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It’s amazing how time flies.  As children, we’re dependent upon our parents for virtually everything in life.  The next thing you know, we’re all grown up, giving our parents advice, telling them what to do and trying to organize their lives.  The amazing thing is that they actually listen and sometimes even comply.

I was always very proud of having the youngest parents around.  My parents got married and had me when they were barely 18.   It was wonderful growing up with young parents, and I feel blessed to have them still relatively young next to my children and I.  However, most of my friends are not as fortunate.  Their parents tend to be much older, and the years take their toll.  As a result, I get to watch how they struggle to take care of their parents while balancing their own lives.   

grandparents

In my culture, a nursing home is not an option.  So as we strive to live our best lives by being the best in everything, it is becoming harder then ever to cater to ailing parents and still be there for our children and spouses.  What can we do?  The answer lies in planning ahead.

We all know that some things are inevitable, and just as we plan for our retirement, we must think of our parents’ final years as well.  Some of our parents are financially well off and have provided for their care.  But for those who didn’t, it’s our job as children to make sure that when the time comes, we’re prepared to take care of them as they took care of us, until the very last day.

Talk About the Financials

I want to share with you a sad but funny story I recently heard.   

A friend’s grandfather - who is very wealthy - decided to open a CD without saying a word to anyone.  He transferred all his money into a high-yield CD with ridiculous penalties for early withdrawal.  When the grandmother came upon a paper with a maturity date of 2034, she immediately contacted her son-in-law.  After a few calls to the bank, he confirmed that grandpa had indeed locked away all his money for the next 28 years.   

The question is – why did he do it?  His daughter is in her ‘60s and his only grandson is in his ‘40s. Clearly they could use the money when grandpa passes away.  The answer had to do with the misguided intentions of grandpa.  At 92, he knows he will not live forever, but he believes his children will.  So it seemed like a good long-term decision to put the money away until they “really need it.”

Please talk to your parents and get their finances straight while they are alive.  If necessary, bring in a CPA or financial planner to help with the process.  Above all, make sure they have a power of attorney in place for their finances and for their medical wishes.  Making these kinds of decisions before they are forced upon you will save all kinds of heartache and legal problems when you least need them.

Through it all, the hardest part is learning to care for those who cared for us as children.  Even when we grow up and have children of our own, we still consider ourselves children while our parents are alive.  It is only after they have left us that we become real adults and assume the mantle of “elder generation.”

For the past year, a very dear friend of mine has been struggling to take care of her sick father.  Even with the help of three sisters it has been no easy task.  Recently she asked me a poignant question for which I had no answer: How come one parent can take care of four kids, but four kids are unable to take care of one parent?

I’ll be thinking about that one for a long time to come.

All the best,
Yana




Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Neumann wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Good post, Yana.  I loved the story about the grandfather locking his money away for 28 years!

      My dad passed away last year at the age of 93.  It is so hard to watch your parents get older and unable to do what they used to. They still want to be independent and often, are unable to accept the fact they can’t be any longer.

      I have no parents anymore, and it’s so hard.  I don’t think it matters how old we get, we still want to know our parents are there.  So treasure them while you have them.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathy Holmes wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Well, in my case, I feel like I had to parent my parents my entire life. LOL! My parents were so young when they married that they ended up breaking up before I was born. And my step dad came along and he was just as young and immature.

      It’s one of those cases where I was more like my grandmother - having deeper insights into life - and my parents needed me to be an adult so I could show them what they should be doing. LOL! They probably don’t see it that way.

      Now they each have separate families and those kids are taking care of them now that they‘re older. Strange but true and maybe happens more often than we might think.

      I’d love to take care of them but I’ve never seen my parents together.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Good and timely post Yana, as this situation is sitting right in front of me. My mother died at age 57, and my dad at 68, so I didn’t have to face this issue with them. But last month we took my in-laws to Laughlin for a get-away weekend, and my father in-law died at the Seafood Buffet. Really.  

