View Full Version : Parents that require care


Fuzzy12
01-01-17, 02:32 PM
Do you have any plans or do you know what is going to happen to your parents when they can't look after themselves anymore? Do you worry about it? Do you feel responsible?

As a completely unrelated tangent since I'm curious but don't want to start another thread: how many months in a year (total ...so maybe in several sessions) would you be fine with your parents or your partner 's parents living with you?

aeon
01-01-17, 03:28 PM
Do you have any plans or do you know what is going to happen to your parents when they can't look after themselves anymore?

Yep, I will lock her in a closet, and when she protests that she is thirsty or needs the loo, I'll throw in a metal bowl, just like she did for me, bless her heart.

Do you worry about it? Do you feel responsible?

No, and not in the least.

As a completely unrelated tangent since I'm curious but don't want to start another thread: how many months in a year (total ...so maybe in several sessions) would you be fine with your parents or your partner 's parents living with you?

Zero...there's no allowance to even visit.


Cheers,
Ian

Little Missy
01-01-17, 03:59 PM
Now, if the children were able to have a home with a Mother or Father-outlaws-suite and separate bathrooms and such, like a ranch with a walkout or even a cottage I believe it can work out fine.

There are very few children who care to do this and look to the aforeposted and rightly so.

peripatetic
01-01-17, 04:27 PM
my father lives with us when he's in the states. i adore and respect my father and we get on super well. i don't think he'll need care...i need more care than he does, quite literally. but if he were to, i would pay for whatever he needed. he wouldn't want to die in a home, but i also wouldn't want to die in a bed. it's hard for me to imagine.

my father stays with us at least four months of the year. when i was really unwell for awhile he came and stayed and took care of me.

my mum died when i was a teenager, so it's just been my father and me. i asked my m and he replied that he gets on great with *** and he's great to have around.

now...to m's parents...his father...i'd put up with it. his mum...it would be exceedingly difficult. she's very high maintenance and i'm just not well suited to engaging that sort, much less being responsible in any way for satisfying her.

Little Missy
01-01-17, 05:15 PM
And just so you all know, I did not ever have to provide actual care for my parents like I do not provide care for LOL. All of that stuff is/was farmed out.

It was just a series of synchronous and somewhat serendipitous sets of events where things happened to fall sort of into place. I frisbeed food, shopped and entertained if I was in the mood. And drove. But not for LOL. She doesn't want to go anywhere.

I would not have ever been able to completely care for both of my parents for as long as I did all the run around stuff. Nor would I.

I have my limits. Fortunately, those limits never have had to be implemented. Sheer luck.

But 15 years was a LONG time to do all that I did. For them.

I'm glad I did it, but I am very pleased it never had to go that far.

kilted_scotsman
01-01-17, 05:22 PM
I looked after my father for many years.

Though I got insight into my father's longstanding psychological issues, thereby helping my own growth, it is not something I would recommend.

Looking back I sense that I did OK..... crucial was the understanding that he would go into a home eventually, and I selected an appropriate home well ahead of time.

I also had a plan....as his condition worsened I decreased my involvement, hiring in additional carers.

The most important thing is to have ROCK SOLID BOUNDARIES..... and this involves not just with the parents involved but also the rest of the family. I would also say that counselling is ESSENTIAL in the process so one has an independent source of advice and support. This is part of self-care..... which is vital to one's resilience and also important in the process of knowing when to step back and let others take over..... eg deciding when to move someone into a home.

Drawing up Powers of Attorney, Wills and agreements on loss of earnings and expenses are also vital to the process.

Many parents seem to expect that they will simultaneously be taken care of and also rule the roost, this has to be met with firm resolute boundary management.

Having been through the process I feel it's vital to go in with one's eyes open and an exit route to hand.

Part of the process is the awareness that caring is emotionally exhausting, financially crippling and can destroy careers, marriages and friendship networks. My own experience is that caring for my father severely impacted my relationship with my children, as my father became the person my life revolved around.

As part of my psychotherapy training I did quite a bit of thinking about care and how we approach it in our culture..... not easy to distill into a post..... but the essence is that the child caring for parent is a tough one, where the role reversal often causes distress on both sides and strong boundaries are required.

My view is that bringing in professional carers at an early stage is important regardless of the cared for parents views..... the degree of emotional manipulation some parents will attempt has to be seen to be believed. Good professionals are used to this and can work round it.

My advice.... don't go there.....

finallyfound10
01-01-17, 05:40 PM
I worry about it a lot!!! It's just one more thing that stresses me out.

