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Mom's arthritis has gotten worse so difficult to stand to prepare and cook meals, do housework, take care of Dad's meds , wet bedding etc.Neither parent drives anymore.. Ks bring in meals prepared at home to put in freezer or make a meal with leftovers when we are there. We try to clean the house too but with laundry (Dad has incontinence) "viisiting time", multiple doctor appts., helping with banking etc. hard to find time for cleaning too. Mom gets finicky about us cleaning while she is there. We do grocery shop 1-2 times per week,. Parents have good means but are very frugal about ordering in food from restaurants, grocery store etc. They won't hear hiring out for lawn care (brother does it), housecleaning. Also difficult to get them out of the house to visit relatives, Mom to take a break to see a movie etc.

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You may be headed for some heart to heart talks. Been there, done that, and wish I had done it sooner.

Please don't tell me that they also give generously in response to so-called charitable solicitations while refusing to spend money on tasks that should be hired out!

They're digging in their heels, and as Babalou very succinctly summarizes it, intent on keeping their independence through sacrifice by you of yours. You'll need to take a stand sooner or later as they'll become more reliant on you.

The key to making this work has to be balance - they give, you give, and meet halfway. You're giving almost all the way while they insist on having things their way is only a recipe for disaster; read some of the posts here by people who are angry, depressed and frustrated because their lives have diminished and been compromised while their parents continue to remain in their own homes with families taking care of them.

It does seem though that your siblings are of one mind in helping and that's a real bonus.

You might want to meet with them, with a list of all the tasks you now perform for your parents. Identify which ones you want to continue, which ones could be done by others. When you're worked that out, have a nice family get together with your parents to set a good mood, then explain to them that you can't continue to help without some corresponding help and recognition from them.

it might be better for each sibling to address this issue, periodically, rather than all of you meeting with your parents at one time - they may feel as if you're ganging up on them.

Tell them you've selected certain tasks which you and your siblings can do, but others are more appropriately and easily done by others. Lawn mowing is one, unless your brother really enjoys it.

He could secretly identify a service, get an estimate, and gradually back off on mowing the lawn himself with the excuse that he has to work overtime, or something legitimate. When your father gets annoyed that the lawn hasn't been mowed, your brother could tell him that he's no longer able to do it but has found a service that can. Father will be mad, but he'll be forced to accept the situation unless he wants his yard to grow weedy.

Snow snoveling is a similar situation. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to my father's only to shovel out his driveway, after already having to shovel out at my house, then drive around on errands. I'm already tired before even starting on the chauffeur service.

When your father becomes adamant, gently explain that this is the way it will have to be, IF you're going to be able to help them at all. You can't do everything, but by hiring out some tasks, you can do the most important ones. He's going to have to meet you half way.

The meeting will probably end poorly with your parents, or at least your father, angry at you. Give them space and time, but don't back down. The moment you do, they'll know how to manipulate to get what they want.

Start with one hired out task at a time, perhaps the lawn first, then the cleaning. Too much would threaten and anger them.

I wish in retrospect I'd taken this stand years ago, before I facetiously decided to nickname myself the family Clydesdale, family chauffeur, family donkey, etc.
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Let me guess. Your parents want to remain "independent". But that can only happen if their children give up THEIR independence. How old are you all? If you're young and spry, dont have young children who need looking after, then it's all good. But if you're creaky from arthritis, or have youngsters who have a legitimate claim on your time, or if you find yourself turning down a challenging new job, then that's no so good.

You all may need to have a tough conversation with your parents thst this plan isn't working out...for YOU. Iny case, it was telling my mom that my brother was going to have a heart attack from the stress of rushing to rescue her from her "emergencies" that got her attention. You might want to get an opinion from their family doctor, from a social worker with the local area agency on aging. Many here can tell you that it's much easier to get your parents to go to an Independent or Assisted Living facility when they are still mentally competent. They have a better chance of making a good adjustment.

If you think that's not in the cards, at the very least make sure that one of you has POA and health care proxy in place. These documents DO NOT give you the right to tell them where to live, but they are invaluable if an emergency happens. If nothing else, it's a start to the conversation.
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