Are we suggesting throwing our elderly parents under the bus?

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I don't think so! We've got folks who write in describing narcissistic and at times abusive parents who, due to codependency issues, are wearing an adult child into an early grave. In those situations, some of us suggest stepping away from the situation in order to let professionals take over, or to ask for assistance in getting a parent placed after a hospitalization because living alone is no longer feasible.

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as soon as better income heats up around here i plan to get a will made up . my oldest son is an accredited emt so i think he can make sensible health care decisions . i , like mom , plan to have a springing POA arrangement . i have no use for the possibility that son ( s ) will ever override my decisions . my aunt is living that h*ll right now . her daughter is deciding what she does and doesnt need . that shouldnt happen until a judge has declared the elder incompetant .
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FF and Jessie - that hits home. I am 77 and my mother is 102. She may be physically as healthy as I am, though certainly not mentally. I have to protect myself from her as her critical negative behavior affects my well being. My father died at 81. I think it was a blessed release for him.
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freqflyer, this made me think of a woman who was 101 the last time I saw her. She had 5 or 6 children -- all of them dead and buried. She was a mean woman, which is probably why she lived so long... and maybe why her children didn't.
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MaggieMarshall, I agree with everything you posted above. On the other side of the coin, my parents won't spend on themselves to make their live easier as they age but they are the children of the Great Depression.... I wouldn't be surprised if Dad has the first dollar he ever earned.

My parents keep telling me I will inherit their estate.. I tell them, that is nice but I think you will outlive me, so you enjoy your money, you earned it. Even if I do get their estate, I am too tired and my health isn't that great, guess I could use it for my own assistant living :P

As for aging into our early 100's, OMG that means aging children in their 70's and 80's will be trying to care for their own parents who are in their early 100's. Or a grandchild in their 50's trying to care for their 70's and 80's parents and 100's grandparents.

I don't mind living into my 90's if I can still be part of a productive society, doing volunteer work, etc. I don't want to spend my golden years bedridden with a feeding tube not knowing where I am.

With the all baby boomers getting older, and there are many of us, I am just now starting to see more and more articles in my local newspaper [The Washington Post] about Alzheimer's, dementia, and about Caregiving. These articles should have been discussed 25 years ago and something done back then. Too many of us are exhausted, be it hands-on care, or caring from afar, or dealing with daily logistics.
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I'll tell you who's liable to get thrown under the bus. Our generation. Maybe I sound like my grandmother, but I think younger people have a bold sense of entitlement I didn't have. I read it on this site:

My dad changed his will; how can I change it back? I want to see a copy of dad's will. Am I entitled to do that? . . . People who are slaves to their parents and who don't want to spend any money on their parents' care because many times, I think, they figure it's coming out of their own pockets . . . my brother stole dad's money . . . my sister stole gram's money . . . Who ARE these people? And how do they sleep at night?

This site (and caring for mom) has gotten me thinking hard about quality of life. And the pharmaceutical industry. They're tough topics. Both of them.

Seeing the number of people with little or no savings to pay for their own care relying on our government to take care of them. As we've learned to keep people alive longer, we haven't touched the dementia problem. Live long enough? You won't even know what day it is. Stop swallowing and we'll insert a feeding tube. When does it stop? I'm not sure it ever does. Reading how people have tried to hide their parents' assets so they will have an inheritance. Siblings stealing from siblings. It's discouraging.

A pharmaceutical industry that researches the latest and greatest and then pushes it down our throats (pun intended) with abandon. Side effects be damned. A medical industry telling us fat isn't good for us and restricting a 90-year-old's diet to low fat.

I guess I'm becoming jaded here. I DO read between the lines on many of the posts. I trust that instinct. I've trusted that sense all of my life, and it's served me well. I try to impute pure motives in people, but it becomes difficult sometimes.