The major problem apart from all of the normal issues people have as we age is that my dad is an active alcoholic of 50+ years. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes don't take active alcoholics. He no longer goes anywhere as he doesn't drive anymore and just drinks and smokes all day (Yes, I buy his beer and cigarettes. Don't judge.) and he can't do that in a facility.

My sister is moving into a bigger house and wants him to move in with her and her family BUT she's lives several states away and he doesn't want to leave his house but even if she lived here he wouldn't want to move. She would put no limits on his drinking and smoking as she knows that's a losing battle but he still won't go. Our mother never tried to limit him and never had that expectation that my sister or I would after she died in 2007 from lung cancer she knew and we know its' a losing battle.

Due to his chronic drinking he has cerebellar degeneration which leads to leg weakness and unsteady gait. He has fallen and is more unsteady- as most people are- when drunk but refuses to stop. He is not safe living a lone and I feel very, very guilty as a daughter and nurse but he is still of sound mind medically and legally.

I don't want us to live together again!! I'm not a bad daughter I just want to be as normal as possible!! I'm 46 years old and haven't lived outside my parent's house for even 10 years all together yet! I moved out at 36 then back in at 40 when I basically had a nervous breakdown and back out into my own apartment this past summer at 45 turning 46.

Do any of you have older parents who are active addicts with this or similar issue?

Lunacie
01-01-17, 08:30 PM
My dad and I talked with each other maybe twice in his last 10 years, but he
included me in the power of attorney when he had one drawn up. :scratch:

My brother never consulted me when he set dad up in a nursing home, and I
was good with that.

My daughter, at a guess, is more worried about what her life will be like when
I'm gone than if I need care at some point.

When I filed for divorce 16 years ago I moved in with my daughter and her
then hubby. About a year after my divorce was final she filed for her own
divorce. We've been a team ever since.

Fuzzy12
01-01-17, 08:43 PM
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences! !

Kilted I hadnt thought about how to physically care for them but it's an important point.

Also totally agree that setting boundaries is key. I'm terrible at doing that though and my parents are terrible at respecting them.

Finallyfound no addiction issues here though my mom.suffers from severe depression and anxiety. I guess though addiction issues will require different solutions when living together.


We are thinking of maybe building am extension to the house so that whichever parent moves I'm with us has their own space and we get some privacy.

Lunacie, I don't mean this in an offensive way but did your presence somehow impact your daughter's marriage? I'm curious because my parents spending a few months with us every year is putting a lot of strain on my marriage.

Lunacie
01-01-17, 09:21 PM
...
Lunacie, I don't mean this in an offensive way but did your presence somehow impact your daughter's marriage? I'm curious because my parents spending a few months with us every year is putting a lot of strain on my marriage.

My daughter was ready to leave her hubby before I moved in with them, but
she decided to give it one more try.

He wasn't really happy that I was there all the time, but I think it gave my
daughter the support to finally tell him that she couldn't live with his problems.

She and her boyfriend of several years have talked about moving in together.
She just asked me if I wanted to live with them or continue to live here in our
mobile home by myself.

I said it depended on whether her boyfriend wants me there. There are pros
and cons to both situations. I'm not as old as your parents, but getting there
and not living alone sounds good to me.

BellaVita
01-01-17, 10:29 PM
My mother-in-law is a total sweetie. I adore her and I would definitely like to visit her lots. I don't know what the future holds when it comes to her living with us or us helping her out etc.

She has greatly helped out my husband and I and I would love to return a bit to her for all she has done. I definitely would like to be there for her in her old age. I enjoy her being a part of my life.

It's so nice having her as a loving mother figure in my life, she is so accepting and caring.

ginniebean
01-02-17, 02:02 AM
We took care of my dad until about two weeks before the end of his life and many daily visits to the hospital. We can't have out mother move in with any of us, she's just way too high maintenance. I have told her she should be looking for an assisted living situation now before she gets ill or breaks a hip of some other problem and is then forced to move after a stay in hospital where her family will have to decide what's important and what isn't.

I know when I need to go into assisted care I will do so promptly and not put my family thru the worry.

sarahsweets
01-02-17, 09:07 AM
I have an great and supportive mother-it took years of work to get it this way. I would have no issue taking care of her, but I suspect she will end up with my brother if need be because they are both nurses. I dont think I would enjoy living with my inlaws but out of love for my husband I would do it because I know that you cant always get the kind of compassion and care you need from assisted living. It would have to be dire though, as they get older I know they will want to remain as independent as possible.

