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Oh my heart breaks for you. Will keep you in my prayers. I am an only child as well and understand completely what you are going through. Would try to give you some good advice but knowing your situation, you are already topped off with your own health and that of your son. No need to feel guilty.
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Harpcat, brought up therapy for you and I agree that it will help. You say you are a person of faith, does your church offer counselling? If not you should be able to access counselling on a slicing scale in your community. Even organizations for helping women who have experienced abuse would work. And yes you have experienced abuse. You are currently being abused by your parents and when you talk about 'guilt' that could indicate that you have been abused by them in the past.

I was surprized to learn a few years ago that abuse takes a great many forms, beyond physical and sexual. Their refusal to recognize that you and your son's health are important is a form of abuse.

If they lose their property, it will be because of their own actions.

Start slowly, if needed, but stop taking their calls, stop visiting. Perhaps for a day, then a week then longer. Concentrate on your health and your sons. Start working more hours, now that you no longer will be at their beck and call. Take time for fun. I am sure fun has not been on your horizon for a long time. Rekindle friendships, start living your life for yourself.
(4)
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Like you, I used to try to do Mom's bidding, fulfill her wishes and needs. She had no way of understanding the burden she was placing on me. In her little world, she just kept thinking up things for me to do, as though any of those things could make her happy or healthy or young and energetic. I needed to define limits, and you do, too. Otherwise, you will burn out, and you, your son, and your parents will all suffer even more.
One more point for your consideration. In the midst of all this care for my mom, my daughter suddenly passed away after years of chronic illness. I wish I had helped her more instead of often putting my mother ahead of her. I'll never know if it might have saved her life, and I have to live with that. Mom is in her 90s now, 8 years later, and I still struggle with the loss of my child and probably always will. I hope this never happens to you, but I offer it as a hard-learned lesson in priorities.
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You haven’t stated that they are mentally impaired, so I suggest to call them or write them a letter suggesting to seek advice from an elder attorney. Then block their phone number, so you can call them to check in but they can no longer infringe on your life. You have bucked up and don’t want to buckle under the extra stress and pressure their choices are causing for you. Hugs...
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Don't keep enabling your parents. I would encourage you to get some counselling to help you recognize that as long as you keep "doing" what they ask, the situation will continue. Telling them that they're asking too much won.t work until you do what you say. Do they have wills, powers of attorney? Do you have any siblings?

Take control of your life, You have to take care of yourself before you can really help anyone else and believe that.

Best to you
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Guilt is a ridiculous emotion, unless you’ve killed them, or tortured them but doesn’t apply to protecting your health and your sanity. They have NO RIGHT to be asking for all this from you. They can ask, but it’s your decision how to handle. So much of how we act with our parents as grown children stems from how our childhood was. So as an only child I’m sure that brings more baggage. My advice is to see a therapist who can advise you on how to handle them if you can’t seem to set boundaries and realize that you too matter. Also read the book "Loving Hard to Love Parents" by Paul Chafetz for how to speak to them. Get help as others here have suggested on dealing with the legality. If they’d rather die, well they made their bed...let them lie in it. Sounds harsh, but they are being harsh on you.
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You have two parents that are for the most part, mentally competent. They also have each other. I am a long-distance caregiver for my widowed mother. She has become very dependent on me, calls me for every little problem. I have been sucked into trying to solve every little problem, she constantly calls and asks what she should do. Or complains about a problem that has no solution. Waits until I can come to do things instead of asking others who have offered to help. But when push comes to shove, she always seems to work out her own solution when it is really needed. I am working on stepping back and not immediately giving an opinion or working on a solution for every little thing. If your parents think they do not need AL, then let them deal with the consequences of their decisions. (Easier said than done, I know.)
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Do NOT allow these elderly barnicles to take over your life!! You & your son must put your lives first. If assisted living or help-at-home can be afforded for them, DO IT without guilt!’
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Your parents' increasing impairments are Not Your Fault. Their procrastination in handling legal matters was Not Your Fault. Your breast cancer is Not Your Fault. Your son's epilepsy diagnosis is Not Your Fault.

You are in an extremely difficult situation, Murphy24, and none of it is of your own making. I can understand you feeling overwhelmed, worried, tired, and scared. But guilt? Where on earth is that coming from? None of this is your fault. Guilt should have no part in this.

I know that it is really easy to advise someone to give up the guilt, and not so easy to accomplish that! But try very hard to push the guilt way to the back of your mind and to make your decisions based in love (for all 4 of you) and logic.

I think the others who have posted are right ... it is time to back off being solely in charge of your parents welfare.
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As others are saying, try not to get sucked into their vortex. Do not sign anything for them. I would recommend that when the last one is alive, then you may be able to step in as far as questions of withholding or ending support. I worked in hospitals for many years. When family stay out of the picture, then hospitals will petition the court over the financials. The medical decionmaking takes longer under a surrogate. That is why you may want to step in only in this instance.
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Most states have specialized legal services that address issues of the elderly. You should be able to access these free services by calling the state aging and disability resource center. Some offices provide help regarding specific issues and some are available for more long term legal services help.

I also agree with simply saying you have an appointment, must go, will call you next week, etc.
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Reminds me of a recent news story where a man, 68 was advised by his doctor not to drive. He was driving to his appointment, had a stroke and crashed into the doctor's office.
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Yep, buck up and get over the guilt.

Guilt implies that you did something wrong and from all I've read you have done nothing wrong on that front. It is a manipulation tool and has obviously worked for many years, time to buck up and get over it.