Oh, well, I've rambled long enough. ;)
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several years ago i discovered a house in the country on one acre of land for sale for 4 thousand bucks . i tried to get my dad to help either of my sisters buy it , they were both struggling . dad had probably 80 k in the bank at the time . he pounded his chest and told me he didnt want them living only 5 miles from him and besides he took care of himself . mom and i reminded him that his ( extremely poor ) FIL had helped him with down payments on both of the homes hed bought in his lifetime . facts didnt matter to dad , he was all about himself and his church . his selfish attitude was one i never quite got over .
late in life he sat in his house with mom lamenting about the freezer needing defrosted and how his worthless kids didnt care if he lived or died . he read his bible rather selectively . he adhered to the part about not shorting yourself on lamp oil to help those who failed to prepare but ignored the many lessons about uplifting the least in society with what youve been generously blessed with . i wouldnt have caregiven for dad for one minute . it would have been contrary to my principles and a transparent fraud . i feel for mom having to live with this womanizing hypocrite for 55 years . she had potential for so much more .
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It seems to me that there are as many reasons for becomming a caregiver for an elder,spouse or child as there are people who are doing it. Sometimes it looks easy and the caregiver thinks they can go on with their life but just live home rent free and be there at night so Mom is not alone or maybe Mom is still well enough to watch a grand child. In the blink of an eye that all changes and the caregiver finds herself/himself in an untenable situation. What are they going to live on if the only income becomes Mom's SS? Others do it out of genuine love for a parent but have absolutely no idea what they are getting into. Many are forced into it when an in law needs help and is moved in. Some do it with the expectation of an inheritance.
I do not believe it is something anyone looks forward to doing and hopes they will have the honor of cleaning up after Mom or Dad when they have decorated the bathroom walls yet again. it is just as easy to praise as to critisize but and it is a big but more experienced caregivers will speak up when they see someone new is heading for disaster. This is not throwing anyone under the bus or being harsh towards another poster, it is experience being shared which is what this forum is all about. A few have medical training but not necessarily in eldercare which while given little value is a definite specialty with at least or maybe more training needed than many other specialties. Some people can write their posts more eloquently than others but often leave out important background details and the message being conveyed may paint an entirely different picture than reality and elicit responses which on the surface are harsh but may seem appropriate given the information provided by the questioner.
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Captain I know what you're getting at, and with the generality of the delightful elders I have known and loved, your question about 'what would they do for us if we needed them' is a very valid one.

Only, with my darling mother whom I do honestly love, not so much. Because I know exactly what she would do. She'd say "never mind, darling. I'm sure you'll manage" and return to her crossword. And I know this because that was exactly what she always did do. And mainly we did manage - upside down, back to front, through a hedge backwards, sliding on our arses, we got there somehow. But in a few variously devastating ways, we didn't.

She loved us. She couldn't look after herself, never mind us. Each to his own - is it her fault she was talentless at caregiving?

So, all I mean is, if reciprocity were the only reason for caring for our elders perhaps quite a lot more of them would be going under a bus. I think we come to better arrangements when we think through what's the best fit for all, within the bounds of practical realities, rather than acting purely under obligation.
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Dear all, thank you so much for your thoughtful replies. Yes, I think sometimes the newbies, or those folks with perfect parents don't get what some people are going through. I just wanted to make sure that when the situation seems to warrant it (feces all over the house, parents who insist children quit their jobs) that I'm still in my right mind supporting their right to say "no". In 1965, my mother's mom broke her hip; she told all her friends, "I'm an invalid now, and my daughter will wait on me (my mom three of us, 12, 8 and 2). My "cruel" mom sent her mother to rehab...a newfangled idea as Medicare had just come into being. Grandma learned to walk again with some tough love. So yes, we have to take care of ourselves first and care for our elders the best we can, sometimes with help and at a distance.
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I was brought up in the "Leave it to Beaver" type of household, had wonderful parents, I did miss not having any siblings to annoy and to share my life.

When the time comes when my parents need professional hands-on care, I will either hire certified Caregivers or suggest my parents move into a really nice retirement facility. They saved for those forthcoming rainy days.

Physically I cannot take on the role of a hands-on Caregiver. I am pushing the big 70... how I wished I had the energy I had back when I was in my 50's... half of that energy has disappeared, and I have my own age related decline. Heavens, just 6 years ago my sig other and I had hiked 22 miles one weekend.... now we are lucky if we can walk around the block :(

Everyone's case is different. I never had children to learn how to reason with a 3 year old or a 13 year old... thus, how do I reason with a 93 year old?... I can't drawn on my career for examples.
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