How many caregivers can remember your parents providing care for their parents?

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Hi, I'm new here and found this question applied, so I thought I would reply.

My mother was born a caregiver, and in fact, I think she literally lives for other people to 'need' her. She was the sole caregiver (because none of her siblings helped) of her mother. My grandmother lived with us at times and at times in NH's. Then my father died suddenly, leaving his elderly mother in an independent living facility not far from our home. I had married and had 2 small children at the time, but felt it was my responsibility to care for my grandmother. No way - my mother insisted on being the caregiver to her mother-in-law and complained the whole time.

However, it seemed when anything major happened, my mother was unavailable and I would get the dreaded call that she fell and broke her hip, or was sick and needed to go to the hospital. Of course, I never handled anything correctly according to my mother and when she would appear back on the scene, she would take over and tell me how disappointed she was in my decisions.

After my grandmother died, my mother's oldest brother (who was 22 years older than she) was in bad health, so she drove 6 hours back and forth every weekend to care for him. He didn't want to move closer, so she just left him 6 hours away and complained to everyone about how tired she was taking care of him. This eventually got her in trouble with Adult Protective Services, so she basically started living there with him until he died.

After he died, another brother became ill. He lived a bit closer and had two children that basically took care of him, but of course, not to her liking. She would call me constantly complaining of how she didn't like what and how they were taking care of him. I tried to explain that it really wasn't any of her business - that certainly didn't help matters.

After he died, his wife (my mother's sister in law) became ill, and the whole thing started again. My mother never liked my aunt, and even though my mother's brother was deceased, she kept trying to stick her nose into her care. It's simply amazing at how my mother wants to be everyone's caregiver!

Now all my mothers siblings are deceased and I'm sort of relieved thinking she can enjoy life and not have to take care of anyone but herself. Wrong! Now she has decided to be caregiver for the little man that lives across the street from her!

I tell her to stay out of his business, as she is now giving him financial and legal advice (which she is not competent to do!) and I'm afraid she is going to get herself into trouble. She gets mad at me and the whole conversation about me taking care of her starts up. She says she is aware that I will probably not take care of her, or will in no way be as good a caregiver as she is because I just don't seem to have caregiving in my blood because I don't take care of people. She is right, I won't be the kind of caregiver that she is - but I will take very good care of her. I'm an only child and I think she is scared to death that no one will take care of her. She tries to broker deals with people she meets to take care of her when she can no longer take care of herself!!!

While she is still independent, I have started seeing her decline, slips in her mind, and comments that don't make sense such as 3-5 shifts in topics within one sentence. She is very very demanding and at times drives me insane!

So to answer your question, yes, my mother was a caregiver. It has taught me a lot about how to caregive, but I'm in no way the same kind of caregiver that she is.
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My grandparents were either born in the 1890's or 1900, so the world I grew up in was really from another century when I was around my grandparents. As a result, my parents, who were born in the twenties did take care of their parents at home. However, all siblings pitched in and helped with giving money or actually helping physically until a parent was so ill that he or she had to be in the hospital. I am taking care of my mother, but my siblings are helping even though they do not live near us. My father passed away in the hospital due to strokes. Our plan was to bring him home, but we were unable to do so. The same thing happened with my mother-in-law. I think society has changed so much that there is not one right or wrong way to take care of our elders. Many elders do not want to be taken care of, in fact. There are so many other options for our parents and for us. A nursing home does not have to be the only option.
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My maternal grandfather came to live with us when I was about 4 years old (my grandmother had died and he had Ushers Syndrome (RP with deafness). I won't go into details but there were good things and not so good things about having an extended family. At times, after we became adults, there were often 2 grandparents at a time living with my family. I can't imagine any other life and despite conflicts (and what family doesn't have them no matter what size) I consider my life enriched. Yes, I had to share a room with my younger sister, but there are much worse things in life. None of my grandparents ever had dementia and neither do others in my family (except my mother) and living well into 90s and even past 100 is not uncommon in my family.

