With the all the horror stories on here, why would anyone be a caregiver?

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Granted, the nature of this site means that we will always hear more about the bad cases. Someone from a functional family with a good caregiving situation would have no reason to post here.

But. There are A LOT of horror stories. So many that I think they are more or less the norm.

I'm inclined to think that no one should ever take up significant caregiving responsibilities without having full PoA, and getting whatever inheritance they expect UP FRONT. And no one should quit a job to caregive unless their financial situation truly enables them to do it safely.

And that's just the financial angle. If the family dynamics are such that you, the prospective caregiver, are not likely to get support from relatives (or worse yet, be attacked and manipulated by them), DON'T DO IT. Relative should be told by the care-receiver, in writing, that the care-receiver's assets will be used to fund care, and that IF there is anything left, MAYBE they will get an inheritance. But they are must keep their face-holes shut about it if they want to get anything at all.


I wish everyone would read this website years prior to ever thinking of becoming a sole full-time caregiver. I know I have learned so much being on this website over the past year.

So many see their Mom and Dad [or spouse] as active, mobile, sharp, still driving, and enjoying retirement to the fullest.... so, of course, seeing ones parent in that condition, why not be their caregiver later in life :)

Then the oops starts in, and the *why didn't anyone tell us this is how it would be?* when the peaceful easy situations take a turn. I know I was blind-sided never realizing my parents would get to a point of not driving, not seeing, not hearing, etc. I never saw my grandparents when they were elderly in that condition, thus I had zero reference.

Now I live in worry-mode wondering what will be next. And all the what-ifs. I resent the fact that my parents didn't have a 5-year plan or 10-year plan.... why on earth are they still in a large single family house with a lot of stairs being in their mid-90's? Why didn't they plan on what to do for transportation when Dad stopped driving? Who did they think was going to get their groceries once they stopped driving? Oh, guess it would be me... let me quit work, reduce my own retirement fund, and be their cruise director :P But wait, I am a senior citizen myself.
There's no doubt about it. It's difficult. And many people shouldn't even attempt being full-time caregivers. But they do. And many are financially motivated. They don't want their parent(s) to spend their inheritance. They want free room-and-board. They don't want to work at a regular job. So care take they do. Many times to the detriment of their loved one.

And the same problems our loved ones have with spending money on their own care taking, too many of us bring to the table when we're doing the care taking for them. We don't hire the help we need with their funds. We hoard their assets. We risk burnout and health issues ourselves. We fail to take charge and push unwanted advice aside. And we don't get the paperwork we need to do the job.

We THINK, if/when they move in with us, that we'll have it easier financially. Suddenly, they're not supporting a separate home anymore. Their SS check comes in, and instead of spending it on THEIR care, which is what SHOULD be done, we think we an put in new carpeting with it. That's not what it's for. It's for them. THEIR needs. And their needs coincide most often with the care givers. They often just don't want to spent their loved one's money that way.

I read between the lines quite often here. There are people living horror shows of an existence because their kid(s) either want a free place to live (don't want their loved one put into a nursing home or independent living so the home would have to be sold) or want to preserve their parents' assets for themselves.

As for your inference that the only people who post here are dysfunctional, I completely disagree. This is a very helpful site for sharing what we've learned and overcoming problems.
margarets, is there such a thing as a good caregiving situation? Our parents could be in a 5-start resort type retirement home, and we would still be posting here asking for suggestions.
There is nobody else to care for my father. My sister is too busy planning her daughters wedding even though the girl has been shacking up for years. That's why I am doing it.
MaggieMarshall, I'm not saying all the people who post here are dysfunctional. Many are fine people, but they are often in dysfunctional situations. Why would someone whose caregiving experience has been smooth sailing come here in the first place? They wouldn't, in general.
MM - also meant to add to your comment about some caregivers being motivated by self-interest. That is definitely part of it, but they find they've bitten off more than they can chew and have painted themselves into a corner. (Yes, I'm playing fast and loose with the metaphors today! Bwahahahaha!)
You don't know until you're in the middle of it, how many difficult judgement calls you need to make. I definitely have mixed motives at times. Considering my father's wishes (he died almost 5 years ago), and balancing that against what my mother's freedoms are (even though she has dementia, she doesn't comprehend her choices, and would not have made unsound financial moves when she had all her faculties). Knowing that my parents probably would have continued to enable my brother by giving him $, but deciding for myself that it's time to close the Bank of Mom and Dad and encourage brother to stop relying on periodic handouts. Doing this not just because it makes practical sense, and it's part of my duties as POA to use my mother's money for HER care, but also because I refuse to take on one more person's problems. I also wonder if my parents realized that my brother would have NO involvement at all, and that I would be 100% responsible for everything. I definitely don't think they had any idea what it would all entail. My father took care of his parents, and I know it wasn't easy for him at all, but his situation was different than mine is. And my mother? She didn't take care of her parents at all. Her sister lived locally near their mother, and handled absolutely everything.
Some families are more dysfunctional than others, and the more screwed up it is, the harder it is. But I think there are all sorts of challenges, no matter how 'perfect' the family is.

I am wondering how your grandmother is doing in the AL and if you're mother is still robbing her blind? Did you eventually just stay away from all of them?
This is certainly a feel-bad question. Anyone who is a hands-on caregiver already understands. It is really a simple matter. A loved one needs help and so someone helps. It would be nice if more than one person would help, but it's often not the way it is. The one person that decides to help will hang on until the loved one moves on or drives them stark raving mad.
Jessie, exactly!!

It was either me or a NH after my dad passed. Mom wasn't far enough along for a NH and had a good 18 months and still some good days ahead of her. All 3 of my older brothers are too busy with whatever it is they do.

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