I think what Margaretmcren wrote is spot on, you are not buying or taking the property, you are placing a lien so that it can not be sold or transferred without your knowledge. It is a really good idea.

As long as you participate in their chosen drama they are in control, it is okay to not answer their calls and to not be at their beck and call, you have worries that you need to focus on, are you willing to die so they can have it all there own way? Cuz, that's going to be the reality of you don't step out of their mind f%#k games. No guilt, you did not do this and you can not fix it. Choices and consequences!

Hugs for strength to buck up and step out of their bs.
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Hello Murphy24

Take their advice (your parents I mean) and BUCK UP.

BUCK UP to YOUR situation.
BUCK UP to your sons dilemma.
BUCK UP to YOUR needs and health.

They obviously do not listen when you tell them.
Do the same to them when they call.

example.
Mum/dad "I need, I want, you need to come etc"
You (ignore what they have just said. "I see (mum/dad), well I really have to go now as I have an appointment with my Oncologist/doctors/hospital (Lie if you have to)" I will speak to you again next week"
"Love you, take care. x x x"

Then go and do anything you want to, need to, or indeed do nothing.
Do something nice that you have not been able to do for ages, Relax!
Go have an ice cream in the park, sit on a seat, smell the flowers.

YOU and yours MUST be first.

Now go and have nice cup of tea (I am a Brit lol )

Take care and keep coming here, it help. No one will judge you my dear.

Buzzy
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Thank you for your compassion and kindness.
I have been through much chemo, radiation and targeted drugs and am considered “no evidence of disease “
but have many scares and checks and ongoing scans due to suspicious
nodules in my lungs, and an enlarged liver.
It will be hard to live with the guilt of not being at their beckon call, but I just can’t do it any longer.
Evrn if I was well and my son was not facing these issues, this is overwhelming.
Thank you for your kindness.
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Margaret,
The situation with the land is that in VA in order to be eligible for eventual Medicaid spend down the land has to be sold at fair market value. If not, mom and dad would be penalized.
They are definitely vulnerable- especially my dad- and that is why the 2 caregivers ask about it, thinking they will get it for next to nothing.
😕 I am not sure how some people sleep at night....
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Goodness, you are doing the best that you can. Sounds like chaos over there.

Remember you have to take care of yourself now. Make yourself the priority while you heal. Are you seeking chemo & radiation for your breast cancer?

Keep that situation 2 hours away!

As stayed above, sometimes things are just out of our hands with our senior parents and we need to go on with our life (waiting for the crisis or “event”) to our elders & then sort the care of our elders out one way or another.

There’s a lot going on with you right now! I say the priority is you & your well being and that of your immediate family ( your son with the new diagnosis of epilepsy). Be Momma Bear for him while making sure you can get your recoup time as well.

Your parents sound as if a SNF is in their future if they are way past the “AL” care tier. Thank goodness for those 6 caregivers as well! Try not to let them suck you into their negativity. You pay well for their services and luckily take good care of your parent.

Good luck!
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Sunny,
I can’t take it anymore.
They ask about me and my son, but really are very selfish.
I am in financial shambles from the cancer and the constant running and only being able to work part time. Had the oncologist 2 years ago tell me reducing stress was paramount or the cancer will come back as incurable stage 4.
The stress from mom and dad is never-ending. When I tell them... they nod and ask me when I’m going to the store.
I have to be here for my son....
thank you for tangible ways to move forward.
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Thank you for bringing some humor into the situation! 😂
Moving to desert island sounds lovely.
Getting a room at Motel 6 and throwing away my phone sounds just as good..
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Thank you for hearing me.
They are quite possibly on radar for adult protective services- I’ve had a current caregiver and a friend offer to call. The guilt would be immense... but I just can’t do it anymore. All the paperwork- a will, POA, etc they dragged their feet on and now want me to set myself on fire to get it done yesterday.
Thank you for your kindness,
& for responding.
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I have a Gson whose epilepsy showed up at 19. He hasn't been able to drive. He depends on family to get him to work and then pick him up.
Maybe a call to adult protective services would help. You really don't need this stress with your health problems. What energy you have should be going to you and son. Explain to APS you cannot care for them your own health is bad as is your sons.

You may just have to allow something bad to happen that ends one of your parents in the hospital. Then have your parent evaluated while they are there.

They have 6 caregivers. One of them should be able to get them to appts, etc.

You will just need to stand firm. Tell them you just can't be at their beck and call at this point. They need to use their aides. You need to be there for ur son and tend to your own health problems because .... you have no one to depend on but yourself and then hang up.
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I'm with Sunnygirl, I think my reply to mom would have included a word that rhymed🤣
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I don't think that I'm as nice as you. lol Although, you say that they are for the most part competent.....IDK...I'd be inclined to think that if a mother told you to buck up under those circumstances....somethings not right with her mind. You really have more than enough on your plate. If she were working with full cognitive ability, she would know that. I think that I might consult with an attorney in their jurisdiction, perhaps by phone, for options. I'd inquire about competency proceedings and/or reporting them as vulnerable adults to social services. Having this go on year after year.....I don't think that I could take it.
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This is an overwhelming problem, and I am amazed that you are coping at all. One tiny suggestion relates to the land sale problem. If your father were to give you a mortgage over the land, even to secure a 'loan' of $100, it would mean that it can't be transferred without your consent to discharge the mortgage. That might avoid some expensive 'fraud' litigation, and take one little issue off your mind. Best wishes and hope for the future, Margaret
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