Worried about caring for divorced parents.

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Hi all, this is my first post here. My parents are in their late 50s, so (hopefully) not close to needing care yet but they have just separated. I am overwhelmed with stress about how I am going to afford to care for both of them. I am mostly worried about my dad. My mom inherited the land, but moved to a townhouse. My dad still lives in the house on the land she owns. She has stated in her will that my sister and I will inherit the land. She previously had it set up so that the land will be sold immediately upon her death and the money would then be divided equally between my sister and I. I had to beg her to change it so that I will inherit the portion of the land where the house is and I would have the option to sell it or keep it. Basically, if my dad is still alive when she dies, he would have been kicked out of his home! My dad doesn't have a ton of money because my sister is in her late twenties and has been going to different schools since she was 18. She doesn't have a job and doesn't seem to have the intention of ever getting one. They basically buy her anything she wants. If they continue to do this, I don't know how they will ever be able to save enough for retirement, especially my dad. My mom spends a ton on my sister too, but also inherited quite a bit of money. I know I am not cut out to be a caregiver, but I don't know if my husband and I will be able to afford it! I don't think my mom really cares what happens to my dad but she doesn't seem to understand that the burden will most likely fall on me to figure out what to do. On top of that, I'm afraid I'll have to worry about my sister if she is still relying on them for financial support.


Your parents have just separated. Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself?

My best guess is that their separation has caused you great anxiety and you are therefore foreseeing catastrophe at every turn. Tackle the root cause. See a counsellor or therapist about how to stop making your parents' relationship, which is not in your power to control, your problem.

I am 53. I have been divorced for over 20 years. I'm sure my children do worry about what to do about their dotty old mother, but at least it isn't because their father and I aren't together any more. I promise you that time will solve many of these current issues.
Interesting that you're looking this far ahead. Churchmouse is right, this is not your problem but I commend you for your foresight. Wait and see what happens, no need to lose sleep about this now.

We should all have "The Talk" with our folks before they become ill and incompetent. Maybe, once you see where this is going sit them down and express your concerns about their future. Let them know that you do not want to be left with a tangled caregiving mess, they should get their ducks in a row, update wills, end of life directives, power of attorney etc.

Most of us wait until it's too late. Elders are in crisis, their affairs are a mess and children are stuck in impossible caregiving situations. I was lucky. I just got in under the wire with all the paperwork as my Dad was developing dementia and my mothers health was failing. Five years later, it's no picnic careing for these guys bit at least I have the tools to do so.

In the meantime, take a breath, research all this stuff on this site and remain calm. You've got plenty of time.

Your parents are responsible for planning for their future - not you. BUT, do discuss with them their plans, discuss what items will be needed as Windyridge mentioned above. You are also gently letting them know that you are not going to be the slave in their old age.
rebeccasum, take a deep breathe, exhale. It's common to go through the "what ifs" when it comes to our parent(s).

I congratulate you for thinking ahead, but your parents are only in their late 50's, they could live another 30 years before needing any help.

And a lot could change in the mean time..... like after the divorce your parents could find new life partners who would take care of them..... or your Dad moves from the house... or your Mom decides to sell the house/land.... your sister could find her knight in shining armor and ride off into the sunset.... etc.

Your parents poor choices are not your responsibility.
How is this your problem? Caring for themselves in the future is their issue to deal with not your.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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