I have been at this "caregiving" thing for for 13 years.
My Dad died at age 69 and my Mom lived alone for a while. Mom moved closer to three of her children and tried to live alone, but was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and became more and more dependent. Yes, I provided most of the caregiving until I could not. My siblings were amazed at my selfishness and anger. Long story short, Mom moved from independent living to assisted living to a locked Alzheimer's unit. Two of my siblings became much more involved with Mom's care and I thank them for their help. Her savings are gone. Her house is sold and money is gone. She has a small pension from my dad and his Social Security, but she is now on Medicaid in a long-term care facility. Her disease has progressed and she seems calm and safe, age 92. My mom was not an easy parent to say the least. Am I angry with her, but not anymore. I actually hate to see her like this. My husband's mother is 91, in a memory unit and his dad, age 95 lives with a daughter. My F-I-L's sense of entitlement is amazing. He is active, able to dress and bathe himself and has a very sound mind. Two of my S-I-Ls and my husband do 99.9% of their parent's caregiving. There are 4 other siblings who do very little. I am also involved with my F-I-Ls care when he visits us on a regular basis. I've just explained how we have all worked tirelessly to get to this point. It is difficult. We have three parents in their mid nineties and each of them is in relatively good physical health. While I thank God for our parents this has not been nor continues to be easy. I am 65 and can see all of this continuing for a very long time. No, we are not the "me" generation. We talk about not being a burden to our children but I wonder how long my caregiving years will last. It is a daily challenge and then some. No real answers, no real questions just a sense that this will never end.