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Parents while they are young need to plan for the golden years to take care of themselves and not drain the life out of there children. Too many parents out there blow there monies and do not plan on there future but expect there kids to take care of them. Where on earth did these attitudes come from. A lot of kids end up drained and angry at there parents. Why would a loving parent want to do that to there children and leave there children with an awful memory of there parents life, at the way they became in there later years.

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Beatty - yep same as I get. With my Dad he does know what hes doing I think and seems not to care.

Has got the attitude that "you owe me".

Also, in his head, no-one needs things more than him. My entire family could be in a coma but it wouldn't be as important as his groceries....
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I completely agree. A little financial responsibility could go a long way!!!
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Firstly, I don't mean to insult older folk or imply everyone has conitive decline. I'm just tossing around a theory...

Babies have no idea at first that Mother is separate. Have a need - cry - get need fixed. About 6 months? it dawns that Mum (or main carer) is a separate person. Learning to get needs met/control others begins. My 2 yr old was a super-puppeteer! She needed *something* x 10 every night. Us parents up & down all night. (We finally got wise).

My Dad only needs a little help now & then. Pulls string - yep that worked. Pull again.

My Mum is like a baby again. Has needs, expects them to be met NOW. Doesn't seem to realise I AM A SEPARATE PERSON, living in my own house WITH MY OWN LIFE.

Or she does know, but doesn't care? Does a baby care if Mum got any sleep? Does the toddler care about your work commitments, exercise class, free time? H377 no. Do my parents? Hmmm
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Carla - you're not wrong. Dad has made it blatantly clear that his attitude is "I'm old and need you're help. Everything else you have to take care of is not my problem".
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I often say, and only partly in jest, that in my old age I shall live on a cruise ship. I will pack a suitcase of muumuus so I can feed from the all-you-can-eat buffets every day, see the world, have a housekeeper make my bed and clean my room every day, watch extravagant shows and lounge my life away without being a burden to anyone. There's a doctor on board, and it's cheaper to live on a cruise ship than it is to live in our local skilled nursing facility which charges $343 per day. Hell, I can even purchase a drink package for those prices! And when it's time for me to meet my maker, just throw my muumuu clad body overboard!
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Smeshque, sorry for the assumptions. Perhaps they stopped at some point making life miserable and that does make it easier, I believe.

I know that I personally would feel differently if my parents would change their behavior and treat me like a human being instead of their personal scratching post. I have forgiven them, but I can't be subjected to the insanity and hatefulness on a daily basis.

Again, I am sorry for the assumptions.
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The slippery slope does, I think have an actual inflection point. It's where you can no longer fit help for your parents into your normal lifestyle and have to make significant changes to accommodate their needs. For example, cutting back on paid work, or being asked to do so. Giving up your career. Giving up vacations because you can't leave the parent and you can't bring them. Needing to leave your home to move in or move close to your parent to be constantly available.

At this point, it's hard to legitimately see it as "just needing a little help," as there can be no doubt that the adult child is being required to make a major sacrifice. But it seems very few parents will draw the line there. Rarely do you hear an elder say "I would rather go into a nursing home/assisted living than to ask my child to give up their home/job/relationship/retirement plans." In my experience, never.
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Smesque, you make some good points but thing is, times have changed and life now is very different than life back when our parents were children. And that is, in my opinion, a big part of why we have gotten away from the old paths. Gone are the days of women staying home raising the children & serving the husband’s. Gone are the days where most families can survive on one income. A lot of people are having children later in life. I also think that we’ve learned from the past and now that we know better, we try to do better.