      Now my mother inlaw, at 76 is pretty lost and showing early signs of Alzheimers, which is how her mother went. Physically, she’s incredible, so what happens now? I guess this is the upside of losing my own parents early... not to have to worry about them “getting old“. Of course I would trade, because I miss them both sooo much, every day.  

      It’s complicated, isn’t it? This cycle of life...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Good post honey.....

      I keep touching wood as my parents are in good health and quite robust but we live over 250 miles away and I worry that when the time comes it will be a nightmare.
      I’m actually looking for a small house to buy down here ready ....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I have had to take care of my parents.  My father died 11 years ago this past Sunday.  We were so consumed with his health and care at the time we did not see the very early signs of alzeheimers that my mother was showing.  It was not until 3 years later after his death did we get the confirmed diagnosis of alzheimers.  My mother is 82 years old and has suffered with this horrible disease that long.  After being diagnosed along with her agreement (thank goodness) she moved into an assisted living.  Thank the good Lord she had saved during her working years to afford her the luxury of living in assisted living for 4 years.  Assisted living facilities are not cheap but it was her money..she deserved to live as independently as she could.  Now she has been in a nursing home for over 3 years and is given excellent care.  She is in an alzeheimers wing at this nursing home that is affiliated with one of our local hospitals.  Before all of her money ran out and she went on Medicaid...we did pre pay for her funeral expenses so when that time came it was paid for and done.  

      Please make sure your parents have wills, POA’s living wills.  I see and deal with the financial end of it as well everyday...and when these things are not into place it can be a grand mess.  And not only make sure your parents have these things in place...but YOU as well.  We are not promised tomorrow.  

      Thanks for article Yana....this is something I have already lived.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joyousone wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Well my Mom’s done pretty well alone since Dad passed away 12 years ago but ... she still owns her own home and the responsibilities and work at age 88.  It’s beginning to really take a toll on her so luckily my timing has been perfect to now help her out more.  I was recently layed off from my last job and decided I could finally retire for good.  Now I have the time and energy to help her out more so she can stay in her home.  Sometimes even the littlest thing is a big help to them at that age and the hug I get before leaving her is the best thank you.  She can’t go into an apt. (and really doesn’t want to) because they‘re too expensive.  My husband isn’t well and we have a small ranch so right now her living with us wouldn’t work out that well.  But if it came down to it she’d need a nurse or aide to help her more down the road, I’d try to share the responsibility with that person as much as I could and she could stay in her home.  She doesn’t live far from me so that’s not a problem.  I just have to adjust my time between my home and taking care of my husband and helping her out.  I’ll find the balance - I have to - I love them both.  If I had the money, I’d build her her own little area attached to our house - we have the land for it.  I’m figuring it out as we go along - you do when you care for each other.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary McGuire wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I am in the last stages of caregiving for my mother who is 92. I was born to older parents so I watched them care for grandmother/great aunts and uncles in their aging and dying process. My mother’s only brother died at 42 of diabetic complications.  My parents were open about the problems and discussed how they wanted to be treated at their end.  AT 69 yrs old, my father died of a brain tumor and spent the last 3 months downstairs in the library of our home where he died at peace with my mother at his side. Dealing with the death of family is difficult, it reminds us of our own mortality.  My mother now wishes she could move to Oregon to get assisted suicide.  The pain doctor says “Well just go to the emergency room if the pain gets too bad“.  She has a collapsing spine due to ostoporosis and now extra pain due to spinal stenosis.  I live in another state and drive up to stay for 1 week a month.  After researching alternatives for her pain management (Acupunuture/chiropractic/hypotherapy), there is nothing available in that state.  Glad I moved here and when people ask, I will only move back TEMPORARILY to care for and manage the final days.
      I stay sane by continuing my schedule at home as best I can. Luckily with some money coming in, I can live withiout a job for a while, and continue with diet exercise and personal care. I actually enjoy the long drive, on autopilot (kidding) and listening to CDs.
      Each path is different, what works for one individual may not for another.  My mother has daily caregivers so she is cared for.  People will try to guilt trip you into lots of things that they think are right, but the reality is that individual situations and desires must be considered.  If I lived with my mother, I would be dead in 6 months.  She still smokes, and I am allergic to cigarette smoke. I was considered a sickly child until I moved into my  own smoke free place.  Well enough venting, except for this - if I did not have a personal faith and had experienced near death, I would be probably worse off.  She is the last of my family so I always wonder, “Who will care for me?”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Oh yes, as an ex social worker this is something I am very well aware of. My Mum is 80 and still very hale and hearty. I couldn’t contemplate a nursing home for her either and we are mid build a house for her on a plot of land adjacent to our home. I have visions of running back and forth with hot pot etc.
      But it’s not easy. You are so right Yana; these are conversations we need to have, however difficult we find them. Thanks for the thoughts.
      [Link Removed] 


