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They are concerned that when I become in need they will be called upon to help. They are not so inclined to be available. Recently I have needed surgery that limited me temporarily but have brought to the surface expectations on their part for the future.


Once I am able and independent as before, what arrangements should be made to engage them without requiring their help?


Their philosophy in supporting an aging parent is quite different from mine.

I am a daughter who is not available to care for either of my parents, nor my in-laws. Neither of my parents, nor my in-laws had any role in caring for their parents.

It is your responsibility to plan for your future, without expecting your daughters to provide your care.

Downsize and declutter, you home.

You need to make sure you are living within walking distance or the services you may need, or be prepared to pay for a ride.

Arrange for delivery services of food, medication etc.

My former mil was resistant to shopping delivery, but I flat out refused to take her shopping after she would tell me 'no I do not need anything', then the next day her neighbour calling me to complain that he had to buy her milk and bread and asking why I was not taking her shopping. I told her either she called her sons or signed up for delivery. It took a while, but she has had grocery delivery for 10 years now and loves it.

If you do not cook, arrange for Meals on Wheels or another food delivery service.

How do you engage with them?

Take them out for dinner or lunch.
Get involved in your grandchildren's activities.
Don't spend the time you are together moaning and complaining about what you can or cannot do.
Let them know what you are doing to make it easier for you and them in the future.
Get your paper work in order, Will, POA, Health Care etc.

Ask them how you can help them out?

And yes, I have my paperwork in order, I live near the resources I will need in the future, I am in the process of decluttering, I will modify my home in 10 years to have a fully accessible suite and a rental unit to provide some income, or living space for line in caregivers.

I do not expect my kids to be my caregivers.
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Reply to Tothill
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GrannieAnnie Jul 13, 2019
Well put, and good advice.
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What would you expect if they were sons and not daughters?
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Reply to Upstream
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I have 5 children, 4 daughters. I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

I do not, and will not expect my kids to do a single thing for me. If they actually offer (and they have) to do a specific job, such as running me to the clinic when I know I will be too sleepy to drive home..I will accept, but I don't expect that every single time I sneeze.

I have friends, I know how to get an Uber, I can clean and cook and take care of myself. I have a good neighborhood support system. I DO NOT want my kids (daughters and/or son) seeing my number on their phone and screen me and not answer b/c they are tired of fussing me.

Maybe it's time for you to declutter, downsize and maybe move into a Srs only apartment or assisted living with an apartment and full dining amenities and activities. This way, your daughters will be more likely to step up on the RARE occasion that you'd really need them.

You're young to be needing a lot of help---is this surgery just a one time thing and you'll return to full function? If so (and I hope it is)...treat your daughters as adults and friends and NOT as caregivers. PAY people to do things for you, if possible, before you go to family, b/c it sounds like your daughters are not the kind to quickly step up to help. If they were, they would have after your procedure and you sound like you were flying solo.

BTW, do you have SONS? What would you expect of them?

As a daughter who has been nonstop CG for aging parents for the last 22 years, I wish my mother (esp) would quit treating me like a go-fer. I truly resent her at times. I would like to just be her daughter, not her therapist and problem solver.

I don't mean to come off 'hot', but this is a hot topic with a LOT of us.
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Arselle2 Jul 12, 2019
Great message, I'm inclined to agree.
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Start researching independent living and assisted living facilities. If you live in a two story home downsize to an apartment or one level condo. Look into grocery delivery and pharmacy delivery. See what your office on aging has to offer. Expecting your daughters to become full time carers for you is not a reasonable request.
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I get it. I have made a tremendous effort to stay engaged with my family without any expectation of reciprocation in kind. That being said, a phone call or a note more than once a year on my birthday would be nice!

I look back to my own 30s and 40s, and realize I wasn't a whole lot different. Somehow there always seemed to be something I "had" to do. Now I wish I knew then what I know now.

Well, time and experience are the great teachers.
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Today my brother and I secured a 1bed 1 1/2 bath space at a local home. It is Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Car step up levels. My stepfather and his wife are going into the Assisted Living wing on the first floor. The facility is 3 years old and top notch in every respect. I told my brother today when I am age 82 in 10 years, I am moving into a place like this...no cleaning, no laundry, no cooking, activities and more, won't bother me in the least! I am a widow and there is no need for me to isolate myself, 4 walls mean nothing to me, I never get attached to a space, so for me, moving is not an issue. Perhaps you should look around and see what is available in your area!
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TaylorUK Jul 12, 2019
I think there are some very important points here, we move throughout our lives for various reasons this is just another case where the right place for now and the future needs to be found. Great to do it whilst able. I’m sure none of us wants to be cleaning, washing, etc if we find it hard and don’t have to. We need to plan for being older when we are younger not just put our heads in the sand and there are some very good options around, but like house hunting it takes a bit of time and effort.
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You don't indicate the reasons for your 3 daughters not being inclined to help. As a daughter who has 3 other siblings, we have each had our own ideas and level of commitment during the last 10 years of assisting our aging parents. It would be unusual for us all 4 to be in agreement about what we are willing to give. A respectful conversation with each of them PRIVATELY could include you expressing your feelings about the mutually beneficial relationship you would envision going forward, and then asking for their feelings. Be willing to recognize that your daughters are individuals with unique life situations and needs. Protect their confidences and do not share information with the other siblings without their consent.