i was raised in a family that helped each other out. My mom was a nurse and we could not survive on one income so she did the best she could when she saw her mom, in failing health, needed help-she went over every night after work with at least one of us kids in tow. Grandma died suddenly and unexpectedly leaving my grandpa very depressed but he was able to live on his own until suddenly he wasn’t. By sheer coincidence at the same time he needed help, my uncle moved in with him, to get back on his feet after a nasty divorce and bankruptcy. My uncle had to work. He had no choice, he was court ordered to pay child support and pay for their health insurance and he had his own expenses that my grandpa couldn’t cover. And believe me, if my uncle hadn’t paid his CS, my aunt would have come at him with a venegence! Every year she hauled him in to court demanding more money. It wasn’t bad. Anyway my uncle took care of him at night and on weekends. Then Grandpa fell one day and lay there for hours until my uncle found him when he got home from work and it was all down hill from there-a diabetes diagnosis, an amputated leg, bleeding ulcers. the end result was that he went into a nursing home. None of his children was in a position to quit their jobs and become his full time caregiver. I’m sure he would have preferred to stay in his own home but his family just couldn’t make that happen.

My parents had us in their 30s. The end result is that they are now 71 and have young grandchildren. They live 6 hours away and refuse to move back down here. I’ve tried for years. Even if I see a need, I can do very little about it. I don’t have family here to watch my kids while I’m 6 hours away taking care of my parents. My husband’s parents are gone. All he has is his 2 siblings but they live in another city and have jobs and small children. My husband doesn’t have the type of job where he can come in late and take off early. His shift starts at 7:30. Kids start school at 8:10 and 8:27 (2 different schools) & have to be driven there & picked up because we live out of the district. We have NO ONE to help with that. We have NO ONE to watch them at the spur of the moment. No one to take them to sports practice and their games. If my parents lived here, I could and absolutely would take care of them but on my terms-as in, I would not put them before my husband and kids and I would not center our lives around my parents needs but I would do as much as possible without it interfering in our lives. My parents know they and know that they are on their own if they refuse to let me move them. That’s their choice and they have to live with it.

I think a lot of people have seen what caregiving did to their friends and relatives and have decided they won’t make the same mistakes. When you know better, you do better. They will help their families but not to the point of giving up everything and everyone else in their lives. I find that other than than this forum, no one talks about the bad side of caregiving, about the physical and emotional toll is takes. You don’t hear about the sacrifices and what it ultimately cost.

It really is a slippery slope Carla. And I still believe that for a lot of our parents, it is just simple requests and as time goes on and the requests become more frequent, they don’t realize it. But I also agree with you that a lot of them are fully aware and just don’t care.
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A few posters have said that elderly parents just consider it needing "a little help" rather than needing to be taken care of, and that they don't realize how much they are burdening others with their needs. I think that's true and it's not true. On some level they do know, and at some point they really can't avoid knowing in most cases, but by then they realize they don't have any choice. Or they won't consider the choices that they do have.

The choices they have - pay for help if they can afford it, downsize and move to a more manageable living situation or assisted living, or just modify their expectations of having everything done exactly as they want it when they want it - I know my mother would not consider any of these. I would never have let my mother go without food or shelter or clean clothes or any of life's necessities, but she wanted every aspect of her lifestyle to remain unchanged even when she was able to do nothing but sit in a chair all day. I suspect that's a very common experience.

And for us, it's such a slippery slope. You agree to the minor occasional requests for help in the beginning, and you become seen as the reliable source for whatever help is needed in the future. Figuring out where to draw the line, especially when there seem to be so few alternatives, is brutally difficult. My mother certainly knew how burdensome all her demands were to me. She admitted knowing that I felt trapped, but said only "I wish you didn't feel that way." Not "I wish I didn't need to do that to you" but "I wish you didn't feel that way about it." So in my view, they know. They know.
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There is a misunderstanding as to my relationship with my parents growing up. That is all I will say about that because I have forgiven. But my childhood was for a lack of better words miserable.
And as I said it was just my POV, I know everyone has different circumstances and has to do what they need to. I do not judge, it is not my place to do so. I was just giving my 2 cents. I love you all. And feel all your pains through your words.
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Isthisrealyreal - my Dad was OK when I was growing up but hes got the same attitude as you're last paragraph to be honest. 100%.

Problem is he thinks everyone should think like him. e.g.