      Changingpeople, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • My mom and I often talk about the future; it’s important to me that her wishes are carried out. She doesn’t want to go to a nursing like her mom did. So far at 80 she is very self sufficient and healthy. But who knows when that can take a turn? But as we research cost with regard to in home care I don’t know if she will be able to afford it for the long haul. I want to honor her wishes. I would consider moving in with her and having part time in home care so she and I can share quality time in her final years. My husband wouldn’t be happy with it but she’s my mom and I’d do it despite his feelings.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jainey08 wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Both my parents live with us, they are in their 80’s and up until a couple of years ago have been in good health, now they both are going blind amongst other things. Im 46 and the only daughter, I never invisioned them getting old and their loosing the sight is one of the worst things, the cancer they have had was bad enough but their sight! Sometimes it really gets me down and I know its only going to get worse, my youngest son only has a year left to graduate so will be out on his own at college and Im already feeling it. I am lucky to have a wonderful understanding husband so im grateful for that but why do I feel this onslaught of misery?  Sorry and thanks for anyone listening happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I hear you Yana.  My mom is quite sharp, but very opinionated-dad is so forgetful that my sister and I are fearful of what he will do.  Mom isn’t being honest w/ herself and refuses to put a halt on his driving.  Which, even 40 years ago was awful and scary.

      hubby’s mom is just a horrid old bat but he and his sister don’t want to face the fact that she needs to go into (at the least)an assisted care facility.

      No one wants to see their parents in this state, but we are there, so we should all just suck it up and make the right choices, unfortunately this might mean making them mad at us.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sunkist wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Very appropriate subject for me Yana.  My dad will be 90 on his next birthday, my mom is 86. My dad used to be a very savvy salesman in his day, while now just about anyone can come to his house and sell him anything.  My mom is pretty dependant on my dad.  

      I have been taking care of them both for the past few years as my dad’s drivers license was taken away due to the fact that he was getting lost and disappearing for over 8 hours at a time!

      There are some days where I will have to go to my parent’s house twice or even three times, fortunately they live only 5 miles from me.  They live in a house and therefore there are many responsibilities attached to its upkeep.  

      It is sad to see my dad slowing down so much and becoming more dependent on me to take him to his appointments and do their shopping, but in a way I find it to be rewarding as well.  I’m glad I can be there for them at this time in their life.  My sister lives across the country and wishes there was more she could do to help out but it is physically impossible.  

      The really really good thing is that both of them have a very positive attitude and have not become complainers or neative and crabby, I am trly thankful for this as it makes my time with them much more pleasant and easier for me to help them out.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary McGuire wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • If you have the land space there are now pre-fab shelters designed for adding space for a senior to move which still allows the senior to remain in an independent space.  Check out the American Society on Aging website.  I saw the promos at the last meeting I could attend.  I don’t remember the pricing but it seemed to be cheaper than remodeling an existing dwelling or moving to get more space.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Christ discusses such things in the bible.....“watch the days of your youth...” many decide to wait till they have careers, money etc.....verses letting the Lord lead them in the right direction.
      Many times when you are older....patience wears thin and you can’t tolerate things @ older stage in life verses. late teens/early adulthood.
      I pray that my daughter will not have to do much for me if the Lord sees fit for me to “grow old“. I pray that I won’t be a burden to her.
      On the other  hand....if I events are different I hope we raised her well so she got sense of enough to stop by and check in us without begging and pleading her to see how we are.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Some of you have stated that you didn’t want to put your parents into a nursing home.  Believe me I do understand that way of thinking but when their mind is gone they do not know any different plus...if you have a good caring nursing home...they can be a Godsend.  