Unmanagable
01-02-17, 11:14 AM
My mom is becoming less able to do for herself as the years go by. She's not in very good health, is way overweight, has recently had to switch to a walker from a cane, still chooses to eat and drink all the things that make her so ill and achy, says she's too old to change, and expresses that as long as she has a path to get from the living room to the bathroom, she's okay.

I live about an hour away from her and worry myself sick wondering what if this, what if that. She called and told me she fell the other week, but didn't let me and my sis know until days after it happened. Her neighbor came and helped her up out of the floor. I'm having a really hard time with it emotionally.

More so, I think, because of wondering how she feels up there all alone and in a state of heightened fear after falling. Especially knowing how active she was, how much she used to cook and do for others, etc. But she's too set in her ways and convinced that the doctors know best and that all of her suffering is strictly due to aging to do things any differently.

I can't visit her in her home for very long because she also still insists on using fabric softeners and air fresheners that tear my head and sinuses up and take days to recover from. So I just do the best I can from afar in keeping in touch daily and offering to do all I can to help and trying to keep her happy in her selected comfort zones.

We've already completed legal paperwork and such for power of attorney, etc. She made sure to take care of all of that when we lost my dad and my grandparents, almost all at the same time, all of whom left without having paperwork in place. She swore she didn't want us to have to go through the same hell she did in wrapping up their formalities. I just want her to be happy and comfortable and not have to live in fear.

Lunacie
01-02-17, 11:55 AM
Lunacie, I don't mean this in an offensive way but did your presence somehow impact your daughter's marriage? I'm curious because my parents spending a few months with us every year is putting a lot of strain on my marriage.

We took care of my dad until about two weeks before the end of his life and many daily visits to the hospital. We can't have out mother move in with any of us, she's just way too high maintenance. I have told her she should be looking for an assisted living situation now before she gets ill or breaks a hip of some other problem and is then forced to move after a stay in hospital where her family will have to decide what's important and what isn't.

I know when I need to go into assisted care I will do so promptly and not put my family thru the worry.

It does seem to make a difference whether the parent is "high maintenence" or not.
Or whether they only want things their way vs being willing to compromise.

My dad was high maintenence, although my younger sister got along well with him.
But she has ADHD and has OCD and possibly autism, so couldn't manage on her own.
My mom was not high maintenence, any of us would have taken her home with us.
But she died of cancer at age 71, otherwise healthy and self-sufficient.

kilted_scotsman
01-02-17, 03:13 PM
Building an extension on the house is one way to approach this, however it takes care in planning and also drawing up the ground rules at the beginning. I would advise that any extension would need at least TWO bedrooms.....one for the person and one for any future carer. Likewise a disabled accessible bathroom for the parent and ideally a private en-suite for the carer's room is ideal. These are things that limited our ability to keep caring for dad at home. Just sticking on an extra bedroom with en-suite is going to cause boundary problems further down the line.

I would also say that caring for a parent who has a psychological issue adds significantly to the inter-personal boundary problems. I didn't know quite how bad things would get and looking back I would not have got involved if I had known the longstanding psychological issues my father had. It became very difficult to maintain my own positivity in the face of his anxiety and depression. Even professional carers could only take a couple of days before they needed relieved.

Psychologically it took a huge toll on me..... and financially I had a hard job balancing my need for time out and the cost of hiring in carers to enable that.

Costing in respite care at 200/day adds significantly to the cost of any break you take.. and there is the issue that the respite carer will probably need to live in your house.... adding to the privacy/boundary issues.

ginniebean
01-02-17, 05:03 PM
It does seem to make a difference whether the parent is "high maintenence" or not.
Or whether they only want things their way vs being willing to compromise.

My dad was high maintenence, although my younger sister got along well with him.
But she has ADHD and has OCD and possibly autism, so couldn't manage on her own.
My mom was not high maintenence, any of us would have taken her home with us.
But she died of cancer at age 71, otherwise healthy and self-sufficient.

Sadly it does make a difference. my mother has high attention needs and if they are not met a massive scene will be made requiring hours of dealing with her. She has also started to inflict her drama onto the grandchildren which is nothing short of emotional abuse.

Little Missy
01-02-17, 11:24 PM
I do hope they make a nice comfy onesie with easy access.

acdc01
01-07-17, 12:05 PM
I haven't thought much about it. My mom personality wise I would have no problems living with and my dad, I would not want to live with.

So my dad would have to stay in a senior home/assisted living and my mom would depend on what ails her and what she wants. If her ailments are too much for me to handle or she prefers to live elsewhere, then she would go to senior home.

