Maintaining a family while caring for an elderly parent. I had hoped that my kids would see the importance of taking care of family once they are grown. But I worry they can only see the intrusion and frustration that is caused the family. My father-in-law is not a cuddly grandpa that wants to talk to the grandkids and be around them. Our weekends are spent at home because someone needs to be here with him. Summer vacation for the kids was uneventful as we weren't able to do anything outside the home.

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I have taken care of my dad since he was unable to live independently.
He has been with us for 7 years now. We are to a point where we will be putting him in a home because we can no longer manage his special needs. WE do not regret having him with us for this length of time. We have had to give up vacations, weekends, etc. However, my kids have learned to work together to help the family unit get things done. I think it has made us a stronger family unit. We have conversations about nursing homes and what I expect from them if the need arises for me one day.

They have good memories of their grandfather from the early days of his stay with us. They have acquired an unique perspective on life and death. They have learned to respect all stages of life. I think the whole experience has made them better people, stronger people.

My children were 10 when we started taking care of their grandfather.
If you decide to take care of your elderly parent, my advice is to find ways to compensate the children for things they will miss out on because of the special needs of the elderly parent. Life is never perfect. It will always a give and take situation. Balance bad things with good things. For example, my kids get music lessons because I am at home taking care of the elderly parent. If I was working a regular full time job, I would be able to take them to lessons.

It worked for us. :)

Well, my significant other and myself know what NOT to do after caring for my parents [90+] who still live on their own instead of being in an elder safe home. There is no way I would put my significant other's grown daughter in the position that she is on some elder care website, at midnight, looking for suggestion on what to do for her father.

My parents have had a fantastic retirement with a lot of travel, dining, movies, etc. I will never see that, because the worry/stress my parents have put us through has already caused major health issues in both of us. Forget our dream of traveling, that ship has sadly sailed. In fact, the grown daughter might not have to worry because we will be lucky to see 75 :(

Your children and your husband should always come first. Are there other relatives that could stay with Grandpa while you and your children enjoy family time during the week or weekend? How about checking with senior services to assess what services he might be eligible for. Would it be possible to hire someone to come in several hours a week or maybe an entire weekend a month so you are free to be a parent?

I don't see there is much to learn (that is positive) when an entire family gives up their life to take care of one person. IMHO your children should be minimally impacted by elder care; not have their whole lives restricted. Good luck.

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