      It would be very difficult for any one of my sisters or me to care for my mother.  We all work and have to.  We are very grateful to the nursing facility that cares for our mother.  I have never seen a more caring facility. They are constantly hugging the residents...talking to them...helping them...and making sure they are fed, clean, and calm.  I had mixed emotions when we brought my mother to this nursing home.  I cried and thought she didn’t belong there but now..more than ever..I know we did the right thing.  

      But the biggest factor in taking care of aging parents is respecting their wishes...(within reason)....letting them age with dignity....and making sure they have all their financial issues complete and in order.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Julie Molner wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • “Assuming the mantle of the elder generation” as you put it was very uncomfortable and sad for me.  Both of my parents died in 2003 within four months of one another.  It took me a few years to adjust to the major change and my adult children felt a big difference once they no longer had their “Nonno and Nonni” (that’s Italian for Grandfather and Grandma).  It is so true that we need to do all we can for our parents and to appreciate and love them while they are with us.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Akmom61 wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Both my parents are deceased, my 91 year old mom passed away just this past September, a week after my 47th birthday.  It was very bittersweet, because I’m glad she was alive to see it, but I was torn because I knew she was not going to make it.  Our dad died in 2001 of complications to do with Alzheimers.  It’s really a wake up call when your parents are gone, it doesn’t matter how old we are, we still need them in our lives.  But what can we do?  We have to go on and live our lives, and take care of our kids, and repeat the cycle again.  As the Lion King says, it’s the “Circle of Life”

      Yana, we kept both our parents at home, because in our culture, we don’t put them in a nursing home either!  It’s hard in a lot of ways, but it is very rewarding too.

      Peace to all of you,

      Kelly Powell



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joesangel wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I think this subject is dear to all of our hearts. My Mom is
      living is an assisted living home. She is 77 and she loves it there. Tho she is a Cancer survivor,she is still pretty
      healthy, but she is very emotionally unstable. She is emotionally dependent on us kids. I am the oldest of seven.
      I am the only one that doesn’t live in the same home state.
      Mom has no confidence in herself. She calls me quite often
      and wants to know what I would do about certain things. After I tell her, she will continue to ask others and get
      lots of different opinions, till she gets all confused and still doesn’t know what to do and she will cry and get upset. She continues to be extremely negative and it is so
      difficult to help her when she is this way. She doesn’t see the logic to be more optimistic. When she asks about us...we
      will start to talk and before we can finish our sentence, she is interupting to say something about herself!!!

      I know she doesn’t mean to be this way, but it is so hurtful
      and so frustrating to us all. Does anyone else deal with this? Thanks for all the sharing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Brenna wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • My parents are both deceased, but I thank you for sharing.  This line was quite poignant:  “How come one parent can take care of four kids, but four kids are unable to take care of one parent?”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Brenna you have spoken tothe heart of the matter!!!! I am a RN...I started my career as an CNA....what an eye opening experience and my heart was changed.
      The experience I had was such a blessing because you see where people’s heart’s truly are.
      Many are not willing to make sacrifices needed to take care of older parents.....they are too busy with their own lives and too many things are hidden in their hearts with making that kind of sacrifice!
      The facilities are also a blessings to have, but as an ADULT child, you still must constantly be on the “lookout” for all dangers that are ahead when you put the trust in the facility/staff! Something that too many adult children allow. They put all their trust in them and then get upset when they see mom or pop not taken care of the way they think they should be taken care of just because of the monies that have been invested!
      I pray the Lord gives me the strength and will do right by my folks!!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Joesangel...“once an adult,twice a child.”  Ask the Lord to give you patience so  you are not beside yourself with worry and grief!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joesangel wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Thanks Moodydee for your kind words. I do that quiet often, as do my sisters. In fact, we call one another to try to figure out how to “deal with” Mom’s negativity and how best
      to help her.    Donna



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I will agree that there are some very bad nursing homes out there and some adult children do pawn their parents off to them...rarely come visit and do not keep check on their well being.  