Fuzzy, based on your posts here, don't you think it's pretty much imparative that your parents not live with you?

Fuzzy12
01-07-17, 01:33 PM
I haven't thought much about it. My mom personality wise I would have no problems living with and my dad, I would not want to live with.

So my dad would have to stay in a senior home/assisted living and my mom would depend on what ails her and what she wants. If her ailments are too much for me to handle or she prefers to live elsewhere, then she would go to senior home.

Fuzzy, based on your posts here, don't you think it's pretty much imparative that your parents not live with you?

They already live with us for about 4 months a year so we have been considering more permanent options to make things easier on us eg an extension so both they and us can have more of our own space.

Of course I'd love it if someone else could take care of my parents but my sister's situation is too volatile so there really isn't anyone else. I can't put them in a home. They'd be too hurt I think.

At the moment they are still both vwry healthy and fit. To be honest I don't expect my dad to really need to be taken care of. I'm assuming that my mom will take care of him while he's alive and after that we will have to take in ny mom. I can't imagine her living on her own.

I mean I know it's a sucky situation and considering what they are like and what I am like living together is not something I look forward to but they are my parents. I might as well try to accept it and find solutions thst make cohabiting more pleasant for all of us.

Lunacie
01-07-17, 02:09 PM
Ah, expectations. :umm1:

My dad had a heart attack at age 70, triple bypass. We expected mom would
take care of him until he died.

5 years later she was diagnosed with wide-spread cancer and died. So dad ended
up in a senior home with dementia because none of us wanted to care for him at home.

kilted_scotsman
01-07-17, 03:20 PM
don't make assumptions... as with Lunacie there were all sorts of assumptions about who would go first in my family. Didn't pan out that way.

I would also back ACDC..... from all your posts on here I'd think that co-habitng with your parents, even in an extension is the last option you should be considering..... if you want to have them closer, I'd think somewhere close but not too close would be higher up the options list....

Start with a list of possible distances..... eg living with us, 1 mile, 5mile, 10 mile, 20 mile.... etc.... and see how you "feel" about each one from YOUR perspective... not your parents ...... rank them in some way and ponder the logistics.

The key is finding a distance and arrangement that is sustainable..... an arrangement that INCREASES your resilience. Resilience is the crucial factor in caring for others, if your resilience decreases your ability to care goes down, together with your health, both mental and physical.... and this would impact your ability to give the Fuzzling the nurturing and support you would wish.

Little Missy
01-07-17, 03:59 PM
I hate to be a drag but money does help.

Fuzzy12
01-07-17, 08:09 PM
don't make assumptions... as with Lunacie there were all sorts of assumptions about who would go first in my family. Didn't pan out that way.

I would also back ACDC..... from all your posts on here I'd think that co-habitng with your parents, even in an extension is the last option you should be considering..... if you want to have them closer, I'd think somewhere close but not too close would be higher up the options list....

Start with a list of possible distances..... eg living with us, 1 mile, 5mile, 10 mile, 20 mile.... etc.... and see how you "feel" about each one from YOUR perspective... not your parents ...... rank them in some way and ponder the logistics.

The key is finding a distance and arrangement that is sustainable..... an arrangement that INCREASES your resilience. Resilience is the crucial factor in caring for others, if your resilience decreases your ability to care goes down, together with your health, both mental and physical.... and this would impact your ability to give the Fuzzling the nurturing and support you would wish.
Yes I know it might not happen that way. It doesnt really matter. Neither of them could stay alone I think. My dad is very independent and capable of managing everyhting but he doesn't want to be alone. My mom can neither deal with the practical nor the emotional issues of being alone. I guess.

I did consider the option of them buying a small flat nearby or maybe moving into a residential estate close to our house. The problem with that is though that I think they will get too lonely. They would neither have the social circle of friends and family that they have right now in their home town nor would they be living with us full time to give them company.

The easiest would have been if hubs, fuzz and me lived in my parents' city. Then I'd be close enough to help them out when needed, they'd still have their social circle and hubs n me would not have to live with them. I don't really want to move there though. I'm also not keen on fuzzling growing up there.

kilted_scotsman
01-08-17, 12:17 PM
Hi Fuzzy...

I'm a bit confused.... I got the impression your parents lived in another country many hours flight time away, but the way your last sentence reads it feels as if they are in in the UK or Europe.

Previous posts you've made made me think you have a tough time when your parents are around, but the way your posts are phrased it seems as if you've made up your mind that them living with you is the only option.

