This could be unpopular, but may shed some insight on family dynamics.
I'm not needing caregiving, at least, not yet.
Two retirees here, a lot of serious health problems. Current spouse’s daughter and son ignore us, ignore him. My first spouse emotionally and financially abused me, father of my sons. I did my best to shelter them from it, but guess my sons picked a lot up anyhow. Especially disrespect. Not a surprising situation, perhaps, as I had two Narc parents, was scapegoated by all siblings, and they still engage in mobbing. Not the best partner choice. Two of my sons have joined the other side. My youngest is a good person, but lives in another state, struggles financially with low wages. Basically we are on our own in our old age.
I’ve never nagged, bullied, intimidated my sons, when I needed help. None ever came to my aid when I was sick and asked for a bit of assistance. When I was sick, trying to pack the house to move across country, none would make any time to help me pack the boxes. I offered airfare. So I did it alone, with major lung disease trying to kill me. Paid for some assistance, couldn’t pay for as much as was needed. There have been several more work relocations, lung disease now stable, though on oxygen for the lung damage. I have severe IBS-D, symptomatic diverticular Disease, and liver doesn’t take up Bile, so causes unrelenting diarrhea. I have to ration the meds due to cost. The last move, to retirement home in this state, I did it all, then went to the hospital after truck was unloaded, and was admitted, acute diverticulitis again (3rd diverticulitis admission) plus Salmonella poisoning.
I write this because, despite being a hard-working spouse and mother, I find myself in very poor health, with a sick spouse. His severe arterial disease, many patches and stents, recent lung cancer surgery, I do not hold his frailties against him. I begged sons for help during last move, they all ignored my pleas, even while I told them how sick I was. I needed to be hospitalized, instead of moving, but somehow I worked full-time, packed, and pulled off an interstate move. Had my spouse lined up with new specialist appointments as soon as we arrived, as he had arterial fistula in his leg needing more attention.
Yes, I was raised in a very dysfunctional family. I did my best, but obviously wasn’t good enough to raise decent sons. So there will never be family help, no matter how much I might need it. I figured out what the middle son was all about when he and his newest female companion said they couldn’t afford gas to come assist me, but he could afford gas to go get his friend’s dog and care for it, when his friend had a medical emergency. He’s been trying to manipulate me to give him things he wants, that I currently am using in my home. Sees me as an inheritance, nothing more. Obviously, my sons were absorbing the example of their father, how to deceive and abuse their mother.
My message here is to please don’t be too hard of heart toward your elders. Some of us gave it our all, and still didn’t meet the kids' needs. I went bankrupt paying for one son’s 3rd inpatient drug treatment - before he even graduated high school. Just one example of the ungrateful, out of control sons I tried to raise properly. Oldest is an alcoholic, started drinking as a teen. Multiple local jail stays for the two oldest, mostly due to drugs and alcohol. Yes, I guess it falls on me. But, there is no compassion, no basic human decency, coming from my offspring. They were never abused, but the opposition to mother and my attempts at guidance, they have made choices as to the men they are.
I pray I can care for my spouse as long as he needs it. But my gut troubles, lungs, arthritis, failing 2nd hip- I don’t see me making it ten more years. Probably not five more. Just too sick. Never did we have a lot of income, so savings aren’t what we need. Both had to start over after failed marriages.
Please, be gentle with yourselves, & parents.