      BUT...there are some very good facilities out there as well.  Just because you put your parents in a nursing home doesn’t mean you are not WILLING to take care of them or you don’t care what happens to them.  I’m kinda of picking up that tone on some of the posts and if I’m incorrect in that...please forgive me.  

      There are four us...all girls and we all live right here in the same area.  Between the four of us..we are all dropping in at different times...DAILY...checking on our mother.  We do care what happens to her..and thank God our mother was smart enough to make sure ALL OF HER AFFAIRS were taken care of...and all of her WISHES WERE MET...in her care.  WE make sure our mother’s hair is done weekly....her nails are manicured...and we still dress her like she always liked to be dressed.  The difference in the nursing home we have her in and other nursing homes...hers in affiliated with a very reputable hospital in Augusta.  They have very high standards and the employees that are in her wing..have been there for years.  They have very little turn over..which says something. You have to look for all of these things when choosing.  We are just fortunate to have found one that meets every need.  I can say this for many of the other families dealing with the same thing we are....they take better care of our parents than any of us could ever.
      I just want to make sure you all understand...just because you put your parents in a nursing home doesn’t mean you are less of an adult child.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • You are a rare breed MaryClark......many would not divide up the time.....I have been a nurse for over 15  years....MANY siblings would place that on one child and it is usually the Oldest Female child.....it is a blessing that you have siblings that are working together!
      The facilities that are good is because of ADULT children like you and your siblings who constantly are checking in and observing how she is cared for on a daily basis! That is how the facilities stay good and out of trouble with the adult children!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Oh believe me...my sisters and I...thank God everyday for the people who care for our mother.  If she gets a scratch...they are calling us.  We are informed of everything they do, they change...everything...and we’ve never asked for it.  They are just that way.  And when we are visiting...not only do they “love” our mother..but they are constantly hugging the other residents...listening to them even when they make no sense.  It is sad when adult children put their parents away to just let them stay there without ever visiting or checking up on them.  WE are very aware that problem exists.  My sisters and I are just so fortunate that our mother raised us to be kind and caring individuals. We respect and love her because she did the same for us.  It is very hard taking care of elderly parents...and especially when they have lost all memories of you.  But...again...we are blessed...she is still very pleasant...and very funny.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Dahringer wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Yana  

      Thank you for this wonderful post. In our culture too we don’t put our elderly parents in assisted care,or a nursing home despite of their illness.We take great care of them until the very end of their lives..I am so grateful that my parents taught us girls many valuable lessons in life.Because they owned their own business for the better part of thirty years or more,showed us what hard work is..



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • My question is...I’ve heard so many of you state “in our culture” we don’t put our elderly parents in whatever...so what is your culture?  Just asking....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mochadoll wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • Good Evening,

      It’s very nice hearing stories of others doing the right thing and taking care of their parents the way they were nurtured and taken care of since birth.  This may be from birth parents or even adoptive parents.  This is still wonderful.

      My dad died when I was 16 and my mom died when I was 29.  I don’t know what’s worse, having ONE parent for all of those years or not having TWO.  Either way, I struggle with it everyday.

      God Bless you all......And, your families....

