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I don't think so! We've got folks who write in describing narcissistic and at times abusive parents who, due to codependency issues, are wearing an adult child into an early grave. In those situations, some of us suggest stepping away from the situation in order to let professionals take over, or to ask for assistance in getting a parent placed after a hospitalization because living alone is no longer feasible.

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as soon as better income heats up around here i plan to get a will made up . my oldest son is an accredited emt so i think he can make sensible health care decisions . i , like mom , plan to have a springing POA arrangement . i have no use for the possibility that son ( s ) will ever override my decisions . my aunt is living that h*ll right now . her daughter is deciding what she does and doesnt need . that shouldnt happen until a judge has declared the elder incompetant .
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FF and Jessie - that hits home. I am 77 and my mother is 102. She may be physically as healthy as I am, though certainly not mentally. I have to protect myself from her as her critical negative behavior affects my well being. My father died at 81. I think it was a blessed release for him.
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freqflyer, this made me think of a woman who was 101 the last time I saw her. She had 5 or 6 children -- all of them dead and buried. She was a mean woman, which is probably why she lived so long... and maybe why her children didn't.
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MaggieMarshall, I agree with everything you posted above. On the other side of the coin, my parents won't spend on themselves to make their live easier as they age but they are the children of the Great Depression.... I wouldn't be surprised if Dad has the first dollar he ever earned.

My parents keep telling me I will inherit their estate.. I tell them, that is nice but I think you will outlive me, so you enjoy your money, you earned it. Even if I do get their estate, I am too tired and my health isn't that great, guess I could use it for my own assistant living :P

As for aging into our early 100's, OMG that means aging children in their 70's and 80's will be trying to care for their own parents who are in their early 100's. Or a grandchild in their 50's trying to care for their 70's and 80's parents and 100's grandparents.

I don't mind living into my 90's if I can still be part of a productive society, doing volunteer work, etc. I don't want to spend my golden years bedridden with a feeding tube not knowing where I am.

With the all baby boomers getting older, and there are many of us, I am just now starting to see more and more articles in my local newspaper [The Washington Post] about Alzheimer's, dementia, and about Caregiving. These articles should have been discussed 25 years ago and something done back then. Too many of us are exhausted, be it hands-on care, or caring from afar, or dealing with daily logistics.
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I'll tell you who's liable to get thrown under the bus. Our generation. Maybe I sound like my grandmother, but I think younger people have a bold sense of entitlement I didn't have. I read it on this site:

My dad changed his will; how can I change it back? I want to see a copy of dad's will. Am I entitled to do that? . . . People who are slaves to their parents and who don't want to spend any money on their parents' care because many times, I think, they figure it's coming out of their own pockets . . . my brother stole dad's money . . . my sister stole gram's money . . . Who ARE these people? And how do they sleep at night?

This site (and caring for mom) has gotten me thinking hard about quality of life. And the pharmaceutical industry. They're tough topics. Both of them.

Seeing the number of people with little or no savings to pay for their own care relying on our government to take care of them. As we've learned to keep people alive longer, we haven't touched the dementia problem. Live long enough? You won't even know what day it is. Stop swallowing and we'll insert a feeding tube. When does it stop? I'm not sure it ever does. Reading how people have tried to hide their parents' assets so they will have an inheritance. Siblings stealing from siblings. It's discouraging.

A pharmaceutical industry that researches the latest and greatest and then pushes it down our throats (pun intended) with abandon. Side effects be damned. A medical industry telling us fat isn't good for us and restricting a 90-year-old's diet to low fat.

I guess I'm becoming jaded here. I DO read between the lines on many of the posts. I trust that instinct. I've trusted that sense all of my life, and it's served me well. I try to impute pure motives in people, but it becomes difficult sometimes.

