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In reading posts today I again saw where a grandchild has moved in with a grandparent to care for them. Where are the parents/children in all this? Grandchildren should be able to concentrate on their lives. Quitting jobs so no benefits or contributing to their SS for the future. And believe me 40 yrs goes by faster than you think. I don't feel that adult children should be made responsible financially for parents or have to live with the 24/7 to caring for them. But I do feel they have a responsibility to see a parent gets the proper care. Either setting something up in the home or seeing they are safe in an AL or NH. I feel there should be something between a POA and guardianship when it's deemed someone can no longer stay in their own home. So these caregivers with stubborn parents have another avenue. But to have a grandchild take on this responsibility just doesn't seem right.

Thank you for sharing freqflyer. I feel like your stepdaughter and a bit resentful for having to pick up the slack of caring for my grandmother. My aunts and uncles all had issues with her, but I tried my best to be a team player and fill in the gap.

I think I was younger and didn't know better. But after 13 years it just wore me down. After she passed, I had resentment as well. It was magnified because I felt she took time away from my own father who needed me too. My father (his ex mother in law) who didn't even like her.
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My sig other's daughter after 20+ years still resented how much time she needed to take care of her grandparents in the afternoon after high school got out and later when she was in local university.

She resented that she couldn't be with her friends in the afternoon during her high school years. She resented that she had to go to a local university which cost her twice as much as a smaller college that she really wanted to attend that was elsewhere in the State.

I didn't know her Dad during that time frame, so I am only going by what she had told me. Now that she is 40, she is still an unhappy camper. She loved her grandparents dearly, but thought her parents should have been there instead of her. Her parents did help during the final weeks.
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It’s a win win. Grandchildren learn empathy, caregiving skills, and can save wasted rental income to start their own business at some point with the capital they create from not blowing it on rent. They don’t become slaves. It’s a scheduled arrangement and not to be the kind where the sole caregivers become the grandchildren and no one else of course. Grandpa can sit in on grandsons Fri night poker games and pass down some hard life lessons. It’s precisely the separation of the generations that cause insensitive adults lacking empathy for other human beings and the aging process. Our culture is clueless on what it feels like to grow old and I’m not prepared and the majority are insensitive. Walk into a nursing home and see how lonely and pathetic it is. If we see the aging process of clothes with more likely to take better care of our health but eating right getting more exercise integrating variety in our lives because we know how the loss of mobility affects us If we grow up witnessing our grandparents decline. There are “Blue Zones” where centenarians are integrated into their families. We can learn a few things from these arrangements. There’s the nursing home program in Finland that combines nursing homes with college student apartments where young adults donate 10 hours a week or was it month of their time to an elderly person in exchange for very discounted rent. It’s all about having money and holding on to it with creative cost effective living arrangements while also learning to become a noble caring human being.
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Although i raised my granddaughter and took care of dad untill he passed. Im having a very hard time doing the same with my mom. She didnt raise me,my father did. He was both mother and father to me
Although i live with my mom and do as much as i can for her (shes physically in pretty good shape) she rarely has a nice word to say to me. She was abusive to me as a child and shes still abusive. This place has been a place where i can see that im not alone. I think alot of others probably feel the same.
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Sundaisy, this thread started out as a question as to why it seemed grandchildren were taken care of grandparents alot. It seemed to get off topic. As said, sometimes caregivers need to vent. That's what this forum is about. People helping each other sometimes making decisions. Others with strong viewpoints. In the end, we all do what we feel is right for us.
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Sundaisey, this site is full of people who are doing amazing things to care for their elderly relatives. They often use this site to vent about their problems, because they have no-one else to say it to safely. In many cases, they can’t even get out of the house to talk to anyone! It would be good to look behind the problems, and see what people are actually doing.
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I am sorry that I offended anyone but the reality is that going forward is not going to be easy for anyone. I understand dysfunctional families. My step-father was emotional and verbally abusive, but I would brought him into my home if he had lived. I never told anyone that they had to take the person in but I do believe they have to make the arrangements for their parents/grandparents. For a lot of us, it is not a choice and I certainly would not advocate suicide for the elderly because that could easily lead to suicide against your wishes. Some of you give the impression that you could care less if the elderly end up on the streets.(which many probably will). I am frustrated with the mean-spirit that I seem to encounter on this site. I know that a lot of you don't believe that you owe your parents anything. You didn't ask to be born. It is their fault that they can't take care of themselves and it is not your problem. That story is as old as the hills and not part of the solution. I think at this point this site (for me) does more harm than good. I must have a radically different viewpoint than the rest of you because I believe that family not government should decide. But I will say this: 1. You as a family should get together and decide what is best.(I still believe this is best) 2. For those that are disable themselves or have disable children that can't help, then their should be government help. 3. I pray that there is never a suicide solution to the problem. Before you jump down my throat, I will say that is my opinion. I wish everyone here the best and hopefully you can find what works for your family.
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I am 53 and took in my 95 year old grandmother. Prior to that I took care of my mother who had MS. And yes have a full time kid. Not because I had to. Not to get paid. Because I wanted to. When I think of all the sacrifices they made for me to be the person I am today I wouldn’t have it any other way. We get state assistance that pays for caregivers while I’m at work plus have a small supportive network of people that I would trust with my life. I have been surprised by the number of people that half said why don’t you make it easier for yourself and put her ( both my mom and gmom) in a nursing home. I have no kind of response to that question because for me that’s not an option. 4 out of 5 of my gmom’s children are deceased including my mom. I’m not married but have a 17 year old daughter getting ready to go to college. This is my normal life.
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I agree that this country needs some affordable choices. It's not so much caring for a parent is that it becomes a 24/7 job. Some children don't have a choice to quit work. Bills have to be paid.

