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I've noticed reading this site that a lot of caregivers are caring for elderly parents who did not care for their own parents. I know my Mom and Dad did not. When they were my age they we're enjoying their retirement, travelling around the country in their RV. The caregiving of their folks was left to another sibling or their parents died without needing prolonged care.
Why is it that we are now caring for them? Do you think they were unaware of the financial, physical and emotional burden caregiving places on the children so they never planned for their old age? From what I've read on this site it seems that very few of us that are currently caregivers want our children to have to care for us in our senior years. Maybe our caregiving experience is a hardship for us but perhaps it will be a blessing to our children. Maybe we'll be more knowledgeable because of our experience and will be open and direct with our children on what we want done with us during those senior years when we can no longer care for ourselves.
Your thoughts?

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They were drinking and going about their inconsequential lives.
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I'm 68. My father died of cancer when he was only 65. Neither of my parents took care of their parents. My father's mother died of cancer when in her 70's and his father had dementia and they sent him off to a mental hospital. My mother's father died in his 70's (smoker), and her mother was the only one who lived into her 90's. She moved to a senior public housing and my uncle moved in with her. My mother never took care of her, seldom visited although she was only about 20 miles away. When Nana died, Mom moved because she was afraid her sponge of a brother would want to move in with her.
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I am 54 and a single mom since 1995. Although it has been extremely difficult, I managed to get 3 of my children through college & have one who just turned 14 left at home. I have always provided the best care possible for my kids & shouldered most of the costs as well as all of the responsibilities of the day-to-day responsibilities in caring for children well. While I don't regret this, I have for too long neglected my own needs. Those needs I insisted my children have like medical, dental, hospital insurance & the best possible education & extra curricular activities, Took them to church & Sunday school, scouts, & piano lessons, camp in the summer, etc.. I have spent everything I ever saved for their college as I felt it would best prepare them for leaving the nest well-prepared for independent living & would give them choices that poverty wouldn't. I thought I had a predictable "end of caring for dependents" in close, plain site. That's when I suddenly got hit w/ the "parent trap" that I didn't see coming.My parents are divorced & they have everything planned out & have been comfortable enough financially to retire early. I am crazy to not have even started to save for my own retirement at 54. Better late than never, though. I have informed my parents NOT to continue to expect anything from me for a while while I take care of my health first. I am on Chemo, & almost finished w/ that. Next, I plan on more education for myself. I am working the week-ends, caring for my 14 year old son, and just got a new job for when my son is in school (Mon.-Fri)., which starts soon. So, that's 7 days a week so I can save $$ for my own retirement/ old age since I will now be actually living longer for sure. Since my health has returned, I now HAVE a future, and a responsibility to provide for a future full of hopes & dreams once again. I am also actively involved w/ several ALZ groups to find a cure & making good progress, I might add. I didn't even expect that. It just made me feel less helpless to just TRY to help find a cure. I HAD to do something positive. I just could not accept that nothing could be done for dementia. Until the end of 2014, There did not exist a drug that would cure MY OWN illness. Now, I am being cured & know I have already beat it. So, now I just look into the face the looming ALZ that could potentially take US down & I refuse to be idle & watch it happen. I want more now.
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Just wanted to add to my previous post so as not to be misunderstood:

My own mom and dad were never a burden and I respect that they cared about my brother and I enough to plan for their old age. They never had much but also never burned through money selfishly. They were model parents. My dad died and mom lives alone three miles from me. She is very frugal and keeps her tiny house spotless......so that I won't have to work hard to sell the house when she is gone. My only sibling died at 59 (cancer) so it's just me and her.
BUT.............my husband's family never planned for anything and lived way above their means borrowing all over the place. Their home was a mess. and crammed with junk. My husband and I could never reason with them and we really tried. Bill and I were kept in a holding pattern wondering what would happen next. Well, my sweet and wonderful husband died (cancer) :( The in-laws continued their wasteful lifestyle and then they moved in with me. At this time, MIL is still living with me - dementia and bedbound. The estate is a mess and my husband's only surviving sibling is of no use other than circling MIL property and laying claim to all. I don't care about that. It's just that I remember my in-laws spending months at the beach every winter and traveling well into their eighties. Absolutely no thought was given to their children. I care for MIL because it's the right thing to do and because - my goodness! - if it weren't for her I wouldn't have had my wonderful husband. I adored him and I miss him in every corner. As far as caring for his mother...........Bill would be appalled - but grateful. And that's enough for me. He was worth it. LOVED HIM SO MUCH.
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At 61, my mother had never known a sick day. She was working with her 2nd husband on his farm and they wintered in FL.
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I will be turning 44 this month. My mom was working in her own business at my current age. My dad and mom were 10 years apart, so at the same time frame he was working for someone. Neither were retired. Only my maternal grandparents were alive and my grandfather passed when I was 13. My mother did help care for her mother in her mothers home for many years with her three siblings but not until her late 60's. My mom and i talk about my situation all the time as she got a break, we don't. I really hope that I keep my health like my mom and grandma did, and able to do for myself and my daughter doesn't have to wait on me like we have to do for my father in law. It is my goal in life, besides raising her. She will be three in July.
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Sorry for hijacking this! Just thinking more... when my mother was my age, I was 11 years old, my brother was about 12. My parents were both tenured university professors, and coincidentally, I JUST read an article on the changes facing college professors in this day and age (living wage?? Not likely). It is not the same world my parents had.
It's a very different time we're living in, in many different ways.
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My husband and I hoped that we would be able to enjoy our early retirement years.........but he died. When my parents weremy age - they were enjoying a carefree life together. Their parents had died earlier. Same with my in-laws who traveled all over the world and spend every last penny and then some. The inlaws refinanced their home so many times in order to get their fun money. Their parents had died earlier as well so there was no caretaking. My in-laws enjoyed themselves until their late eighties. They ended up moving in with me 2 years ago leaving a pile of debt. FIL then died at 92. So at 59, I sit on the couch at night and wonder how it is that instead of my wonderful husband..........it's my MIL with dementia in my house with me. How did this happen? But I know to live in the moment. So I get pleasure from simple things. But I miss my husband more than I could ever explain.
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I'll be 48 in a few weeks (is that right???? lol). My parents were a bit older than most when they had me -- my mother was almost 37, and my dad was 41. I know my father was involved in his parents' care quite a bit, but didn't do anything hands on. He and his parents were able to get out of Austria during the Holocaust, thank goodness, but they were broke, older, knew no English, etc. when they arrived here. Their health, both mental and physical, went downhill quickly, and I don't think either of his parents lived past 75 or so.
My mother had moved across the country to pursue her doctorate, met my father, and so on, so she never moved back. Her father died in his 60's of a heart attack, and her mother became more frail and had dementia, probably in her 70's. My mother's sister, who lived locally, handled everything.
My mother had many valid reasons for not being involved in her mother's care, or her in-laws' care (not living nearby, having small children of her own, working full time, etc.), but I can't for the life of me imagine her having the tiniest amount of patience to do it. I saw her become so angry and rude to her mother, when most people would be worried instead.
Anyway, neither side of my grandparents had any money. My parents were able to make a good living, saved well, and now my mother is in a good place financially. Her mother and her sister both had/have dementia. Her mother probably died at around age 89 (probably had dementia for 12 years or more?). Her sister seemed to do relatively well until she was in her late 80's, then dementia appeared. In early February, we were told by hospice that she had about a week left. Two weeks later, she turned 92. And she's still going. I find it very sad, and rather morally twisted that we think this is somehow acceptable.
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My mother was in her second marriage. She did not have to care for her dad because he died when I was a little boy. She did not have to care for her mother because she was able to afford in-home care until she died.

My dad was in his second marriage. He did not have to care for either parent for both of them has been long dead.
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The elderly didn't seem to live as long then because by the time my parents were my age their parents were gone and they were enjoying early retirement as snowbirds in Florida. My folks are 88 and 90 and although they planned very well for their retirement and are comfortably well off, they will not part with a dime. In fact they are getting worse. Because of their savings/income, they do not qualify for any free services. They do qualify for household help at a subsidizes fee of $14 an hour, which I feel is money well spent. They refuse. Services like Meals on Wheels is $5 per day and, as my Dad puts it, "I can cook a Delissio pizza for $1.99! Why would I pay $5 for Meals on Wheels?" So I do what I can, but I refuse to start paying for services they can easily afford. It's frustrating, but that's the best I can do.
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I'm in my early forties.
When my parents were my age, I was a pre-schooler.
They worked their jobs. We went on a summer vacation to Myrtle Beach. Sometimes we drove to the mountains for the weekend.

