We are a dysfunctional family.

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I am the only child with two elderly parents (ages 90 and 96) who are living in their own apartment. I would like advice on where to start. Money is an issue. My husband and I have just begun (last year) to get out from under debt to begin saving for our own retirement (we are 68 and 67). We currently contribute $500 a month to my parents and pay for an emergency system (they can hit a button to connect to assistance). We live about 29 miles away and see them between 2 and 3 days a week for 3 - 4 hours. My father has trouble with his hand and walking though he uses a walker and my mother's left arm will never heal properly since she broke it. I have asthma and bronchitis which makes physical work a non entity. I shop for them, do bills and taken them to doctor's, car repair etc. Meals are a problem. My father does most of it. If I am there I prepare lunch typically.
Thank you


Curious why your parents need for you to contribute $500 a month and also pay on their medical alert system? Good heavens, that's over $6,000 a year that could be going into your own retirement fund.

How large is their apartment? If possible, could they downsize and maybe go into a subsidized senior housing?

As for meals, see if they would use "Meals on Wheels".

My parents are also in their 90's, and I had to cut back on the number of times I took them to the same doctor. For groceries, see if your area offers on-line grocery shopping with home delivery by the store, it is well worth the cost. And for anything else they need, so many stores have on-line shopping/home delivery. Cut back your visits to only once a week.

Wouldn't it be nice to get back to being their "daughter/son" instead of being an "errand boy", then you could spend more quality time instead of zipping in and out the door. The only way of doing that is for them to realize they need more help and not by you, but that won't happen if you keep helping them.
Thank you for your support freqflyer. I am having trouble talking to someone from meals on wheels who represents my parents area. I have emailed twice in the last few months and today I tried telephoning, once in the morning and once in the afternoon but not response yet. Do you find dealing with agencies this difficult?
Your parents are ready for in home care (very expensive ) or assited living where the fees are based on the level of care they require. Start learning all you can about their finances relative to the whole Medicare/Medicaid worlds. This ain't gonna get any better or easier as they get more feeble. This site has tons of info and participants who can help. Stay in touch.
Btw, many agencies like meals on wheels have had huge financial cutbacks in our trickle down economy. Not much has trickled down for few years now. Some areas are better than others. My experience is dealing with agencies in West Virginia and it's very difficult. I've tried the country commission on aging, meals on wheels to name a couple, but have had no luck with any services. It may be better in your area. Keep trying. Who knows.
I was able to get a meals on wheels contact and it turns out my Mom does not want people coming in. --go figure. I think my Dad would have been fine with it. They would have gotten five mid-day meals delivered. I also brought them March's menu. The cost to them would have been about $3.50 per meal.
Need, you need to stop contributing to their cost of living. They are refusing other methods that you find for them. And why not, you are doing everything for them
Call adult protective services and tell them you will not do this any longer. And also tell folks you won't continue to help them in this way. They both need to be in a facility with friends and someone to watch over them.

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