      “K”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shauna1957 wrote Apr 14, 2009
    • I am an only child and am divorced...so that means the responsibility falls totally on me. My dad died about 3 1/2 yrs. ago. He had fallen and broken his hip and it was all downhill from there.His health had been bad for many, many years before he broke his hip.
      My mom is 80 and lives alone, now. I work close by and live about 15-20 mins. away. But, recently after taking her to the hospital I realized that everything was changing and she wanted me to start handling the doctors, appointments, tests. I grocery shop for her and do some chores, etc. The torch had now been passed and I am now parenting my parent. I am happy and able to do it. But at the same time the awesome responsibility scares me. I can’t help think who will be there to take care of me when I grow old?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote Apr 15, 2009
    • Yana, your post REALLY hit a core.. you mention “how can a parent care for four kids, but four kids can’t take care for a parent“? That is SO true. I have one sister and two brothers and it’s me that has to care for my mom pretty much most of the time, she calls on me for any little thing. My older brother lives a FEW seconds from her, my sister lives about 2 or 3 mins from her, my “lil” brother lives about 10 mins from her. I live across town, which takes me about 20 to 25 mins, we don’t live in a big town, but I do have to drive across town, when the other three can do for her, yes my brothers do work, but that is no excuse for them NOT to come around..and no their wives DO NOT help or visit her. My sister does when she can, but when I need help, it’s like she HAS to decide if she can help out. Don’t get me wrong I Love doing for my mom, she has been both mom and dad to us all till she started getting sick, which has been this past 5 yrs(or so).
      My dad passed away almost 38 yrs ago and he was her(mom’s) life, she never remarried, now I feel the roles are reversed..She was in the hospital a few days ago, she had another a mini-stroke and along with all her other illness, it’s painful for ME to see her like this. She has ALWAYS been this strong, hard-working,woman now she is so fragile she is 66 yrs and losing so much weight,and just yesterday as we left the doctor’s office( on the way home to her apt, she chooses to live by herself) she said that I need to decided to put her in a nursing home.. What do you say to something like that? I do have POA, but that doesn’t make it ok.. I pray everyday that my brothers & sister come around more (before it’s to late)There are days I don’t even want to get out of bed were I’m SO tired and worn-out. But just like my mom I need to be strong not just for her but for MY family.. Thank you all for listening..



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Renny wrote Apr 15, 2009
    • I have read all of the posts and it is interesting to hear what everyone else has to say about their unique situations.  It helps because I am not in a situation of having to care for parents yet, but it is fast approaching as it does for everyone.  My mother pasted 16 yrs ago and my father (79) lives across the country with his new wife.  I am the only child that lives so far away, so he luckily has a lot of support from my siblings.  However, my husband's parents are both in there mid 80's and I can see the writing on the wall that my husband and I are going to be their caregivers in the very near future.  My husband has two brothers but they both live outside of the area and are not available (and choose not) to help.  We are considering a new home that is more suitable for having them live with us.  But after I read about how so many of you are dealing with that and I wonder if that is the answer.  Both my husband and I work full time (plus some) and will continue to need to do that.  My mother in-law has expressed her desire to stay at an assisted living facility where her sister lived for a while.  My husband thinks that is the best answer, but I can't help but feel like we need to be there for them more and not just send them off.  They are wonderful people and I love them both, but I realize that part of what I am feeling is guilt because I wasn't there for my mother in her last days and I am not there for my father now, so I need to make some kind of retribution.  Does helping my in-laws make up for not being available for my own family?!?



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      Mary McGuire wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • It sounds like you need some support.  Yeah, family doesn’t always help.  I had 2 brothers, but they never came home.  They had their own emotional/mental problems.  Look for network support groups in your area.  Check for family counselers that can help you reach out to your family members for help in they way that they are able to provide help.  Someone in the family can look for information on the web,another can send notes/cards/flowers, someone could provide vacation relief.  Find tasks that they can handle.  Find help for yourself.  Check if there is a Faith in Action non-profit in your area.  This is a national organization.   Many provide volunteer transportation, chore assistance and friendly calls to help you handle the stress.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mochadoll wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • Good Evening,

      My hat’s off to all of you ladies.  You are the best set of women that I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

      Thank you for the opportunity to be able to say I know you all.

