I am posting this because of a response to this letter by a member of the DA forum. I thought the response was a good one. Response is at the bottom. I was given permission to use it.
MAY 27TH, 2022
LETTER 2 OF 2
DEAR ABBY: Everywhere, it seems, there are books and guides for caring for aging parents. But what about aging siblings? The age difference is smaller, so it can end up with the elderly caring for the elderly -- especially if there isn't a next generation of family members on whom to rely.
As we baby boomers hit our 70s, we can find ourselves caring for siblings in their early 80s, and they're even less likely to listen to us than our parents were. Frankly, some of us are already worn out from caring for elderly parents. We're at the point of concern about our own health and that of our spouses. When you've got a 73-year-old trying to take care of an 80-year-old who is childless and lives 700 miles away, and who says only, "I'll let you know when I need you," it's frightening. Any guidance? -- DAUNTING IN THE SOUTH
There are lots of “Elder Orphans” who never married and/or had children. There are options. My husband and I are both disabled and childless. I wouldn’t want my relatives to care for me. It’s a burden, and I’ve had enough of being “protected” by loving but misguided, bossy sibs. We chose to buy a house with lifelong disabled friends and live together. Our disabilities are different but balance each other - what one of us can’t do, another can. We’re independent thus far, but if and when we need caregiving we will pool our $ and hire a live-in person to look after us instead of going to assisted living or nursing homes. Lots of senior citizens are doing this and it might work for you too.