extreme medical issues then that is different yet simply caring for/housing an elderly parent I feel is something the grown children should expect and prepare for. Of o course dh and I will do everything we can to also prepare for independence for as long as possible.

 

Ideally, I want what my 99yo great-aunt has: 6 grown dc who each take a month to stay with her in her own home; nieces/nephews/friends also take 2-week stints. It is the most beautiful example of family I have ever seen.

 

This is the way it should be. But we live in extraordinarily selfish times.

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I don't have time to read all the responses but yes, we absolutely expect our grown dc to help care for us. I feel our society has gone so far from where family should be, it is really sad. Now if there are extreme medical issues then that is different yet simply caring for/housing an elderly parent I feel is something the grown children should expect and prepare for. Of o course dh and I will do everything we can to also prepare for independence for as long as possible.

 

Ideally, I want what my 99yo great-aunt has: 6 grown dc who each take a month to stay with her in her own home; nieces/nephews/friends also take 2-week stints. It is the most beautiful example of family I have ever seen.

 

 

How does that work exactly? Is everyone self-employed? I'm asking because dh would be fired for doing that. He's only allowed five consecutive days of vacation at a time and never closer than twelve weeks together. It sounds great! I'm just wondering how people work that out with their employers. Do they all live in the same area and work in the same area so they can still go to their jobs during the day while outside help is there?

 

Faith

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I guess I differ on this. I don't think it's beautiful. My mother did this for my grandmother and it totally tanked her own health. Her back is ruined, her knees are ruined, she develped several health problems related to exhaustion and some of it is not reversible, and it's going to rob her of years she could have spent with her grandchildren. She loved my dad's mom, but now, looking back, she resents it. My dad thought it was beautiful too at the time. Now that he is considering retiring and thought he'd have a wife to do all of the things together he thought they would finally be able to do, but instead he is going to be a young caretaker of a disabled wife because of the beauty of having mom care for his mother. He now VERY MUCH regrets that he allowed that to happen or supported it.

 

I will be a very young woman and face caring for my mother while still raising children and it all relates back to my mom caring for grandma when she should have been placed in a medical facility.

 

Dh's mother took care of her husband who died a very slow, agonizing, long drawn-out death from cancer. It was horrible. Even hospice wanted him in a facility. She wouldn't do it. Hospice would only give her 4 hrs. of in home respite care per week because they were hampered by state guidelines that said if a spouse is a medical professional (MIL is a retired nurse, but still licensed) then they do not qualify for as much help. She nearly died from taking care of him - no exaggeration. When he finally passed, we had to have her hospitalized for neglect of her own health. (We lived six states away and couldn't help her.) There wasn't even a funeral. Dh's brother, a 12 hour drive from there, and his sister, 8 hrs. away, had used all of their vacation visiting in order to help her when they could and dh had flown down four times in one year to the absolute angst of his boss...one more trip and he'd likely have lost his job.

 

We now have MIL near us and deal with the fall-out of her doing all of that physical care for 1.5 years, 24/7.

 

I don't find it beautiful. I find it horribly tragic and when the end comes, the caretakers have all of the consequences that come from not having appropriate help.

 

But, everyone sees it differently and obviously, some caretakers never have to do that level of care before the end comes and their health survives quite nicely. In that case, I could see how it would be wonderful! That just hasn't been our experience.

 

Faith

 

I understand where you are coming from. I'm not saying you shouldn't get help where it's need. There are hospices, home health, etc. I'm just saying we aren't throwing Granny in a nursing home and forgetting about her. By caring I meaning making sure needs are met in a safe and loving place depending on what the circumstances are. Personally, I would prefer a home environment with home health and attentive family.

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momtokea: Absolutely not. I do not want any of my children wiping my butt, spoon feeding me, bathing me, or lifting me in and out of bed. That's what nurses are for.

 

 

Good luck paying for those nurses. I hired part time caregivers for my Mom during one stretch who were NOT nurses. We blew through thousands of dollars very quickly. Your view is idealistic.

 

Those of you who are saying yes, do you actually know what is involved in caring for an elderly person once they have reached the point of needing care?

Yes, I do. Yes, I've wiped butts, showered elderly people, bathed them in a bed, the whole thing (except tubes - I haven't done that). I did it with two children under the age of 5 in my home. It wasn't easy. But I'm not sorry I did it.

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