      “K”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Queen1522 wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • There is so many answers to this question. Some children are not able to care for their parents because of finances. Unable to give of their time because they are forced to work. We have to acknowledge that some didn’t have nice parents therefore they are not willing to help out. Some can’t bear to see their parents suffer or be in pain. I just went through this myself. The doctors gave my father two weeks to six months to live. It hurt me so bad to see my father in such a condition. I never thought I would have to bath, feed, dress, and help medicate my father. I have been doing the work for 26 years and when it came down to me caring for my father it wasn’t easy. It was very hard. It was very emotional for me. I had to force myself to not break down in front of him. Fighting to hold back the tears. This is a time when children have to be there for eachother during the process. Give each one room to breath, and cry. Be a help and a strength for one another.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • Marie66:  All I can say is....you do what you know is right..and when your mother is gone and you did everything in your power to help her...you will be at peace with yourself.  You can’t worry about what your siblings are going to do or not.  They are the ones that have to liver with their decisions.  I know that doesn’t help you now...but don’t waste your precious energy worrying about what they do.  If you are the POA..then inform them..and do what you have to do.  Best of luck in it all...it’s very hard.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jewelrybyirina wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • Good subject Yana!
      Unfortunately,
      I will not be able to take care of my father- he lives in Russia with his wife.  I can only help him with money.   Mom mom is a cancer survivor.  She lives with my step dad and pretty active.  Never the less I have to plan ahead for whatever might happen.  My mother in-low is not healthy at all.  She is in her wheel chair, she has a ‘short’ memory loss.  My father-in low is retired and taking care of his wife.  They got 2 sons.  We are helping as much as we can and nobody is thinking about nursing home, but I do understand maryclark.  We are all working and my father-in low doing most of the hard work.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • That is right Maryclark.........it is so much on the “girl child” of the family!
      None of us think we will be put in a position to care for elderly parents....but this is the way!
      As for your question earlier with reference to cultures...I have lived in the Asian community for several years and Hispanic. Puerto Rico...almost 2 years, Hawaii 3 years, Japan 3 years.....Asian communities are very particular about the elders and children! It is a “great honor” and you are put to shame before any community when they find out you don’t care for your parents.
      Japan has a custom that the unmarried girl child will take care of the elders.
      Hawaii they are also frowned upon....it is taboo not to revere the elderly.....they are like Gods and revered!
      Hispanic Culture.....much of the family dynamics are extended family members and everybody pitches in!!!!!
      Although they implement the same health care modalities as in the US.....nursing homes, extended care facilities, assisted living facilities are a LAST RESORT....many will have home health involved before they send them away or they will live with the adult child/or rotate to the different children!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • Moodyme:  That is very interesting.  Thanks for explaining your many cultures.  I think that is grand that they are able to care for their elderly parents.  But just know..that everyone does not have that luxury...and yes I would call it a luxury.  

      But I feel that because we have our mother where she is...we are giving her so much more than any of us could ever give her or do for her.  They are able to care for our mother so much more than any of us could.  They are trained to handle her plus...everything about her is monitored 24 hours a day.  She gets therapies that we would never be able to provide for her on a consistent basis and she is around other people.  I don’t think we would be as in tune to her as they are.  But I’m speaking for my situation.  I know that if my mother were in her right mind...she would be proud of her girls in what we have done for her. I thank God everyday for providing us with a facility that cares for their residents as they do.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote Apr 16, 2009
    • maryclark: Thank you for your kind words, it does help, but sometimes I just want to SCREAM.. and I always told myself and my boys (young men) don’t let it get to us what other people say or do, but I can’t help myself feeling so angry. I know when the times comes and the lord decides to take my mom to be with him, phsically I will be ok, but mentally I don’t..My heart will not be heavy,so for now I will do what I have been doing and that is taking care of her, and cherish every moment with her..Thank you again for letting me share this.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mochadoll wrote Apr 17, 2009
    • Good accurate response Mary.  This is sooooooooo truth to the enth degree.

      When my mother died in 1999 at the ripe young age of 62 of a massive heart attack, she did it in my arms - LITERALLY.  I held her while I waited for what seemed like an eternity for the ambulance came.