Oh, well, I've rambled long enough. ;)
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several years ago i discovered a house in the country on one acre of land for sale for 4 thousand bucks . i tried to get my dad to help either of my sisters buy it , they were both struggling . dad had probably 80 k in the bank at the time . he pounded his chest and told me he didnt want them living only 5 miles from him and besides he took care of himself . mom and i reminded him that his ( extremely poor ) FIL had helped him with down payments on both of the homes hed bought in his lifetime . facts didnt matter to dad , he was all about himself and his church . his selfish attitude was one i never quite got over .
late in life he sat in his house with mom lamenting about the freezer needing defrosted and how his worthless kids didnt care if he lived or died . he read his bible rather selectively . he adhered to the part about not shorting yourself on lamp oil to help those who failed to prepare but ignored the many lessons about uplifting the least in society with what youve been generously blessed with . i wouldnt have caregiven for dad for one minute . it would have been contrary to my principles and a transparent fraud . i feel for mom having to live with this womanizing hypocrite for 55 years . she had potential for so much more .
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It seems to me that there are as many reasons for becomming a caregiver for an elder,spouse or child as there are people who are doing it. Sometimes it looks easy and the caregiver thinks they can go on with their life but just live home rent free and be there at night so Mom is not alone or maybe Mom is still well enough to watch a grand child. In the blink of an eye that all changes and the caregiver finds herself/himself in an untenable situation. What are they going to live on if the only income becomes Mom's SS? Others do it out of genuine love for a parent but have absolutely no idea what they are getting into. Many are forced into it when an in law needs help and is moved in. Some do it with the expectation of an inheritance.
I do not believe it is something anyone looks forward to doing and hopes they will have the honor of cleaning up after Mom or Dad when they have decorated the bathroom walls yet again. it is just as easy to praise as to critisize but and it is a big but more experienced caregivers will speak up when they see someone new is heading for disaster. This is not throwing anyone under the bus or being harsh towards another poster, it is experience being shared which is what this forum is all about. A few have medical training but not necessarily in eldercare which while given little value is a definite specialty with at least or maybe more training needed than many other specialties. Some people can write their posts more eloquently than others but often leave out important background details and the message being conveyed may paint an entirely different picture than reality and elicit responses which on the surface are harsh but may seem appropriate given the information provided by the questioner.
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Captain I know what you're getting at, and with the generality of the delightful elders I have known and loved, your question about 'what would they do for us if we needed them' is a very valid one.

Only, with my darling mother whom I do honestly love, not so much. Because I know exactly what she would do. She'd say "never mind, darling. I'm sure you'll manage" and return to her crossword. And I know this because that was exactly what she always did do. And mainly we did manage - upside down, back to front, through a hedge backwards, sliding on our arses, we got there somehow. But in a few variously devastating ways, we didn't.

She loved us. She couldn't look after herself, never mind us. Each to his own - is it her fault she was talentless at caregiving?

So, all I mean is, if reciprocity were the only reason for caring for our elders perhaps quite a lot more of them would be going under a bus. I think we come to better arrangements when we think through what's the best fit for all, within the bounds of practical realities, rather than acting purely under obligation.
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Dear all, thank you so much for your thoughtful replies. Yes, I think sometimes the newbies, or those folks with perfect parents don't get what some people are going through. I just wanted to make sure that when the situation seems to warrant it (feces all over the house, parents who insist children quit their jobs) that I'm still in my right mind supporting their right to say "no". In 1965, my mother's mom broke her hip; she told all her friends, "I'm an invalid now, and my daughter will wait on me (my mom three of us, 12, 8 and 2). My "cruel" mom sent her mother to rehab...a newfangled idea as Medicare had just come into being. Grandma learned to walk again with some tough love. So yes, we have to take care of ourselves first and care for our elders the best we can, sometimes with help and at a distance.
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I was brought up in the "Leave it to Beaver" type of household, had wonderful parents, I did miss not having any siblings to annoy and to share my life.

When the time comes when my parents need professional hands-on care, I will either hire certified Caregivers or suggest my parents move into a really nice retirement facility. They saved for those forthcoming rainy days.

