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Elder Care Conflict (JAWM, mostly)


rainbowmama
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My in-laws are both still living in their own home with our help. My spouse and I are there once a week for groceries, cleaning, yard care, etc... A neighbor used to shovel their sidewalk, but the neighbor has moved. Their city laws require the side walk shoveled in 24 hours, and given that we live about an hour away, they don't live quite close enough for this to feel manageable. My BILs live further away and provide no help whatsoever. I asked them this week if they'd be willing to pay for snow removal. One of them is a bachelor with no dependents. The other is a living the dual income no dependents lifestyle. Both refused to help, and I'm feeling a little unappreciated. I don't like my in-laws: they pride themselves on being very honest people and having a great sense of sarcasm that unfortunately I find difficult not to take personally. They are my spouse's parents and my kids' grandparents, though, so I try to do right by them. Why don't my BILs feel this sense of duty that they can't take on even a tiny bit of the responsibility? 

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Well, who likes their in-laws?

 

I JAWY, my in-laws are the same way (only with the grandmother instead of DH's mother, we are in our 30s still).  They are all selfish and also think they're great and tolerant and generous people, which is pretty hilarious when you look at what they've actually done to their parents/grandparents.  But oh well, I have to say to myself, not my circus.  

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I've never understood that lack of a sense of duty either.  Maybe the parents didn't instill that in them growing up though?  Who knows.  

 

I wonder, if you were to call a senior citizens support network in their city, perhaps they could recommend someone or a company that could come and shovel if necessary?  Would your parent-in-laws be able to pay for that, if you could arrange it?

 

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Well, who likes their in-laws?

 

I JAWY, my in-laws are the same way (only with the grandmother instead of DH's mother, we are in our 30s still).  They are all selfish and also think they're great and tolerant and generous people, which is pretty hilarious when you look at what they've actually done to their parents/grandparents.  But oh well, I have to say to myself, not my circus.  

 

I do!  My in-laws are some of the most giving, responsible people I've ever met.  They are really on the ball when it comes to taking care of their mother.  The nice thing for them is that there are so many of them, that the burden never feels overwhelming.

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Do your in-laws have enough funds to pay a neighbour kid to shovel for them? If they want to continue living independently, these are the costs they need to factor in.

Ditto this. Living independently means thIs is one of the costs they pay. If they can’t afford it, and are very tight, I would just consider paying it, but we’d also be having conversations about what’s coming in the next few years as their care needs increase. How to make it manageable for you, and how to pay.

 

FWIW, my ILs were just over an hour away and we had a similar set up, until July. By that time, MIL had had 5 heart attacks and stays in hospital that year, and DH just could not do the late night calls and jumping in the car at a moment’s notice anymore. He used all his vacation (5 weeks) doing back and forth care. We ended up moving them to assisted living near us. They still require weekly visits and a lot of time, but it is so much easier without the two and a half hour drive.

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I'd suggest finding a service to do it and having your in-laws pay for it. You could even just "leave it be" and let the city notify them of any issues . . . or maybe a kindly neighbor will just take over when they notice it being neglected. 

 

One idea I might try if I were you would be to bake up a bunch of cookies, package plates of cookies for every neighbor on the block, and then deliver them in person. Chat up the neighbors as you drop them off and ask each neighbor if they know of anyone in the neighborhood who might be willing to handle snow removal for your in-laws. Have a price in mind (say $10 per snow if it'll take under 30 min each time) and provide your address/number/name for billing. Then just pay for it and have your in-laws reimburse you. Or pay for it yourself and stop giving any gifts of value to your brothers-in-law . . . I'd imagine that in many neighborhoods, there's a great chance that one or more neighbors will jump up to do it for free if they know there is a need. In my 20s, dh and I lived next door to a newly widowed elderly lady. We were friends already (including before her husband died). Every snow storm (frequent, we lived in Utah), we'd shovel her drive and walkway first . . . before even doing our own. Sometimes, we were "beat out" by other neighbors with similar priorities. That lasted the three winters we lived there, and I'm sure the other neighbors stepped it up when we moved away. (We similarly handled leaf removal and mowing . . . but we had *tiny* yards, so this was all pretty quick work, especially since we were young, strong, and childless, lol) Helping out Georgia was an honor and a pleasure, and I'd imagine many others would feel similarly, so definitely make nice with the neighbors. (I'd include a note/card with your contact info along with the cookies . . . as it can be *very* helpful if others are looking out for your in-laws.)