- Wives should do as they're told by their husband. Things like laundry and cooking are for them to do to.

- Children should expect to be told what they can and can't do. If something comes up, then they have to put up with it.

- Aspergers doesn't exist (my teenage son has) all they need is a smack around the head.

Lets just say our viewpoints are different when he thinks he can tell me to tell my wife to do his laundry, tell my youngest she can't go to the party because I've got to go to grampys, and tell me to slap my teenager around when hes having a hard time....
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Paul, exactly my point.

It is very sad when our elders have always lived their lives for themselves, pushing people away when it wasn't convenient for them and destroying hearts because they didn't and don't care about anyone but themselves. Then they are angry because they have no one that is willing to put them first or as a high priority. Ya think!

I think smeshque had a different relationship with her parents and she is very blessed that they didn't try to devour her in her youth. It makes it easier to provide a loving home.

My parents were never loving and they actively try to hurt me, so I can't be a solution that they want. I help on my terms because I love them, but I matter and I will not subject myself daily to being torn down, chewed up and crapped on. I feel no guilt for taking care of me and my family. I am a decent human being even though I have no guilt and I think that we all do the best we can when dealing with difficult, selfish parents. Not something that you can understand if you had good, loving caring parents. I often wonder what it would have been like to be raised by people that actually cared. Must be lovely.

My dad actually told my husband if we could get rid of him everything would be fine. Wants me to be his mommy and caregiver so he can have the life he wants, doesn't matter how it effects anyone else, as long as he gets what he wants that is all that matters. Nice view point, eh.
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smeshque - Completely disagree to be honest.... I've not got an elderly father "messing up" my life, I've got an elderly father who wants me to dump my other responsibilities (i.e. my kids and wife) in favour of him.

We all have responsibilities, in some cases to many people. I don't consider myself selfish when I tell my Dad "No" when he expects me to drop everyone else for him. I could grow spiritually too but its not going to alter the facts.

In an ideal world, I'd visit my Dad every day and take him out. In the real world its not possible.
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Isthisrealyreal - My Dad has NEVER babysat EVER.... Even when he was younger. He hardly acknowledges my kids (his grandchildren). They're just an inconvenience to him...
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I know I may stand alone here. But really that is the way it was and should be. I think people have gotten away from the old paths and now think they are ridiculous.
It is easy to say "when I am old" this or that. But if one is not old and in need of help, how can one truly say what another should feel about it?
We are a selfish people and of course we don't want someone "messing up" our lives by needing us. I know I sure didn't. But as I have grown spiritually, I see things different. My parents did not ask me to take care of them. I saw a need and I love them and wanted to help them live life to the fullest. I am just a crutch and I am ok with that. Because nothing brought nor brings me more joy then to have seen and see my parents living life in spite of their circumstances.
I understand everyone's circumstances are different and we all must do what we think is best and that we can live with.
I just think that we have, as a society, as a people gotten so far removed from what we are meant to be.
And as the world "progresses", we digress in Love and natural affection.
Just my opinion. And again I know everyone needs to do what is best for them and their situation, And I know that whatever we choose about our loved ones, to personally care for them, or to have them cared for. It is still a tough job for all of us. And I am not placing judgement on anyone, just giving my thoughts.
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I find it amazing that the same people who want their adult children to prop up their lives were the same ones that would not even babysit for an hour when their grandchildren needed it. I am not talking about everyday, every week, I mean an hour on occasion.

Selfish people are always selfish, 5 or 85.

I also wonder if they ever think about what happens if their children die before them.
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Sunnygirl, wish I could upvote you more than once!