      I gave up my so called jet setting life 7 years prior because my mother had become ill.  I gave up a ritzy neighborhood condo that it took me 2 years of working 2 jobs to pay for. Just when I thought I had finally “arrived” and that life was good, I got the call from my mother that her doctor said she was ill and she too felt ill and that she needed me to come help her more than the twice a week grocery shopping, the bill paying and taking her back and forth to the doctors.  Her pride let her tell me that she needed me ALL the time.

      I packed up the condo.  I sold it to my brother because I couldn’t bear to rent it out, knowing that someone else was reaping the benefits that I’d worked so hard to enjoy.  I moved back into the family house with my three children at the time and took care of my mother.  My kids were old enough, so they helped her walk to the bathroom, and they made sure that she had everything she needed to bathe.  We worked for the same company but at different locations, so I dropped her off in the mornings and then headed on my end of town to work.  I picked her up in the afternoons, and we headed on home.  I took care of my mother.  I made sure she had everything she needed up until she died on August 2, 1999.

      The resentment from my siblings is that they weren’t there.  They knew that me and my kids were there for my mother in ways they never were and could now never be. I had the appreciation and the respect of my mother.  She always told me how she was grateful for the time I took with her, and the joy with the company that her grandkids gave her happiness and more than a reason for living.  She felt great and she felt content.  Her life was content.  Her health turned for the worst and she died.

      My siblings and I don’t have a close relationship because of it.  They had every chance to spend with their mother.  She was mine as well as theirs.  I would even ask them to come over on Sundays for dinner so that we could be a family, but they always had something better to do.  I always asked them if they wanted to take mom  to the doctor’s or to therapy to get closer but they always had something better to do.

      Now, mom is gone, and I don’t resent a thing.  My life continues on, and I had the best relationship any woman could ever have with her mother.  She was and is the best friend I will ever have.  No one will take that away from me and they are resntful that the time that they could have done those things, they chose something else over that.

      I will not allow them to take away my great memories.

      Keep up the good work ladies.

      “K”

      PS  It doesn’t matter if they are not your natural parents, or you weren’t treated ideally.  Forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you.  Keeping that in mind, you will be happier in life.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 17, 2009
    • Glory to the Lamb of god Machodoll!!!! What a blessing for you and your children....your siblings convicted that is all! They should have been there and had no excuse like you said!
      But thank the Lord for the one sibling that was annoited to do God’s will! Blessings for you and your seeds!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carlagalla wrote Apr 19, 2009
    • Great post. and juggling raising your own children and taking care of your parents at the same time is challenging. I have to say our communication with my father and including others at our family and the kids have improved when my father became more online. We use for him a service called FamiliLink. It includes a very easy email for him plus he receives now photos and videos we sent him as email attachments all at one place. He has become more part of our so digital lives. My older kids exchange weekly messages with him and that is very sweet to see. On top if it I help him with  his daily schedule and medication reminders. Just nice to be able to use the internet to help caring and more time efficient as well

      Best
      Carla



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Apr 20, 2009
    • Yana I too was blessed that my parents had me at a very young age. They are still vital and enjoying life. My worst nightmare will come when I loose either one of them. I can’t imagine life without them.

      I did however see the struggles that were put upon my parents (mostly my mom) taking care of my grandparents. I could see it wearing her down day by day... week by week. She was a good daughter-in-law until the day both of my grandparents died. It will forever be etched in my memory as to the loving care they received.

      I will want my parents with me when the time comes that they can no longer take care of themselves. It will be my honor and privelege. I will take each step, and each breathe with them... as they are my heart.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary McGuire wrote Apr 21, 2009
    • Wow, what an example of modeling to your children.  Now they will have a good idea of how to care for you if needed.  I try to tell parents of children, model the behavor and talk about the caring for elders, blood or not.  It is essential that we learn caregiving for all ages, not just children but elders.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ann Vossler wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • Isn't it the truth.  I was just thinking about this the other day.  My mother passed away a little over a year ago and now I'm making sure that my dad is doing what he's supposed to be doing.  It's hard though because you want them to be as "independant" as possible but yet you worry.
      Especially, like in my case, when my sister and I are both 4 to 5 hours away.



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