 

 

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My mom works with senior citizens, so has to deal with this a bunch. In her opinion it’s sad, but for the most part, “you reap what you sowâ€. Note this isn’t he case for everyone! She just knows that if the kids aren’t around much for an obvious reason (distance, work schedules, own special needs ....) it is usually because of a lack of emotional attachement due to things the parent did, or didn’t do throughout their life.

 

For example, she has an older brother who she absolutely loves. But she admits he wasn’t much of a parent, or a grandparent. Now he is majorly declining right now and his kids and grandkids aren’t their for him in an emotional sense. They make sure his physical needs are meet. They are helping him getting into a home, move, .... but they aren’t there when he is feeling lonely, confused, ...

 

And even if the parent in question was wonderful, and their adult child(ren) have time and resources, you can’t make a person care.

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:grouphug:

 

1.  This shouldn't be on your shoulders.  Your DH needs to work this out with his brothers if his parents genuinely cannot afford to pay for shoveling the sidewalks (but have you called around to see what that cost might be?)

2.  If the parents genuinely cannot afford the cost on their own then perhaps they could still contribute a little.  Your DH could present a shared cost plan to his brothers showing that if this was split 4 ways it is not that big a burden and needs to be done for the parents to continue living in their own home.  Maybe the amount from each of the brothers could be sent through Pay Pal. 

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So, wait - I'm somewhat confused. Are these BILs of yours the brothers of your husband and children of your in-laws or are they the husbands of your husband's sister?

 

If they are the brothers of your husband, why not suggest he contact them and tell them since you guys do all the stuff you are doing, it is their responsibility to pay for snow removal? Could your husband's parents pay for the snow removal themselves? Maybe they just need a list of names/businesses to call. 

 

But it does sound like it might be time for your husband's parents to serious consider moving to some sort of assisted living place or neighborhood where yard care is included. 

 

I am sorry. It does sound like a terrible situation when the burden all falls on one child/family. Thank you for doing what is right regardless of what others are/are not doing. That is a great example for your children. 

Edited by Bambam
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Also, see if their city or town has a volunteer snow removal team. My city has that law as well, but I'm also on the snow removal team. If there's a big snow, volunteers are given addresses of elderly and handicapped residents who can't remove their own snow and we go do it for them. I'm sure not every city has this, but when I signed up, several people told me that their towns also have this.

 

(As an aside, I like my in-laws for the most part. They started off awkward with me to the extreme and there are some ways they do things that are still weird to me, but I think that's to be expected. They're really great people and I actually wish we saw them a little more since they live far away.)

 

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I have been trying to think of what bothers me about the OP, and finally figured it out.

WARNING!  This is not a JAWM type answer.  Skip it if you don't want feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that the original *idea* was reasonable, but that the actual *request* was a little disrespectful because it was so specific.

I wonder whether that got the BILs backs up.

The *idea* is that everyone should pitch in a little.  And the specific situation is that the inlaws can't perform their shovelling responsibilities on their own.

 

But the request was not that.  The request was for money for a task that presumably you would coordinate.

 

So the BILs, it comes across as you asking for pay for something that you'll arrange.  Not knowing the background, I don't know whether this is reasonable or not.  Have you been involving them in discussions of your own volunteer work regularly?  Have you been talking with them about the ILs' deteriorating condition?  Are they part of the team at all, even on a consulting basis?  Or is this just a request for money out of the blue?

 

The desire and expectation of some help from them is not unreasonable, but the specifics might be.

 

Also, as others have pointed out, the place to start is with the inlaws themselves.  Can they pay someone to do this?  And the involvement of the BILs should include regular information updates without requests, to see what they will do on their own.