Elders absolutely view things as being “help”. And I can understand that. My friend complains about it regularly. His parents are 82, still active, still snowbirds. They are slowing down a bit but really for their ages they are in amazing shape! I hope to be that lucky! Anyway every time he goes to his parents house, there is something they need done. They are pretty wealthy and hire people all the time but it never fails. Every time he goes over there, his mom wants new curtains hung or something like that! He has his own home he takes care of. When he goes to his parents house, he doesn’t want to work on theirs too!

also poor judgement and failure to realize the burden and inconvenience caused when elders want their families to keep them in their home. I agree with that 100%. It’s poor judgement and quite frankly I think most don’t even realize the inconvenience. If they were never in that position, of course they don’t stop and think about how it affects their children’s lives and the kind of sacrifices they have to make.

I’m currently with the opposite, it’s not my parents or in-laws that need us to take care of them. It’s my BIL and his soon to be ex wife & their childcare needs. And the thing is, they have no idea how much of a burden and inconvenience their requests cause the rest of us! Because they’ve never been on the opposite side. None of us can call them up and ask them to babysit but they have no problem making huge (to me) requests. I sympathize because they are working parents but BILs soon to be ex is self employed and puts work first. If their child care falls through, she won’t reschedule. And she schedules them knowing her child will need to be dropped off somewhere or picked up & looked after and expects others to do it for her. So recently we were asked to go pick the child up 45 minutes away and look after him for a few hours. Last week, I was asked to watch him for an hour and then take him to day camp. And today they are again asking to drop him off here hours before we all get up and then take him to day camp! I have my own children to take care of, who have sports practice and day camp and play dates. My husband has to work. I know they don’t realize the burden of what they are asking when they ask me to do these things. So I’m trying to be understanding but there has to be boundaries. I would be more willing to help if my ex-SIL wasn’t self employed. She’s her own boss. She makes her own schedule, so think badly of me all you want but when she schedules work that conflicts with her child, I’m not going to re-arrange my schedule so I can babysit for her. She had no problem rescheduling and showing up late when I was her client. I’m not willing to take over my MILs role and become his primary caregiver. They tried it with my SIL already. My MIL always said yes even when she wanted to say no, even when they weren’t speaking to her. Even when she worked full time. She would even call in to work! And I guarantee you, neither my BIL or his ex have any idea how much they asked of her. Believe me it was a lot.

And it is only a matter time before my BIL starts asking for money. The day is coming. I can feel it.

Anyway this has me reflecting a lot on how a lot of parents expect their children to take care of them in old age and how.....a lot of children expect their parents and other relatives to take care of their kids! These recent events have started to change my perspective on things.
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Mostly these ideas come from an earlier time and place - before there really were alternatives.  And of course, they are part of many cultures.  BUT, in these situation, elders did not live as long, and certainly not with the chronic medical problems.
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Recently read an article in which the author discusses his own elder care plan: living in a motel room. He has a loyalty card and a room is way less expensive all things considered than being in an apartment or house: no property maintenance, yard work, repair or replacement of appliances. Breakfast, utilities, cable, local phone, internet, linens and daily room cleaning included in the price. Rooms have a TV, mini-fridge, microwave and coffee pot. A coin laundry is available. There is a reasonable shuttle service. He will get his main meal from Meals on Wheels. He can sit in the lobby and talk with others or go to the local senior center. He can travel to another location and keep up his same routine. If/when the need arises he can afford visiting aide or nursing services.

His plan ticks so many boxes: shelter, food, entertainment, people always around to talk with or notice if something goes awry, elevator if he can't manage the stairs. He can even have a pet.

Food for thought.
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Or like my Dad - got thousands in the bank that he doesnt want to spend just expects his kids to run around for him...
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Just read all the answers and they were good ones.

Hopefully we have all learned something from sharing our experiences. Know when its time to make changes in our lives and make it easier on our kids to help us, Get out of that house that is now too big. Ask kids to help downsize. Cleaning out is a big job. One of my cleanouts for Mom was the attic where all my brothers stuff was. He had been gone 30 yrs. Never thought about cleaning out when he was home. Be independent as long as you can. I have read on this site where a child has enabled a parent. I hate these commercials "you can stay in your own home" if you get a reversed mortgage, hire a family member thru an agency. Yes this helps you stay independent. But there are times this is not the answer.