Physically I cannot take on the role of a hands-on Caregiver. I am pushing the big 70... how I wished I had the energy I had back when I was in my 50's... half of that energy has disappeared, and I have my own age related decline. Heavens, just 6 years ago my sig other and I had hiked 22 miles one weekend.... now we are lucky if we can walk around the block :(

Everyone's case is different. I never had children to learn how to reason with a 3 year old or a 13 year old... thus, how do I reason with a 93 year old?... I can't drawn on my career for examples.
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Call me idealistic, but I think the purpose of forums like this is to support and educate not judge.
Passing judgement and vilifying our fellow members undermines the good of this place. I believe that opinions of that nature are best kept to ones self.

Having said that... people are people including me and sometimes our emotions put our brains (and typing fingers) on speaker phone. I like the way people here, for the most part, make room for our many personalities :)
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Had my narc dad not been placed in AL, he would have thrown himself under the bus to get attention and have us all running our selves to death.... one side of the coin.....Had my mom lived to a great old age, we would have been fighting to see who would take care of her....the other side of the coin....
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littletonway, I have to agree with what you said. When I first started the sky was still blue, then my dad really started succumbing to his yet diagnosed cancer. For 6 months I cared for him along with mom. After he passed I had another 8 or so months of blue(ish) skies, then mom started progressing faster (AD) and the skies turned cloudy until now they are mostly grey. Being the youngest of 4 and the only daughter, my dad did help me as much as possible. He also helped my brothers but it's different with a daughter. My father took care of mom for 4 years before I arrived. We had talked/planned on what needed to be done for her. He sacrificed A LOT and did a lot. For me, the thought that my elderly sick father was taking care of mom basically alone, even though my two oldest brothers lived 20 minutes away, broke my heart... he sacrificed so much for me, it seemed only fitting that I sacrifice for him. For about 2 years before I arrived I educated myself on AD and what laid ahead of me. By the time I arrived I had scared the hell out of myself and was a nervous wreck fumbling along...the reality of the situation now is completely different than my worst nightmares... but it is what it is now and even though some days I do want to run away, I won't. It's not guilt, it's not the fact that I will inherit this house... it's the compassion and love I felt for my parent's even though at times throughout life they were my worst enemies. One of my brothers "thinks" I live the life if Riley... don't have to pay bills, no worries about house payments...can lounge all day if I want. HA! In my opinion the work, care, love and patience I have bestowed upon my parent's has been worth the so called life of Riley I live.

I think what I am getting at is this. The caregivers with siblings/relatives that do not help out because of the thought that YOU are going to inherit whatever is leftover,so you should be able to handle everything yourself, are the ones that throw people under a bus. Not only are they throwing their parent's under a bus, but their sibling also. I did this out of kindness... if there is nothing left when all is said and done, I will still have my integrity. I will have done the right thing by them. If my mother becomes too much for me to handle and her own safety is jeopardized and needs to be in a NH, then that will happen, for HER safety, not because I abandoned her. Because I love her.
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Oh, please let me have a few words on this subject. I have been one of the most vocal people on this site about my mother and her narcissistic behavior. This is not just my observation but the observation of every single person who knows her.

Captain, what you have described is what I call LOVE. Truly. Being there when we are down and out. Not necessarily with money but with what we have to give and selflessly.

When I married, my parents had given me very little in the way of money and emotional stability. My dad verbally abused me as a teenager and my mother let him. So I married a man who, like my parents, put money before those he was supposed to love. I knew no better. Over the years and three kids later, I was barely hanging in there. I talked to my mother about the struggles of a man who valued his net worth over the love of his wife. She listened and then she turned on me.

Many years later my brother told me she had been bad mouthing me for years because she was afraid I wanted money from her. I confronted her about this and she hates me even more so now.

I felt it was my duty as her daughter to care for her in her later years. She has fought me tooth and nail. Not wanting me near her money. Lied about me to my brother and sister in law. Treats me terribly. Why? My brother said she thought I might need something.

So, any one who thinks I will hands on take care of a woman who does this sort of thing is out of their mind. I am not a bum who would let their parent suffer. I have raised three wonderful girls and even over 30+ years have managed to come to an understanding of my husband.