 

 

 

 

 

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Your inlaws need to pay for snow removal, not their dc.  Ask at church, or ask around the neighborhood.

 

I have a neighbor who doesn't bother - not elderly, just doesn't want to use the rental profits for snow removal.  She gets fined only once a season, $50, and the town removes the snow at that visit, so it works well financially for her.

 

Good luck. 

 

I have not checked what the fine is, but if they'd only get fined once a season and it was that low, we'd be better off just letting them get fined. The lowest cost I could find was $30/storm or $275 a year. 

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Ditto this. Living independently means thIs is one of the costs they pay. If they can’t afford it, and are very tight, I would just consider paying it, but we’d also be having conversations about what’s coming in the next few years as their care needs increase. How to make it manageable for you, and how to pay.

 

FWIW, my ILs were just over an hour away and we had a similar set up, until July. By that time, MIL had had 5 heart attacks and stays in hospital that year, and DH just could not do the late night calls and jumping in the car at a moment’s notice anymore. He used all his vacation (5 weeks) doing back and forth care. We ended up moving them to assisted living near us. They still require weekly visits and a lot of time, but it is so much easier without the two and a half hour drive.

 

They are cash poor but assets rich: they haven't downsized from the home where they raised my spouse and his siblings. They love it and refuse to move, but they can't really afford it or take care of it anymore. It's an on-going disagreement

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I am sorry your sibs-in-law are not helpful. Cooperating, compassionate siblings are vital in practical eldercare matters. So there I totally AWY. Sadly, though your dh may have some pointed conversations with his brothers, the only real effective solution is to adjust your own expectations.

 

Aside, this circumstance may be a catalyst for getting the ILs to really look ahead to what their future needs may be, and a good opening for discussing how their lifestyle may need to adapt. Perhaps y'all have that all worked out, but if not, it may be a good time to start looking ahead. Things like the snow removal issue are small glimpses of what may lie down the road. I am not trying to discourage you, but rather to encourage you (and especially your dh) to think about ways to be proactive in helping the elders live as they prefer for as long as reasonably possible.

 

Hugs to you. It is a challenging season of life, but that's exactly what it is: a natural part of life.

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They are cash poor but assets rich: they haven't downsized from the home where they raised my spouse and his siblings. They love it and refuse to move, but they can't really afford it or take care of it anymore. It's an on-going disagreement

Have they considered a reverse mortgage?
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Also, see if their city or town has a volunteer snow removal team. My city has that law as well, but I'm also on the snow removal team. If there's a big snow, volunteers are given addresses of elderly and handicapped residents who can't remove their own snow and we go do it for them. I'm sure not every city has this, but when I signed up, several people told me that their towns also have this.

I like this idea a lot and I'm going to "suggest" to my ds that he find out if our city has that.

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Well, if someone called and just said I should pay for someone else's snow removal I would be a bit puzzled too.  Driving an hour through snow isn't reasonable if you're in a location where it may snow frequently.  There is fining here for snow removal but it very rarely gets applied.

 

That said, I think this is your in-laws problem to solve.  If they are incapable of solving it or paying for snow removal, this may not be the right living situation for them and it may be time to move and set them up with services.   ETA - our urban neighborhood does have some services to help with this kind of thing and that definitely might be something to check out!

 

It is already super nice of you to be wiling to go there once a week at a one hour distance to help.  That is your choice.  But you can't choose to what degree others can or will help.  We personally don't have budget allotted for something like this.  My mom lives about 1 hour (on average - could be 45-90 minutes driving) from us and we only see her once or twice a month and we'd need to set her up with services if she needed weekly help or I would be encouraging her to move.   It may be time for your DH to meet with his brothers to talk about a long term plan. 

Edited by WoolySocks
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Well, I would be very tempted to have a family meeting with the BILs to discuss what would be involved in moving the parents to a place where all that was taken care of, since clearly they can't manage snow removal etc.  You'll have to discuss the mechanics of moving them, selling the house, and paying for all of it.