If something happens to my DH, I think my single daughter would move in. There is enough room we don't have to even see each other. If that is not an option, then I sell and move to a nice apartment. Not spending what money I have on upkeep and taxes.
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My parents were born the late 20s. SS came into law 1935, with first ongoing payout in 1940. It was not uncommon for 3 generations to live together. A mother loses her husband, its a given one of her children will take her in. People didn't get pensions either. My Mom had her Gma living with her when she was a child. When my Gma died, Mom was 9 and went to relatives. My Dads mother had 8 kids but always allowed family to live with her if needed. She had her Dad and sister living with her when I was small. Thats what family did.

So if your parents lived during that era, that may explain their thinking.
But life has changed. In a marriage the two people have to work if they want a decent life. Children move away where the jobs are. Hard to caregive when ur thousands of miles away.
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No parent should expect a child to give up their earning potential to care for them. Especially out of stubbornness because "they want to stay in their own home" There has to be compromise. This is what I can do, this is what I can't do. Parents have so much more in the way of options then their parents had. But, I see this changing. There r going to be cutbacks. And we r going to see generations living together again. I have a friend whose DH died at 63. She had MIL suite from caring for her Mom. She now lives in that and her daughters family is living in the rest of the house. It works for them. My GF is now living on a daughters property in a building that was remodeled for her and DH to live in. A classmate and DH moved in with a son to care for Gkids. Seems to work for them. We all don't have the money to put aside for the "future". Just living takes most of it.

I am not saying we have to physically care for our parents. But we should be there for them. Help them find resources to live independently. Help them move to a safer place. I realize that not all parents were "perfect" and your better just staying away. But I do think we owe those parents who sacrificed for us so we could have better than they had. My Dad was a pain, but he gave up things for his kids.
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I remember a few years ago--2 or 3, the kids and gkids were all over for Sunday dinner and I am in the kitchen, whomping up a meal for 12-all alone, b/c my kitchen is so small...
The kids are having a discussion about "what are we going to do with mom and dad when they get old?"

I popped my head into the LR and said "why are you even discussing this? I'm still feeding y'all and watching your kids, jumping on the tramp (no more backflips, sadly) and painting your homes." Kinda put a kibosh on the whole discussion.

It DID lead to DH and I sitting down with the kids, showing them our portfolio of investments and EOL wishes, etc. Showed our executrix what she'd need to know and we talked about an hour and they all sighed a huge sigh of relief. NOBODY in the family will NEED to care for us.

If they WANT to, to be a part of a CG team, we'll revisit that at some point.

My dad had to retire early, at age 55. He had planned to work forever. He and mother made some terrible investments AND let my OB take the equity out of their home, loaned YS $60K....never repaid.

They would have been SO much happier living alone and having CG come to them.

Mother doesn't disrupt my life at all, now. Her poor choices were hers, and we sibs all tried to talk them out of what they did.

In the end, they moved in with YB and it's been a sad mix of bad and awful. You cannot make mother happy. Simply impossible. Try living with that daily and you'll wear out in a hot minute.
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To me, the senior parents don't necessarily view it as their adult children or grandchildren taking care of them, but, just getting some help. They don't get how helping can become burdensome and just too much for people who have their own job, family and life going on.

Because the senior parent's parents didn't need much help or died early, they were able to run their own lives when they were in their prime and were able to spend time with their children, have vacations, work on their own properties, have own hobbies, etc. But, now that they are older and need all of this help, they fail to see why their weekly or daily needs prevent their adult children from doing that. They think that summoning adult children over to move this, pull up that, fix this or that, check on something, fix something, etc. is no big inconvenience, and they are disappointed when it's not done pronto.

To me, when you need an inordinate amount of help to live where you are, you should consider downsizing. If driving is an issue, move closer to stores and doctor's office. Can't climb stairs, get a one floor place. Can't manage yard, move to place with little yard space that's care for by others.

To me it shows poor judgment to expect to continue in your life undisturbed, when you are disrupting other's lives in order to do it.