People in the USA just don't get it, I think. We are supposed to care for our family members and all this sibling dissension tells me there is something wrong with our society. As well, my theory is that the dementia diseases become much more prevalent when our diets became full of additives and the soil lost its fertility.
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My mom pretty much abandoned her parents. Funny how she thinks I should be her personal attendant now.
Dad would go to his mom's place once a week so she could fix him dinner. That was his contribution. I think he may have mowed her lawn.
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My mom did for her mom. She did not live with us..but she paid her bills, and esp her phone bill. So I hope that helps and answers your question. My mom cared for her mom but from a distance......Sharon
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co-sign lcs

You've got to work towards making that prayer work. You've got to make it happen.
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mhmarfil, this is a terrible situation for you. Is there any other way of dealing with it? Why can't your mother be placed in a care facility so that you can get back to earning a better income to prepare yourself for YOUR senior years? When you started to care for your mother, you probably had NO idea that the care would have to continue for year after year after year ad nauseum. I think it's high time for a change. Enough of Mom affecting the whole of your future, let alone how she has affected your past and is affecting the present. And please don't rely on a prayer brigade. We have been created with the power to reason so make good use of your brain and figure out how to make a change ASAP. Please let us know what you do. Best wishes.
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mhmarfil,

I hear your anger and it's quite reasonable. To read your profile, I see that you have been caring for your mother since you were 20 and now you are 38 and she is 78. Is there any other choice you have other than destroying your financial future and possibly ending up in your daughter's future residence to live? How much are you in debt already?
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hi there... it's friday i got the chance to read the posts here. I feel my mom is so unfair to me. She never really spend that much many years taking care of her own parents, because my mom was a teacher & works in the city but her parents lived in the province. so there, you got a very nice excuse not to care for her own parents. But with me now, we have been living in the same roof for the past 18 yrs & am so sick & tired of her. She is so unfair & I know she won't understand my complain. It's only on this website that I can rant & vent & shout to the world I wanted her to finally RIP fast as in like 2-5 months so that next year, my daughter & I can travel for vacation. I'm inviting all of us to join a prayer brigade that might actually work. After all these elderlies mostly are empty shells of what they used to be. I love my mom & it pains me to see her just deteriorate. She's like our old ancestral house in the province, old dilapidated empty and no amount of financial medical aid will bring her back to her same good positive disposition. That's why aside from prayer brigade, I also practice medical financial triage as that's the only way that she won't totally sink my atm card payroll to further indebtedness. I can't help but feel & compare the kind of care she provided to her own parents don't even match an inch to the kind of sacrifice that i've done for her all these 18 yrs. I've lost sizable income because I stopped working abroad & stayed home to care for her. I have a job but it's living paycheck to paycheck. because of her I sometimes can't help but blame her that I am seeing my own ability to secure a decent retirement fund become an impossibility if she remains living for another 10-15 yrs. By that time, she & me will be both senior citizens. Life is never fair for many of us... sigh I feel like crying...
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PirateGal, your mom hasn't been very fair to you. Needing care will eventually happen and how respectful it would be for the parent to "ask" the kid(s) to sit down and plan for the future. Some parents are so selfish, they think so little of their kids, they just demand and/or expect the kids to give up their own lives to care for them, even when the hardships caused will be devastating (like losing a job). My mom demanded that I care for her and dad, totally unnecessary because of course I'd step up to the plate when needed. It was insulting. And deadbeat sister got off scot free, never has done one thing for dad (gone 14yrs) or mom (still alive). The demanding started that day and never stopped. Mom fought me every inch of the way. It was hell. Now she's disinherited me, and moved the paid caregiver in. All of this has taught me to be prepared. Husband and I have long term care in place. Three respected (and respectful) adult kids have been asked to help when the time comes, it's never been demanded or expected of them. Kind words go a long way. I wish my grandma had prepared better for her last years as she wouldn't have had to live with my mom who made grandma's life a living hell. Life is strange sometimes.
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