 

Paying for snow removal might look less burdensome after that conversation.

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I have been trying to think of what bothers me about the OP, and finally figured it out.

WARNING!  This is not a JAWM type answer.  Skip it if you don't want feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that the original *idea* was reasonable, but that the actual *request* was a little disrespectful because it was so specific.

I wonder whether that got the BILs backs up.

The *idea* is that everyone should pitch in a little.  And the specific situation is that the inlaws can't perform their shovelling responsibilities on their own.

 

But the request was not that.  The request was for money for a task that presumably you would coordinate.

 

So the BILs, it comes across as you asking for pay for something that you'll arrange.  Not knowing the background, I don't know whether this is reasonable or not.  Have you been involving them in discussions of your own volunteer work regularly?  Have you been talking with them about the ILs' deteriorating condition?  Are they part of the team at all, even on a consulting basis?  Or is this just a request for money out of the blue?

 

The desire and expectation of some help from them is not unreasonable, but the specifics might be.

 

Also, as others have pointed out, the place to start is with the inlaws themselves.  Can they pay someone to do this?  And the involvement of the BILs should include regular information updates without requests, to see what they will do on their own.

 

I don't provide regular information updates: I don't generally talk to them. I hope they are talking to their parents. It seems inappropriate to provide unsolicited updates to them, but maybe I'm imagining it wrong.

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Your dh is one of the good guys. Women, including d-i-ls handle most of the caregiving. I have a friend who lived 4 hours away from her mother with Alz.and provides most of the care. She stays with her during summers (she's a teacher) and goes down several weekends. SHe arranges for care with her mom's sisters.  One brother lives in the same town. Does nada. The other lives in the town her mom had to be in for rehab. Hardly visited. 

 

I sometimes attend a support group for caregivers. ETA the hospital offers two: one is for any family member and the other for daughters and dil's. IOW so many caregivers are women that they offer an additional group for them. 

 

I would call the town and ask if they have help for elderly or disabled people unable to do their own snow shoveling. I bet they do. 

Edited by Laurie4b
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Nightmare!!!!

Ok, that term gives me the heebie-jeebies after settling an elder's estate with one of those in place. It was arranged years ago against my advice. The examination of the final documents once I became the person handing financial matters - well, if there's such a crime as rape of finances, that was it. All perfectly legal and government backed.

 

I understand that some of you may have positive experiences with reverse mortgages and that makes me very happy for you. But I would recommend an alternate course of action. First, detailed preparation of a true budget. Then, instead of a reverse mortgage, a home equity loan or refinance. Individual situations will vary but you have to be diligent to count the cost.

 

Sorry for the knee jerk reaction up thread, but a reverse mortgage is not a great solution for preserving assets. Personally, I also feel that a person's real estate is often the largest asset and should only be liquidated in conjunction with a Very Wise Plan.

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Ok, that term gives me the heebie-jeebies after settling an elder's estate with one of those in place. It was arranged years ago against my advice. The examination of the final documents once I became the person handing financial matters - well, if there's such a crime as rape of finances, that was it. All perfectly legal and government backed.

 

I understand that some of you may have positive experiences with reverse mortgages and that makes me very happy for you. But I would recommend an alternate course of action. First, detailed preparation of a true budget. Then, instead of a reverse mortgage, a home equity loan or refinance. Individual situations will vary but you have to be diligent to count the cost.

 

Sorry for the knee jerk reaction up thread, but a reverse mortgage is not a great solution for preserving assets. Personally, I also feel that a person's real estate is often the largest asset and should only be liquidated in conjunction with a Very Wise Plan.

Thanks for your perspective. I was hoping you would flesh out the 'nightmare' details for me. It sounds good on the surface, so it's very good to hear the cautionary tales.
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Well, who likes their in-laws?

 

I JAWY, my in-laws are the same way (only with the grandmother instead of DH's mother, we are in our 30s still).  They are all selfish and also think they're great and tolerant and generous people, which is pretty hilarious when you look at what they've actually done to their parents/grandparents.  But oh well, I have to say to myself, not my circus.  