I'm not sure if it's just in my area, but, I am seeing more and more cases where the adult children are NOT responding to these demands. I hear my parent's friends complain about it all the time. I don't think it means adult kids don't love their parents, but, that the demands are unreasonable and they are not able to participate.
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My father did not expect me to take care of him but when the time came I did. He made a comment one time that he was going to go to a nursing home because I was driving him crazy with too much concern and care. I told him no way and I would take care of him. He walked to the mail box 3 weeks before his death. I told him I would get the mail and he replied "I am not dead yet". My mother does not expect me to take care of her, but I do. She said she had enough money to stay in her own home and get the help she needs. She has a life estate on the deed and that gives her and me peace of mind. Caregiving is not for everyone. It is the hardest job you will ever do in your entire life but it certainly has its rewards. I plan on going to an assisted living facility or nursing home when I get old and need the help. My niece thinks differently and wants to take care of me. Oh no...…. it is not that I do not appreciate the kind thoughts but listening to some of the caregivers on this site talk about their own concerns about caregiving helped me want to plan for my own future. I do not want to depend on anyone for my care except from professionals When the time comes, If I learned anything from this site I learned not to judge others because everyone's life is different and people are doing the best they can in their unique situation.
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Love means sacrificing yourself for others without asking for something in return or judging them for it, even if you may not be religious Proverbs 23:7 is a good scripture to keep in mind "Do not withhold good from those to whom you should give if it is within your power to help." With that said, Would you lend a hand to a Homeless person who may have made bad decisions that lead them there? Most would, why would helping your parents be any less?

I cared for my mother for 10 years until her insurance and government help made it difficult to care for her at Home, she is unfortunately in a nursing home now, and I wish I had the money to care for her at home again the way she deserves. My mother did not have anything prepared ahead of what happened to her Brain Hemmorage as she was only 53, but the scriptures below helped me to understand how God cares for the elderly and weak and how I would also like to be treated if I something similar were to happen to me.

Acts 20:35
"I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way, you must assist those who are weak and must keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said: ‘There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.’”

Proverbs 23:22 "Listen to your father who caused your birth, And do not despise your mother just because she has grown old."

Hebrews 13:6 "Moreover, do not forget to do good and to share what you have with others, for God is well-pleased with such sacrifices."
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Not many here would disagree with you, Kathy. I think that many people legitimately can't plan for their older years because they're barely getting by with their current expenses. But I also think in many cases it's denial, or excess optimism about what old age will look like for them. My mother never imagined she would become disabled, but she spent the last dozen years of her life in increasing disability. She said she never wanted to be a burden to her children, but when it came around that way, she said "Well, what can you do?"

The idea that children should take care of elderly parents is ingrained in all cultures including ours. And I believe the expectation becomes more entrenched as more people are living into older age and more adult children, even those who are themselves elderly or disabled, are forced to step up. Unfortunately, I think every one of us who does step up is setting a dangerous precedent. We are demonstrating that it's okay that our parent failed to plan and okay that they insist on staying in their own home, even though one or more family members will need to put their own lives on hold for an extended period to make that possible.

Unfortunately, in most cases, we're over a barrel. We're not consulted when our parents decide to retire early, or when they spend every cent on cruises or vacations or hobbies or home remodeling or whatever they want. Then, when the fun is over and the money runs out, we are called in to help the parent stay in their home and make their final years as comfortable as possible. My mother refused assisted living and could not afford it anyway. She was not quite disabled enough to qualify for a Medicaid nursing home, not that she would have accepted that either. She wanted to stay in her own home and have her kids make that possible for her. And we (mostly I) did, although if assisted living had been within reach financially, I would not have agreed to it. Unfortunately, I see the situation only worsening in the future.
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Well, I do not have that problem as I have no children. However, I see this very often. I do estate planning, and this is a common issue. These people retire on a wing and a prayer, and expect their children to dig them out, then they wonder why their children have nothing to do with them.
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