If your parents have strong social circle where they are now then moving is going to increase their dependency on you for their social interaction.... and if they're in an extension then this might become difficult. From your posts it seems as if they are already quite dependent on you when they are with you and your life revolves around their needs.

One thing to be aware of is the difficulty of breaking the chain of learned behaviours if your parents are closely involved with you as your offspring develop. I am interested that your partner doesn't seem to figure much in the dynamic around your parents and I wonder if that is reflected in your parents dynamic, where you mother's emotional process was dominant in the family.....

This would be evidence of what is called a "Hot Potato" where a set of messages and behaviours are passed down the generations.... behaviours which don't have basis in the here and now reality of the younger generations lives, but dominate the way decisions are made.

My advice would be not to make any decisions or voice options until you and your partner have attended couples therapy..... because this decision affects both of you and is happening at a time of significant change with the arrival of the Fuzzling. A good couples therapist will help you both voice your desires and fears for the future and enable you to evolve ways of making decision that are mutual and strengthen YOUR relationship as opposed to being driven by the needs of others.

Fuzzy12
01-08-17, 02:23 PM
Hi kilted yes my parents live very far away.

My husband figures hugely in the dynamic in the sense that he struggles with ny parents long visits (just as i do)but understands that I can't just ask them to leave (or rather that I don't want to) or that I can't leave them to their own devices once they need care. This thread was inspired by a talk with him where he said we needed to find a more permanent situation. Ie a place where we can put up my parents when they are here that doesn't interfere and disrupt our life so much.

I'm.not sure what you mean by emotional process. My mom's never had a voice in her life. She still doesn't. It's one of the reasons why I feel perhaps more responsible for her than I should.

Thanks tons for your inputs. I'm sorry all of this doesn't make a lot of sense. It's a stupid situation driven mainly by everyone's emotions and our inability to communicate.

kilted_scotsman
01-08-17, 03:32 PM
I'm.not sure what you mean by emotional process. My mom's never had a voice in her life. She still doesn't. It's one of the reasons why I feel perhaps more responsible for her than I should.

Sometimes people who apparently have "no voice" manage to get everyone around them to dance to their tune through non-verbal means. This is quite common. The clue is when people (often children) feel they "should" do something even though it has not been verbalised...... a further clue is how one feels when one thinks about NOT doing it..... if there is a "visceral" felt sense in the gut/belly this is indicative of a subconscious non-verbal process at work.

I'm sorry all of this doesn't make a lot of sense. It's a stupid situation driven mainly by everyone's emotions and our inability to communicate.

Your identification that your family has communication problems is significant. If you are aware of this you can bring clarity into communication.....I would advise going along to a couple of workshops on things like "Non-Violent Communication" (aka Compassionate Communication) and maybe try a few sessions with a Transactional Analyst (TA) therapist..... asking them to specifically work with and demonstrate "Contracting" ... which is an intrinsic part of TA. contracting is about making things explicit..... some TA therapists are pretty rigorous on this.... you could combine couples work with this as TA is ideally suited to this.... because couples work is usually about contracting and transactions...... this is also an area where ADDers often have issues because we don't have the emotional/relational/intuitive vocabulary that NT's have.

acdc01
01-09-17, 08:30 PM
. I can't put them in a home. They'd be too hurt I think.

My mom has a few friends who were letting their parents live with them cause of cultural expectations. Every single one of them were always arguing all of the time. The parents argued with each other even more than with the rest of the family and having to live in a house where they had to listen to that yelling was awful.

At one point, most of them ended up moving their parents into a home/ assisted living facility because they couldn't take care of their physical needs anymore. When that happened, the parents threw a fit. They yelled and cried about how their kids must hate them (aka angry guilt trip)cause it was their cultural expectation for them to take care of them for the rest of their lives. Their tantrums persisted for about 6 months. After a year, they weren't yelling anymore but still said harsh words occassionally to guilt trip their kids even while it was blatantly obvious they were enjoying all the people and activities in the senior home/assisted living facility. Two years later, there was no more guilt tripping. They wouldn't move back with their kids if the kids begged them to cause they had so many more things to do and so any more friends at their home. This compared to all the screaming, anxiety, and arguing they used to live with when at their kids house.

So my question for you is, are you sure your parents will be too hurt? Or are they going to be hurt but will survive and will end up better off as well like every other parent I've seen?

Also, how is your family going to act in front of your kid and will your kid be damaged by it? You know there is no hiding things with kids, they will see everything.

Good luck with your choice fuzzy.