Now when it comes to the previous generation saving towards retirement, my parents had 4 children. Dad had a job where he made a living wage. We lived from pay to pay. He Didn't want Mom working while we were in school. By the time the last child graduated from high school, my Dad was on SSD for heart disease. Mom then became his caretaker. There was never any extra money. The money Mom did have to put her into an AL came from Dads life insurance she put in CDs.

Everyone's situation is different. What works for one Doesn't work for everyone. We do what we have to.
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Generations ago, a couple would have a lot of children. I am an only child, but my Dad's 2 brothers had 5 and 6 children, thus my Dad's Mom always had someone to help her as those children were now grown and married, and still lived nearby. My parents had moved numerous times with my Dad's career so they were never close enough to help either side of the family.

Then back another generation, my family tree on my Dad's side, many were farmers and it wasn't unusual for couples to have 10 to 15 children [yes, some didn't live past 1 or 2 years old], thus when the parents became elderly, there was a mob of grown children with their spouses to help. Or a daughter who never married.  Plus almost everyone lived in the same small towns or very nearby communities. Back then, no social security [1935] nor Medicare [1966] or Medicaid [1965].

Many lived to be in their 80's and 90's. One great-aunt lived to 103, guess her secret was to never get married :P Hardly any of the old timers had memory issues. The family lineage showed heart conditions were the cause of death on my Dad's side.
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I’m a granddaughter taking care of my grandmother, but I do agree it’s not really ideal and doesn’t seem fair. But I think some situations just can’t be helped. The way my family all worked out, there ended up not really being anyone else except my mom and I to care for my 94 year old grandmother. I think another problem is people living much longer and falling through the “gaps” so to speak. My grandmothers SS is too much for her to qualify for anything really, but to small to afford anything. Nothing in the neighborhood of long term care is covered because dementia/Alzheimer’s is not considered “skilled nursing.” Paying for an alternative living situation is completely unaffordable. It’s all a real problem. There’s not enough research and solutions for elders living with dementia.
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If so many have to work 2and3 jobs to make ends meet , then we as a society should have a better system to take care of our elderly
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My sister and I practically raised ourselves. We had to take care of the home when our mother passed away and we were only 9 and 11. My father was a very strict man that never allowed us to be children and have friends in to play or let us ever ride bikes, seldom bought us clothes and relied on the generosity of others. He eventually married a women who I have no good words to say about and they have been together for many years and my sister and I still hate the very ground she walks on. Because they never planned for their old age and just spent money like there was no tomorrow....... is it my responsibility to take care of them now? I think not. If we had not come from such a dysfunctional family then maybe I would be more like Sundaisy but this is not the case.
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I agree with Carla that we can’t say what other people ‘ought’ to do. Nor can we base our expectations on the past, because things have changed.