I know people who prefer their inlaws to their blood relatives.

I get along better with a sil than my own sister, or brother.

I have an acquaintance - whose EX-MIL treated her new baby with her new husband - as though she were her own grandchild. (so - she was treated exactly like the other kids.)  I witnessed it firsthand.  amazing woman, and a real example of what makes a GOOD mil.

 

I've never understood that lack of a sense of duty either.  Maybe the parents didn't instill that in them growing up though?  Who knows.  

 

I wonder, if you were to call a senior citizens support network in their city, perhaps they could recommend someone or a company that could come and shovel if necessary?  Would your parent-in-laws be able to pay for that, if you could arrange it?

 

I would also call senior services org and see what is available.

or a neighbor/kid.   I like the idea of taking cookies around. . . .

it could also be it is time for the inlaws to realize - if they can't do basic maintenance/pay for it - they need to move to senior housing.  (which can still be quite nice, depending upon their finances.)

 

 

My mom works with senior citizens, so has to deal with this a bunch. In her opinion it’s sad, but for the most part, “you reap what you sowâ€. Note this isn’t he case for everyone! She just knows that if the kids aren’t around much for an obvious reason (distance, work schedules, own special needs ....) it is usually because of a lack of emotional attachement due to things the parent did, or didn’t do throughout their life.

 

For example, she has an older brother who she absolutely loves. But she admits he wasn’t much of a parent, or a grandparent. Now he is majorly declining right now and his kids and grandkids aren’t their for him in an emotional sense. They make sure his physical needs are meet. They are helping him getting into a home, move, .... but they aren’t there when he is feeling lonely, confused, ...

 

And even if the parent in question was wonderful, and their adult child(ren) have time and resources, you can’t make a person care.

 

this.

not to mention - how often on this board have we heard from people who wanted to distance themselves from their parents (for whatever reason), even when the parent can't care for themselves?

so - no one here can say they don't understand the concept that there are some parents out there whose kids dont' want to be around them.

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Your inlaws need to pay for snow removal, not their dc.  Ask at church, or ask around the neighborhood.

 

I have a neighbor who doesn't bother - not elderly, just doesn't want to use the rental profits for snow removal.  She gets fined only once a season, $50, and the town removes the snow at that visit, so it works well financially for her.

 

Good luck. 

We set up for someone to shovel for my folks last year, with us kids paying.  We were trying to get her to stop doing her own shoveling at 78yo.  We knew they wouldn't consider it at necessity to pay for, and tried to make it a gift.

 

She would call him and say she'd do it herself and stop him from coming and doing the job most of the time.  She didn't want us to have the expense, and he didn't do it the way she liked it, and she wanted to keep doing it to keep her strength up.  So what are we adult kids supposed to do?!

Edited by Tina
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I have not checked what the fine is, but if they'd only get fined once a season and it was that low, we'd be better off just letting them get fined. The lowest cost I could find was $30/storm or $275 a year. 

 

how much would it cost to pay a service?  or a neighbor?

you need those costs for comparison.

 

They are cash poor but assets rich: they haven't downsized from the home where they raised my spouse and his siblings. They love it and refuse to move, but they can't really afford it or take care of it anymore. It's an on-going disagreement

 

if they can't maintain their home - they are losing value.   i just did house hunting with my brother (his zip code's market isn't quite as hot as mine)   and the houses the elderly parents refused to leave (until they died or ended up in a nursing home.) and condition often ranged from poor to extremely poor.  (a well-cared for long-time family owned home was the exception.) many were sold "as is", or else the family would spend a lot just to clean them up so they could put them on the market.  or a buyer would get one at a much lower upfront price - but have to do a lot of work just to make it habitable.

by selling when the home is in better condition will give a better price for their next living situation.

 

if they can't/won't remove the snow / pay someone to remove the snow - it might be kinder (in the long run) to allow them to feel some pain of being fined for not removing the snow.  it would help in the "discussions" that is it time to downsize to senior living, where they don't have to worry about maintenance.  (or even general weekly cleaning.)

