My parents are absolutely broke. My father is now 83 with Alzheimer’s and my mother 67 and recently had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. My father decided to leave the USA in the 90’s to move back to his home country in South America. As a child in the U.S. I watched my parents struggle financially but I think my father’s reasoning for relocating to a poor country was a cheaper standard of living. The excuses for this decision vary but, in the end, they were unsubstantiated and was literally the worst thing. I was emotionally and academically stunted and our family’s quality of life was terrible and fraught with poverty and instability.
Both parents were dysfunctional, dad was controlling, aggressive and unpredictable, mother a raging co-dependent enabler. I was continuously unhappy, full of anxiety and hated every minute living with them throughout childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately, they both were estranged from either side of their families, so I was also totally isolated. My mother barely worked during my lifetime and accrued no SSA and my father changed jobs due to his personality.
By 18 I was so tired of being poor and unhappy and started saving in secret all I could from my job and put myself though design school. This was difficult as I did not attend school from the age of 11 to 17 which is when I decided to go to design college. By 23 I saved enough to leave and moved away to Europe. After 15 years of constant hard work I have peace and quiet, a day job and freelance as an artist on commission for extra income. I now have a partner and we are saving with hopes to have a family soon. I have very low contact with parents but I regrettably maintained the minimal as I did not want to cut them off as they cut off their own family. Oh I'm only 37 by the way...
Now they are old, sick and broke.
They live off Social Security in a foreign country with no other source of income or other than my 90-year-old grandmother and me wiring cash for a temporary house cleaner or food etc.
Since I have started helping, this issue has depleted my savings to zero and I will soon need to use credit cards to cover my own bills and needs.
They will not be granted an immigration visa to Europe where I live as they barely have any income ($850 total for both of them) and the fees for the application would cost thousands and I cannot prove I can support them without using any social services.
Moving back to a poor country with no job prospects and leaving my stable life is just unthinkable.
However, I do feel bad I can’t afford to help with more as I’m an only child of my mother and she has literally no options to get out of the mess her life has always been.
What do I do? What would you do?