Our bodies are living a lot longer, though our minds may not be. We are also taking a lot longer to die. The medical profession has given us this ‘blessing’, and the impact on society is frightening. The Bible gave us ‘three score years and ten’. Old people were not taken care of by ‘the tribe’ (ie someone else), but usually by an unmarried daughter. My mother’s mother got married aged 40 when she was finally free. Just in time for Mum!

I have puzzled about why people died earlier and why death came quicker. There were untreatable illnesses, like pneumonia (‘the old man’s friend’) and cancer. There were uncontrolled conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to strokes and heart attacks. Most often, old people just got weaker because they didn’t want to eat much and there wasn’t the time to spoon feed them special diets. Without one-on-one supervision, it was also common for them to wander, fall and not be found in time. ‘Better care’ is keeping all of us alive longer, even though few of us want to be a burden on our children and grandchildren, or to find ourselves in a ‘good’ nursing home.

I am Australian, and I think things are not quite so far down the track here. But the demographics are changing the same way, with fewer young taxpayers and more very elderly people needing high cost care. Our governments seem to have no suggestions except to increase immigration of younger people to pay more taxes. My personal preference is for a palliative care option in nursing homes (currently it’s only available if you have a terminal illness), and for the right to die by assisted suicide. The choice would affect only me, and I am so sorry that institutionalised Religion has effectively blocked laws for that choice. I have done the best I could for older relatives, but I can’t say what other people should do, only me.
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Again I say to you sundaisey, just because you say it doesn't make it so.

Who do I think is responsible for elderly people? Nobody. Who should take care of them? Whoever chooses to. I don't think my mother is my responsibility. I didn't give birth to her, adopt her, or marry her. I didn't make any deal with her like an inheritance in exchange for care. I take care of her because somebody has to do it, and there is no decent alternative.

I can't say it's society's responsibility. I can say I would prefer to live under a system where we as a society take care of the needy, to a reasonable extent. I would vote for candidates who support policies that provide basic care for everyone.

I also think that people have a responsibility to provide for their own futures, to the extent they can. Someone who becomes disabled at a young age doesn't have that opportunity, but most people have a whole working lifetime to save for retirement. My mother didn't spend all her money taking care of us kids. The last kid left the house when she was 50, and working. She had a long time to provide for her future, except she didn't do it. She even got an inheritance from her parents, but she used that to fund her early retirement before her pension and SS kicked in. If she had worked a few more years and saved that inheritance she could have provided her own care. But she arrived at old age needing a lot of care and without a dime to spare. I don't think society should condone that. I don't think that's okay, not unless you're willing to live with the consequences of those decisions, and willing to manage the best you can without expecting anyone else, even family, to pick up the slack.
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I didn't make any hard and fast rule. Whether we like or not we are responsible for our parents. Why on earth should we not be? It certainly not a strangers responsibility or the governments! It is your responsibility to make what ever arrangements that work for your family. I certainly didn't say that it has worked well for my family, I did say it was hard work. We didn't have a choice so I try to make the best of it.  I am sure that not everyone is cut out for it, but why is it not the family's responsibility? If not the family, then who? Tell me who is responsible.  I may be wrong but I am NOT going to be responsible for other people's parents. If they don't have family, then that is a different situation. We are going to have enough of those without taking care of parents that do have family.  I am just saying that if you have parents then you are responsible to take care of them. That may mean AL, in home care, or whatever else there is. But you do have an obligation to take care (make arrangements for) of them. It will probably come down to that anyway because SS will not be there for long. So my question to you is, why do you think Society should take care of them instead of family? Just because it doesn't work well for someone doesn't mean they are not responsible. Maybe I just don't understand the mindset of some people that don't think they have any obligations. It is so sad! Maybe I think differently because I have seen my grandmother take care of my great-grandmother until her death at 96. My grandmother was 80 and didn't think anything of it. My grandmother died at 90 from cancer that she didn't know she had. The doctor said that it was a slow growing cancer and she could have easily had it 20 or more years. That is probably why I think this idea of family taking care of family is not unusual. With that in mind, we have sat down with our children and the son-in-laws and asked them what they would like. We are trying to be proactive.
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Whether you believe it or not, sundaisey, we are living longer than previous generations. Yes, some of us come from long-lived families and our grandparents lived to be very old, but that doesn't alter the basic facts. Many more middle-aged people have at least one living parent than was the case a few generations ago. This is a quote from the European Journal of Aging: "While in 1900, 80% of the 50-year-olds had lost both parents, today up to age 55, a majority of adults has at least one parent left (mostly a mother)."