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I know people who prefer their inlaws to their blood relatives.

I get along better with a sil than my own sister, or brother.

I have an acquaintance - whose EX-MIL treated her new baby with her new husband - as though she were her own grandchild. (so - she was treated exactly like the other kids.) I witnessed it firsthand. amazing woman, and a real example of what makes a GOOD mil.

 

 

I would also call senior services org and see what is available.

or a neighbor/kid. I like the idea of taking cookies around. . . .

it could also be it is time for the inlaws to realize - if they can't do basic maintenance/pay for it - they need to move to senior housing. (which can still be quite nice, depending upon their finances.)

 

 

 

this.

not to mention - how often on this board have we heard from people who wanted to distance themselves from their parents (for whatever reason), even when the parent can't care for themselves?

so - no one here can say they don't understand the concept that there are some parents out there whose kids dont' want to be around them.

To be fair, the finer point is often that people want to not have to take on financial responsibility for parents who were capable, but refused to use their funds wisely, with the result that the financial and caretaking demands means the adult children have to step away from caring for their families and jobs. Where the need is real, compassion should and often does run deep. When the need is a result of willfully neglected planning... well, that's all kinds of painful.

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We set up for someone to shovel for my folks last year, with us kids paying.  We were trying to get her to stop doing her own shoveling at 78yo.  We knew they wouldn't consider it at necessity to pay for, and tried to make it a gift.

 

She would call him and say she'd do it herself and stop him from coming and doing the job most of the time.  She didn't want us to have the expense, and he didn't do it the way she liked it, and she wanted to keep doing it to keep her strength up.  So what are we adult kids supposed to do?!

 

My grandma did her own shoveling into her 80's.  That was her preference.  I guess if she wants to do it, that wouldn't bother me unless she had dementia or other health problems that made it risky. 

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Thanks for your perspective. I was hoping you would flesh out the 'nightmare' details for me. It sounds good on the surface, so it's very good to hear the cautionary tales.

The major flaws -

 

Low appraisal value to begin with

Ghastly closing costs

exorbitant monthly mortgage insurance premium charges

Limited options for parting with the property when owner moves out

Basically, the only feasible option became foreclosure to the mortgage company, a process which took almost a year to accomplish, during which time it impacted eligibility for other sources of financial assistance.

 

Again, others' experience may vary, but IME it was quite sad. But the person who took it out got exactly what he wanted in the moment: a pile of cash and no wise plan for spending it (perilously bad spending habits, in fact).

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To be fair, the finer point is often that people want to not have to take on financial responsibility for parents who were capable, but refused to use their funds wisely, with the result that the financial and caretaking demands means the adult children have to step away from caring for their families and jobs. Where the need is real, compassion should and often does run deep. When the need is a result of willfully neglected planning... well, that's all kinds of painful.

 

I've seen multiple reasons people haven't wanted/been able to help.  that's just one.

I've also seen where the child has described the parent as so toxic, they vary from willingness to help them with a roof (if they have means, and as long as they don't' have to have contact), or getting them in contact with services  - to wanting no responsibility at all.

ranging from parents who never had much, to parents who had adequate income, but were irresponsible.

 

I've done the 'take care of mom' thing.  I moved her three times.  the last few years - it was fighting my brother at an exponential rate.  (while trying to protect her from him.)  we finally took total control of her finances and gave her a cash allowance.

 

 

and I agree - I would always advise against a reverse mortgage.  so many better options out there.  (I hate payday loans too.). 

 

 

eta: the ONLY situation I've ever heard of where selling the house to the buyer, and living in it until moving out/death - was a guy with a big chunk of land that was purchased by Microsoft.  they put up a big hedge between MS campus and the house, installed beautiful flower beds and totally maintained the house/yard.  (it was visible from the street. I drove past it a number of times over several years.)   when the owner died, it turned into another building.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Maybe I am cruel, but if the in-laws cant afford to pay for snow removal, but they also refuse to downsize (and could afford if they would downsize) then they need to live with the consequences imposed by their city. I don't think their children (or you) should be required to pay for it. Either they can live independently in their current house or they can't.

