Promises, Promises...

Follow
Share

I was at my GFs yesterday who is a good hearted person and would give you the shirt off her back. She has taken on the care of a husband, in her home, who she has been separated from for a long time. He is in rehab at the moment for a UTI and now needs to get his strength back. I saw him a few weeks ago and he could just about walk. She has promised him she would care for him and not put him in a home. Really, the reason they aren't together is because he is a "mean" drunk. Long story but I think she feels she owes him.


One thing I have learned here is to never promise. You never know where life is going to take you or your LOs. I would have loved to have had Mom living in her own home or mine till she died but that wasn't possible. I don't have the strength or the patience to be a caregiver. My brothers agreed with me. I never promised my parents I would keep them in their home or out of a nursing home and...they never asked. All we should say is "I will try my best".


Another thing that bothers me is children feeling parents owe them an inheritance. I have told my girls that money has been put away for our care. Thats what it is to be used for. I have "loaned" my daughter money and she has paid it back. They do not expect an inheritance and I feel I owe them nothing. My girls are strong independent women. They know we are there if they need us but don't take advantage of it.


What did these parents do that have children stealing from them? Why do these children feel it's OK and can justify it? Boggles my mind.


I hope that what we have all learned from this forum in never ask for a promise from a child. Its not fair to them to have the guilt that goes with not being able to keep it.

31

Comments

Show:
1 2 3 4
My daughter has worked in NHs for over 20 years. She says she has no idea who is private pay or Medicaid. ALL her patients get the same care.
(1)
Report

Myownlife: You're spot on accurate!
(1)
Report

Jeninea, I do not think that is what cwillie meant. There are people who mean well and save and then through circumstances things change and they do not have the finances for long term care. But then there are also others in this day and age who spend money right and left and do not try to save anything... do you think that they should have the same as others who have spent a lifetime of saving and doing without? Should the taxpayers support those who have not taken care of themselves ???
(3)
Report

I never made a promise but I have to say that I am just trying to do the right thing. ...which is to honor my parents. This can be controversial for some. and everyone is in a different situation. I guess what we can take from it is to know just how very hard it is to be a caregiver and to provide for our kids if we expect them to do this
(0)
Report

Yes, cwillie, Regardless of who we are getting old and sick is expensive. Surely you nor her children would want the state she lived in and taxpayers to pay for her care when she was financially able. Surely you nor her children would want sub standard care for anyone not able to pay. It was her choice to sacrifice and save for her children but sometimes things happen in our lives that are beyond our control and our best plans don't work out. Those adult children know they had a Mom with a heart full of love for them. Aren't you all Blessed?
(2)
Report

Wow, thank you, JoAnn29, this post is thought provoking on many points worth seriously considering. I agree that care-giving is not a promise one should make quickly or easily, if at all. "I will do my best" is a great way to handle it, I love that suggestion. If one feels a promise is needed at least have caveats that allow for human frailties, "as long as I'm able to do us both good" or some such. Unless caring for a loved one brings you both more joy than pain, it's probably a bad fit for both of you.

As far as kids who think their parents owe them an inheritance I agree with you that adults should care for themselves. I did give my adult children permission to purchase life insurance on us if they want to get money when we die. LOL none of them took me up on it so far, they tend to take care of themselves and they know all our money went into helping their dad. Some people believe there is a biblical mandate to provide an inheritance to ones children hidden in IICorinthians 12:14. Some think it's in the marriage vows so must be done even if they both are in misery. I don't think that's exactly the intent of that verse or the best application of the marriage vows either. I'm not sure about adult kids who feel entitled to their parents money. My kids don't feel that way. I know many who do feel that way, I just figure it's the way they are and let it go. We're pretty loose on the finances in our family with everyone helping everyone else as needed. My adult kids have access to our accounts but never have abused that. I have access to some of theirs too just for convenience sake. Yes, we're an odd family. :) A fun kinda odd, but odd nevertheless.

I don't do promises in general. I don't ask my kids for promises either. I don't want them to care for me in my old age. I don't want to outlive my mind by any medical means. I don't want them to visit me anymore after I cease to know who they are because I want them to be free to live their life, their way. My adult kids know what my wishes are for when I am no longer able to care for myself, they will either honor my wishes or not as it suits them and I'm alright with that. At that point it will be out of my hands.
(2)
Report

While my father was dying (7.5 years ago), I told him that "we" would take care of my mother. I don't know what "we" meant. I had no right to burden my brothers. I'm very glad I never promised to never put my mother in a facility. (And, even if I had promised that, I don't think I would have held myself to that promise.)

My mother has LTC insurance, so supposedly she'd planned for that eventuality. Some years back, she told me she never wanted to live with me. Since I feel the same way, I'm holding firm to THAT desire! Haha!

But what does "take care of" mean? I've parsed it to mean take care of her needs (not wants). It's even difficult to do that, though, since everyone else is wrong and stupid, and SHE is always right. That's why she continues to live in a (somewhat) unsafe living environment. I can't take care of all of her needs (safety), if she's deemed to be mentally competent.

I'm very clear in that taking care of her needs does NOT mean taking her out multiple times per week so she can get out of her condo (which is what she would like). She's a shut-in, otherwise. But that's her choice, since she will never choose to use any other mode of transportation other than me, the Dummy Driver Daughter. 
(1)
Report

So good to have friends one can count on! I'm glad you have her. :)
(1)
Report

Teri, With my GF and her husband its a longgggg story. I have been told, even though they lived apart, they went out for dinner and he gave her money. His problem was drinking and is too ill now to drink. I know my GF, she feels an obligation. I don't agree and just gave her ideas to make it easier for him and her. I explained Hospice and told her an aid would be a help and that his Depends would cost her nothing as would some of the other supplies. She seemed to listen but this iscwhat she does and then does what she wants. Yes, infuriating but you want her there when u need someone. She is one friend I can count on.
(1)
Report

I agree with so many of you all. Here is my situation. My mom (92) has been living with me for about a year but it is "not permanent" because she still has her own home, which I constantly hear about as well as her money. She asks me every few days to print up her statements to show her. She is not rich but she and dad saved over the years and it and the house is what she has to "show for her life". She is npd and my only sibling has passed away. But she constantly talks about all this and wants to make sure I get it. And I, because my parents raised me and my brother the right way, were always independent with good jobs. I am still working full-time and am fine. As far as the npd goes, believe me, I haven't said this to her, but I plan to split $$ left, if any, between my children, and my nephew and sister-in-law, if there is anything left, and I only think about it because she always talks about it. Honestly, I wish she would not do so, and I try to pay her 3 monthly bills when she is not around as opposed to trying to include her when I used do it, but it always goes back to asking to print up her statements again. I keep telling her that she has plenty and not to worry so much and when she does not want to spend on herself, to do it, that it is her money and she should use it for her. But she comes from the time period in which she was raised post-depression, times that lent itself to cleaning one's plate, to saving every penney, and doing inexpensive fun family things as opposed to nowadays young families going to and staying at Disney and spending the inane amounts on that, or the latest and greatest electronic gadgets for each of the kids, iPhones for each of the kids, etc. I am actually going on a vacation alone soon that my mom would never have dreamed of spending money for something like that.

This is the rambling I do when unable to sleep and up at 3:30am... will close my eyes for a bit now before "tomorrow" is here :)
(2)
Report

1 2 3 4
Related
Questions