You assert as a fact that it is our responsibility to take care of our elderly parents, but that is not a fact. It's only your opinion, or belief. Reasonable people can differ on this. Imagine there is only one surviving child, age 60, and he has cancer or some other debilitating disease. Or his spouse does. Do you still hold the same belief? Whose responsibility is it then? What if there are no surviving children? What then?

Just because taking care of elders at home works well for some people (like you) , doesn't mean it works well, or is even workable for other people. Any hard and fast rule you want to make about it just won't wash.
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I don't believe for one moment that we are living any longer than the previous generations. After researching both my family and my husband's family, I find the majority of the last several generations lived way into their 90's. They were still active too! What I do find is that we are sicker than the previous generations. I believe that is due to our food supply. I do believe that it is our responsibility to take care of our parents. It is not the TAX PAYER's responsibility! Whether you like it or not, it is your responsibility! But I am afraid some of you will advocate for assisted suicide for your parents whether they want it or not. We, as a nation, have produced the most selfish generations that I have ever seen. Most countries do not look upon their elderly as freeloaders. I take care of my Mom in my home. (she only has social security). No, she did not plan for her retirement because it took all the money that my mom and dad made to raise us. I think we forget that back in the 50's to 70's things were not easy for a lot of people. It is not the easiest job I have ever had but I wouldn't have it any other way. The grandchildren love it because she tells them things that she did when she was little. I always make sure that there are things that she can do so that she feels helpful in the house. She has vascular dementia which has lead to some interesting conversations in our home. The best suggestion I ever got was to go outside, take a deep breathe, and look at the situation in a positive light. If all else fails, then PRAY!
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DrConnie, Grandparents raising grandchildren is a good point. And they are raising them because of bad choices the parents made. I have a friend who is raising her son's two boys. The son died and the mother has a drug problem. Both boys are pretty much grown. Friend finds out the mother has a seven year old that needs a place to live. He is no relation to my friend but is a half brother to her grandsons so she and husband took him in.
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This seems to b a bigger problem in the U.S than other countries. We don't see any reason to help with our own family members yet we r always talking about how important family is. People have to work very hard just to keep their head above water. Its really kind of sad.
I took care of my father while raising my granddaughter and i cant tell you how many people would ask me why i didnt work.. are you serious. ??Those two jobs were the hardest ive ever had, but i wouldnt trade one second of it. I did miss out on ten years social security deductions and its hurting me now. I'll work it out somehow.
My granddaughter is working and a mother of two beautiful little girls
My father passed away but i was with him when he passed. He was not only my dad but one of my best friends.
Social security should take in account of people who raise grandchildren and r caregivers for their family members. God knows its saving the govt money.
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If I get to the point where I need home care, I will happily provide a family member room and board, and a salary. I won't demand that someone from my family provide me with help, but if the arrangement works for that person, why not?
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I think in past generations, when families were larger and hardly anyone moved away, that the whole family pitched in, at least sometimes, but now that families are smaller, it does not work out that way. Plus life expectancies are longer, and instead of dying of, say, pneumonia at 75 they might live to 105, with an 80 year old child caring for them. It's unsustainable.

For myself, I hope to get cancer and move to Oregon. I do not want my daughter or any children she may have to be caregivers. I'm sole caregiver for my mother, and my daughter is in college out of state, in a demanding program, on scholarship, and she is in no position to be involved, and I don't want her to. It makes sense if grandchildren live nearby and are in a position to help, and can get paid to be family caregivers, but many are not. 

I wonder if eventually Medicaid will go bankrupt, and what will happen to all the destitute, demented elderly? Maybe expanding assisted suicide will be the only option. I read somewhere that 40% of Americans would have difficulty putting together $500 cash for an emergency. And we're supposed to save for elder care? Really?