Edited by City Mouse
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I may be I am cruel, but if the in-laws cant afford to pay for snow removal, but they also refuse to downsize (and could afford if they would downsie) then they need to live with the consequences imposed by their city. I don't think their children (or you) should be required to pay for it. Either they can live independently in their current house or they can't.

 

I tend to agree with you. 

 

For some people, this might be the way to get them to downsize and not blame the family. 

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Sounds like it is time for a meeting with all the In-laws kids. Where you have a list of what needs to be done, including the stuff you do each week. So list might include weekly shopping, weekly lawn maintenance, weekly cleaning, doctors appt driving, snow removal, etc etc. Then ask BIL's which they can do, and divide things up. 

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First things first, it seems that usually your parents-in-law should have been the ones to ask their sons to chip in for the cost of snow removal. If they can't remove the snow themselves, and can't afford to pay for it to be removed, and aren't able to ask for help from their relatives... are they really capable of living independently?

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First things first, it seems that usually your parents-in-law should have been the ones to ask their sons to chip in for the cost of snow removal. If they can't remove the snow themselves, and can't afford to pay for it to be removed, and aren't able to ask for help from their relatives... are they really capable of living independently?

 

My mother wouldn't take help and was not coping, but was also mentally capable of decisions.  I had to step back and let things fall apart until we reached a crisis where she had no choice.  It was very difficult to wait.

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I don't provide regular information updates: I don't generally talk to them. I hope they are talking to their parents. It seems inappropriate to provide unsolicited updates to them, but maybe I'm imagining it wrong.

 

This may be part of the problem. If they don't understand the level of help their parents need, then communication should be improved. It is completely appropriate for your husband to talk to his brothers about their parents' needs.

 

I would have been annoyed at their "no" response as well. I imagine there is some reason behind it. If you don't regularly communicate, a request for money might have come across the wrong way to them. Or maybe they have financial burdens you are not aware of. Or maybe they think they should not contribute to their parents' ability to stay in a home that they perhaps should sell. Maybe they are already giving them money for other things and have reached their limit. Who knows?

 

Maybe your husband could talk about it with them?

 

 

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This may be part of the problem. If they don't understand the level of help their parents need, then communication should be improved. It is completely appropriate for your husband to talk to his brothers about their parents' needs.

 

I would have been annoyed at their "no" response as well. I imagine there is some reason behind it. If you don't regularly communicate, a request for money might have come across the wrong way to them. Or maybe they have financial burdens you are not aware of. Or maybe they think they should not contribute to their parents' ability to stay in a home that they perhaps should sell. Maybe they are already giving them money for other things and have reached their limit. Who knows?

 

Maybe your husband could talk about it with them?

 

Absolutely! The children all need to know what is going on. It is quite possible that the brothers have no idea how much help the parents are requiring at this time. Your IL's may not be honest with them about how much help they need, or may be downplaying how much help they are getting from your husband. Likewise, they may be providing financial support to your parents that you are unaware of.  speak from personal experience on that one - we were supporting my parents long before my siblings knew about it, mainly because it wasn't their business at the time, When larger expenses started coming along that everyone was well aware of, then it became obvious to them that we were helping. But, to this day they don't know how far back or how much monetary support we provided to them through the years. It truly wasn't any of their business, until it was. Then they only needed to know what affected them. 

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Well the reverse mortgage may be a nightmare for those left behind but maybe that is what the bil deserve. I suggest she gets a reverse mortgage and you decline to be an executor.

 

Eta. I won't be rushing to help my father but since he just at 69 had his 8th child and his partner is younger than me that doesn't seem unreasonable.

Edited by kiwik
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My mother wouldn't take help and was not coping, but was also mentally capable of decisions.  I had to step back and let things fall apart until we reached a crisis where she had no choice.  It was very difficult to wait.