There are many worse situations on this site. Many worse abuses. But for any one to suggest that we who have suffered at the hands of mentally ill or narcissistic parents are just throwing the parent under the bus does not understand what pain we have been through. All we are looking for is a map to navigate the terrible hand we have been dealt. And to not be hurt any longer.
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Part of me thinks, some of the newbies have yet to walk in our shoes. The sky is still blue, Mom is fun to have around and life is good. The reality down the road is sometimes so totally different. Some posts are just heartbreaking and yet, you all manage to get up every day and do the best you can. Caregiving added another dimension to my compassion for others in this role. God bless you all!
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I just don't see assisted living as throwing my MIL under the bus. Leaving her in her house was totally unsafe. Letting her drive was extreme danger to others. Her bills were a mess, the water was going to be shut off, because she hates water bills and won't pay them. It was more like she was waiting to be hit by the bus and we pulled her to safety.
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Neither my father nor my husband's mother had the means to help us out. My father dropped dead without needing advanced care. May you live so long and die so quick. My MIL on the other hand developed dementia, and we are overseeing her care and finances. My sister is disabled, I am her Guardian per my fathers wishes. He paid the court fees to get it done. It's a moral obligation to take care of family.
I see my sister every weekend. Two other sisters live far away, but they do keep in touch, stay updated and will kick in if little sis needs a TV or furniture or a new winter coat. We make it work.
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Captain, I think there are a lot of people here who didn't receive help from their parents when they were young and struggling. Some people were abused by their parents, or neglected, or exploited. I don't recall getting help when I was struggling because they couldn't provide the kind of help I needed. No hard feelings, but I got my support elsewhere.

Your elders would have and did help you. You helped them. All is cool. No bus in sight.

My sisters and I helped our mom stay in the community and then eventually go into a nursing home. No bus in our itinerary, either, though some people think, by definition, that placing your elders in a care center is throwing them under the bus.

Some posters here are under the bus's wheels themselves, and need encouragement to extricate themselves. Some posters see this encouragement as wrong and think we should sacrifice for our parents no matter what.

Lots of different views. As I say, I don't see much abandonment going on.

Nor do I think that caregivers who need to receive some compensation are wicked people who are exploiting their parents. Sorry, I've seen too many situations up close and personal that don't fit that mold.
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pam , i think multigenerational household not only make sense but in this rough economy are making a comeback . i bought some tomatos from a 70 ish yr old man last week who hooked his daughter and SIL up with a couple acres to build a house on and said it was the best move he ever made in his life .
mom and i were domestic partners . hanging with edna has forestalled the multiple loss but itll catch up to me .
i get your drift tho pam . if living with and caregiving for a parent is ones arrangement , ya shouldnt hear much bitchin out of them . it can be a pretty equitable business deal .
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im out in the garage canning apples but this conversation is still kickin around in my mind . i wonder if theres anyone here who hasnt recieved help from their parents when they were young and struggling .
what would your parent do for you right now if the roles were reversed ?
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Very, very rarely have I seen any under-the-bus-throwing here. Sometimes it seems mentally ill parents are doing that to caregivers.

But if new poster perceive it they certainly are welcome to explain their thoughts. We don't require uniformity of thinking here, and multiple approaches help provoke new insights.
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Cap, I'm posing this question because several new posters, in responding to various threads, have suggested that some of us are hard-hearted, ungrateful children who are proposing abandoning our parents. I don't think anyone here does that. In cases where the parent needs more care but only wants one particular child to be the caregiver, sometimes stepping aside is the only way to save oneself. I think that yours is an extraordinary story, and that you are a pretty extraordinary guy!
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What breaks my heart is the number of postings about getting paid for living with mom. So Sad. Too many young people have not got a clue how to take care of themselves and still expect their grandmother to use her SS check to support two and three generations hence.
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i dont think your question explains itself very well ba8a.
the two elders ive given so much time to not only would care for me if i were down but HAVE . i ended up at my moms house 7 yrs ago because i was on a wicked hepc chemo treatment , working 1/2 mile from her house and too sick to drive home after a four hr workday . she was glad to have me stay there , helped me with my bills and nourished me back to health . ditto aunt edna , 15 yrs earlier . divorce , rough hepc tx , edna took me in and put meat back on my bones . they are powerful figures in my life and i could never repay them enough .
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