My maternal grandparents were doing just fine. My paternal grandfather was also doing just fine. Both sets of grandparents still lived in their respective farm houses and drove their cars & trucks around to do whatever they wanted.

When the grandparents eventually fell ill, my mother's sister did the caregiving in both cases. My mother was too selfish and pre-occupied to be bothered. When my dad's father had a stroke, he stayed in our home for a very short period of time. And I mean short. My mother was not having an invalid on her hands. I don't know what happened between him leaving our home, and being able to go back to his home. I guess he must have stayed in a nursing home or something until he was better.

Now, my mother expects me to drop my life and wait on her, but I have not. I must still work and tend to my marriage and children. Neither one of us get along with the other, so setting us up in a caregiving situation would be toxic to all concerned. She is in a very nice memory care unit where very patient people tend to her needs and care. And probably will have to for time immemorial. If anybody is going to live to be 150, it's going to be her.
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My mother retired at my age (56) and dad a few years later, then they continued traveling the world and enjoying life.. until dad got ALZ. Hubs and I have not had a "real" vacation in years ( wanted daughter to graduate with no bills for school.. and I;m not complaining.. it was our choice). Then folks moved in.. even getting to our place at the river was an adventure, as his mom has some form of dementia also. Dad passed on 2/28.. and mom and her sister decided that we were all going to Ireland...my family and her two daughters. So we are finally going to get a vacay! 7 of us.. But I will admit that right before folks moved in, daughter moved out.. and hubs and I were looking forward to our own time.. but Mom is pretty "with it" so I am hopeing things will look up now, for a little while at least
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I'm still in my 50's, so at my age my dad was working long hours on the farm. His father was already dead and his mother lived on the "home farm" with his bachelor brother, his sister was also nearby so of course they looked after her. My mom was already starting down a long road of physical difficulties, she had a hysterectomy before I knew what that was and was already showing signs pointing to the massive heart attack she had when I was 16. My caregiver roll model was my mom's mother. She cared for my grandfather for at least 10 years after his stoke, and I never knew him as an able bodied man. I have often wondered why the family didn't help her more because by the end he needed total physical care and the government supports we enjoy today were not available then. I suppose it is because she was fiercely independent and had that ability to make everything she did seem effortless. I am flattered when I have been told I am like her, but I know she was one of a kind.
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My father and his second wife did take care of my paternal grandmother to some extent. But she had quite a bit of money and had 24/7 caregivers in the home, so the hands-on caregiving on their part was pretty minimal. Maybe they were just circling around waiting for the payoff when she died (her will actually provoked a lawsuit in the family so I know my father and his wife were eager to inherit the estate).

My mother at my age was traveling around in a series of RVs with her dog and her friends. She would stop in to visit some of her kids on her trips up and down the coast. As a guest, she was the type who expected to be waited on hand and foot and who never chipped in for a meal or lifted a dishcloth. That was definitely an omen of things to come, although I didn't recognize it at the time. I looked forward to traveling and leisure in my own retirement, as she well knows, but I guess she thinks that taking care of her is such a blessing that it's worth sacrificing all my other goals and plans.
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I am 68 years old, when my parents were my age they were taking the subway into Washington DC seeing all the sights on a regular basis... visiting the Library of Congress doing genealogy study of their family trees... traveling to stockholder meetings out-of-state just for something to do plus it was a tax write-off :P..... going to a small resort several times a year... doing volunteer work at the local hospital 2 or 3 times a week.... eating out... anytime they bought something for the house, they would go to 4 or 5 stores to price shop.... visiting landscape gardens to buy plants. No wonder when I called the house they were never home !!

My parents never took care of their own parents because their parents lived many States away, plus my parents siblings, a ton of nieces and nephews lived in the same area as my parents' parents so they were all hands-on.

All the elders lived at home on their own. Thus, all my parents siblings did the same thing. Therefore I have cousins who never got to enjoy their own retirement, even thought their parents did, because they were trying to maintain two households.... one cousin, in his 70's, gave up and sold his house, he and his wife moved into a retirement village while his Mom and Mom-in-law stayed firmly planted in their own individual single family homes on big lots, he couldn't keep up with 3 single family homes. His Mom passed on at 100... Mom-in-law is alive and also 100.
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