 

I was wondering if this was part of the reason that the other sons aren't offering to pay.  Maybe they have talked to the parents about that fact that staying in the home isn't sustainable.  From personal experience, they may have talked to them over and over and over about it.  At some point, the only hope is to stop doing all of the bail-outs and let them see that they really can't do it themselves.  

 

I definitely think it's time for a real conversation amongst the kids. Just like parents dealing with children, when dealing with elderly parents there needs to be a united front.

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That stinks and seems patently unfair. 

My parents are getting up there and my sister lives closest so she and her dh do most of the things needed.  She is also the one who does most of the ER runs with them because she works at the hospital and can ensure the care they need.

Dh went over last week to fix their washing machine and I swing in once a week or so to help out.  I also do most of the purchasing for items they need, most recently, a bike basket for Dad's walker. 

My sister and I agreed long ago that when it is time, she will take our parents in and we will be taking my in laws in and it sure looks like that time is coming soon.

 

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Well the reverse mortgage may be a nightmare for those left behind but maybe that is what the bil deserve. I suggest she gets a reverse mortgage and you decline to be an executor.

 

Eta. I won't be rushing to help my father but since he just at 69 had his 8th child and his partner is younger than me that doesn't seem unreasonable.

It's not just hard on those left behind. A person may need to move out of a reverse-mortgaged house (physical issues, dementia) before death. While the value of the home may be liquidated, or owed to the mortgage company, the elderly person's name remains on the deed as property owner. It counts as an asset when applying for Medicaid. That can be a big problem and barrier to an elder receiving needed care (i.e. Nursing home acceptance/fees). I was told by a number of administrators in various states that nursing homes (or rather the corporations that run them) will not accept applicants who have a reverse mortgage included in the financial portion of their applications because it is very difficult to trace what happened to the mortgage proceeds over the Medicaid required 60 month lookback period.

 

It's really complicated. That's why I harp on Plan Ahead.

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That stinks and seems patently unfair. 

My parents are getting up there and my sister lives closest so she and her dh do most of the things needed.  She is also the one who does most of the ER runs with them because she works at the hospital and can ensure the care they need.

Dh went over last week to fix their washing machine and I swing in once a week or so to help out.  I also do most of the purchasing for items they need, most recently, a bike basket for Dad's walker. 

My sister and I agreed long ago that when it is time, she will take our parents in and we will be taking my in laws in and it sure looks like that time is coming soon.

 

if she's having to do that many ER runs - something needs to change.

 

I went through that with my mom.  she would double rx doses, or skip them.  every three months, she'd be in the hospital and then rehab to get resituated.  then, do it all over again.   she was also falling  - some of which required the ER.  and TIA's . .. .   I finally had to put my foot down.  I also ended up having to get her in a place that could offer the daily medical support she needed.  She had her own apartment, but they had a nurse to dispense rx, and could cater her menu for dysphagia.  ('cause she wouldn't follow it by herself.)

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They are cash poor but assets rich: they haven't downsized from the home where they raised my spouse and his siblings. They love it and refuse to move, but they can't really afford it or take care of it anymore. It's an on-going disagreement

By continuing to help them and pay for things all you're doing is enabling them to live in a house outside their means.  I would stop all financial help.  They can pay or ask their other sons.  I would continue to take them to the grocery store (or other errands) once a week but I wouldn't pay for anything.

 

Oops, didn't realize this was a JAWM... which I kind of do... other sons should step up and it is unreasonable to expect you to do everything.

Edited by foxbridgeacademy
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By continuing to help them and pay for things all you're doing is enabling them to live in a house outside their means. I would stop all financial help. They can pay or ask their other sons. I would continue to take them to the grocery store (or other errands) once a week but I wouldn't pay for anything.

This is exactly what I think, but I didn’t want to say it because of JAWM.

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We are not elderly yet, 59, but my husband was diagnosed with ALS this year and can't use his arms now. I can't be shoveling snow if he needs me.  We have a wonderful, helpful couple that live next door.  I spoke to the husband and offered to buy a new snow blower and allow him to use it on his walkways if he would blow our walkways too.  He was more than willing to help. 

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