Imo, what we really need are tribes, not families.  Native Americans got that right, with the tribe rather than the family as the primary social unit. 
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My father and his wife both refused any kind of help whatsoever from my sister and myself and were getting to the point that they just couldn't take care of themselves anymore. The relationship between my fathers wife was, and still is, very strained so it put us both in a very awkward position because she would just start yelling at us, which is no different that she's done for the past 48 years, when we try to help. My niece and nephew were the ones that saved the day and they took over where we weren't able to. It got to the point though that my sister and I were so angry at both of them for not allowing us to help out and them relying on their grandchildren, that we eventually moved them to a retirement home closer to where I live and away from my niece and nephew. Not that we didn't want them to have contact with them, we just felt it was not their responsibility to care for them, it was ours and the only way was to move them. I know this was a relief for my niece and nephew as they were so busy with work and their young families.
Things have now gone from bad to worse with both of them where they refuse to shower/bathe and staff have noticed that they wear the same clothes day after day and she has a very bad odour coming from her. I have been at my wits end with them both trying to get them to accept the help from both the staff and other agencies but they both say they are accepting help and don't see what the problem is.....we know they are lying. They both have dementia and are 93 and 83 respectively.
I also have to take care of my husband who, in this past year, has had many health problems including a diagnosis of dementia and I got to the point of almost making myself sick over this whole situation. They told me that they don't want to live where they are and are going to move back into an apartment.....both of them can hardly walk anymore. I told them to go for it but don't ask for any help moving, in fact I have decided not to help them anymore, if they're so independent then they won't need my help. The only thing I will do for them now is to shop for a couple of items they need and will no longer be at their beck and call. I told them I will no longer do their laundry and they will now have to use the laundry service the home offers and will have to pay for it. In this past month she has only given me one small load of laundry because they hang their dirty pants and sweaters back in their closet.
The home knows about all of these problems and agrees that I have to take a step back now before I make myself sick.
I have learnt that you can't make anyone take a shower/bath but the home keeps on trying and will continue to offer their assistance.
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As far back as I can remember, my Grandma asked me to take care of her if she ever needed it. She was a big part of raising my brothers and me. Not to put my mom down but she just wasn’t a caregiver. My Grandma just knew it would be me to do it. I always told her if I was physically and financially able to do it, I would. Well, I was physically able to do it, finances went out the window as I was the one paying for almost everything. I wasn’t physically able to have children and recently divorced, I was free to take over her care. Mom came over for 4 hours every week so that I could go grocery shopping, that was all the help I had. Grandma was 100 years old and I was 41, she was in my care for 2 years after suffering a stroke until passing. Now, I’m taking care of my Mom for over 3 years. It's just something I feel I needed and need to do.
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CTTN55 - I think what will be expected is that young people (most likely young women) either will never leave home or will return when called back to care for family. I was speaking to a neighbor yesterday, a young woman in her 20's. She mentioned that their cat was not as bonded to her as to her fiancé, and then said "Well, I was gone for a while, out of state taking care of my grandfather." Apparently this only went on a few weeks or months, so in her case I guess it made sense. (She and her fiancé both live with his mother, and I don't know if any of them hold actual jobs). I don't know and didn't ask where her parents/uncles/aunts/siblings are. Good thing for her and this young couple that this caregiving didn't go on for years or decades.
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CarlaCB: "We as a society can't consume the energies of two younger generations taking care of the oldest old."

That is a scary thought, indeed! People are living longer and longer, many in such compromised conditions. Younger folk often live far away from their families, so I really do wonder how the authors of that article expect it will all play out.
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By 2030 there are going to be more elderly (including me) than young adults and children. There will not be enough professional caregivers to take care of us. We are going to need families to take care of families. But families are smaller and still have to make a living in most cases. We need to prepare in order to compensate our family for their time even when they "want to" take care of us. Plan today.
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I help take care of my Grandmother (she is 82, I am 28). My mother, aunt, and paid caregivers also help with her care. I stepped into the role because I offered to and it just made sense at the time. When she had her 2nd stroke, I had a full time job but worked 12 hour shifts so I had 3-4 days off a week. I could take care of her, run errands, and take her to doctors appointments. In the beginning, we (family) were with her as much as we possibly could. Now we rely on the caregivers more. There are difficult days, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The other grandchildren are not involved in her care and do not want to be, which I completely understand.
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I believe in close families people take care of each other. I guess you call that a cultural thing. I love my mom and I want to take care her. I would not consider it any other way. 
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There are many, many young grandchildren who are being raised by their grandparents for a variety of reasons. Then the grandparents' health deteriorates and the kids wind up caring. The wisdom of the public programs to assist grandparents in this role did not consider provisions for what happens when/if the health of the grands changes. With support, such as the Caregiving Youth Project in FL provides, the kids can excel. It would be terrific to have a special scholarship program for their futures!
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