Be cautious with your POA decision that might give financial authority to family members who might be very uninterested in the quality of your care when you are in need. Family members who feel no obligation to help an aging parent often have a strange sense of entitlement to the aging parents assets.
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justanothername Jul 13, 2019
"Family members who feel no obligation to help an aging parent often have a strange sense of entitlement to the aging parents assets."

Very well said.
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I think I understand where ur coming from. I am 69 will be 70 in Sept. One daughter is 42 the other is 34. They will be in their 50s when I am in my 80s. I have told them I don't expect them to care for me. What I do expect is not to be forgotten. My girls are single and will have to support themselves. Hopefully, I can take care of myself for a long time.

Maybe invite them all to a nice dinner in a quiet place. Maybe ur birthday dinner. Tell them you don't expect them to care for you but you do want them to make sure you get the care you need. You don't want to be forgotten. A call every so often would be nice. Being included in special things. See them for birthdays.
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lkdrymom Jul 11, 2019
I have to agree with this. You can’t expect them to be your caregiver but you can hope they don’t forget about you.

I was willing to help my father with things he could not do but I really resented him expecting me to do things he didn’t feel like doing. Another poster mentioned not wanting to answer the phone knowing it would just the their parent fussing about something. That was me.

What exactly were you hoping they did that they didn’t?
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My mom is an introvert and a writer, too! Her personality is difficult to deal with. She lives alone within walking distance of me. My career is in full-swing and I work much more than 40 hours per week plus my husband is a very social person and there is a lot of pressure on me to participate in an active life with a lot of friends. Add to that, housework, bills, etc.

Mom is always complaining that she is lonely. However, yesterday for example, she unplugged her phone all day because she knew an old friend was likely to call, and also possibly her brother. He is alone too, but she doesn't want to hear his drama. But she expects me to be her entertainment. She avoids the neighbor lady like the plague, who is a widow. Mom sits in her house all day with the curtains drawn, mostly in silence because she does not like TV.

My advice to you, especially at your age: build your own life. Join a club or other social outlet, find a church or spiritual group, meet neighbors, be active if possible. My husband belongs to two local veterans organizations - within these organizations are many single people in their 70s, 80s and even 90s who treat each other like family. Volunteering in the kitchen, cooking meals to share, playing cards, driving each other to doctors appointments, helping out after surgery, etc. I volunteered at an animal shelter for several years before my work got so busy, and most of the volunteers were retired people who found a lot of satisfaction in knowing they were contributing to life-saving work! Find a purpose, a value in yourself. I promise you, you will become more interesting and appealing to your children. My generation, Gen-X, we will be working much later into life than our parents and their parents. We ain't got time to hand-hold a parent for 10, 20 or 30 years. I want to be my mom's friend (it's not easy) but she is the most isolated, miserable person - I don't even know how to relate to her anymore.
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POAofNmom Jul 13, 2019
Great and positive response! I am a Gen-xer too. Family is Chinese so there is great expectation to be doting caregiver to elders, even though my mother who is 83 now was a neglectful and narcissistic 'parent.' The pressure on me by her friends and caregivers, associates to put her first before my own family has been a lot to bear. She never and still never says happy birthday to me, even as a child, and doesn't do this for her granddaughter. I have to text her several times reminding her and still she doesn't bother to even call to wish happy birthday to her own grand child, let alone get gifts for birthdays or Christmas. Though she thinks of her friends and co-workers when she was working. I remember begging her to come to my college thesis show (I couldn't even afford to go to my own graduation, my mother never helped me out financially even though she was making six-figures, I was homeless a few times and had only $15-20 week for food in college). She was a 30 min ride away. When she resentfully showed up, and saw that someone had given me flowers, she asked me where her flowers were. Despite her lack of interest in me and her granddaughter I am her POA and oversee her bills, finances, and took a year off to help her which I stopped since it was emotionally and physically draining. She would tell friends and doctors I did not help her with specific issues when in fact I would spend weeks helping her deal with whatever drama she could conjure up. She was resistant and never thankful to any improvement I tried to make regarding her care, like getting her physical therapy, managing and bringing her to her doctors 3-4x a week, or cleaning her home.. She treated me like dirt and her friends would visit and give me nasty glares, most likely my mom lying to them about how she was neglected. In the end (after feeling worthless and nearly suicidal) for the health of myself and my family I tapered down my involvement with her. She has home aides who live with her.

From my personal experience, the only thing I can offer is that you get what you give.

If you were not a supportive, involved, caring and loving parent when your kids were dependent on you, you don't have the right to automatically expect that from them.
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You can pay people to take care of you. That is my own preference. I live in an idependant living place, which I pay for myself. I love it! Many people where I live pay aids to help them when needed. Most of the home aids are very nice. I plan to do the same when I need that. I can get a different person if they don't work out. I like my life this way. I don't miss my kids. So many old folks where I live want visits from children on holidays. Many bought an apartment with an extra bedroom so kids could have long visits. If the kids come they don't stay very long. They can't wait to leave. I can see that. I got a studio apartment, not expecting visitors. I will spend every last penny on myself if I have to and pay people to help me if I need that one day. I got myself a sweet little kitten, a rescue who needed a home and she is great company and fun and she likes living with me. I like my life now and I hope I can live independently for a long time but I am not afraid to have to hire someone to take care of me one day.
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cherokeegrrl54 Jul 14, 2019
Good for you, Goody2shoes!!! I feel the same as you do! Its so sad that our elderly folks don't or cant plan ahead for their own reality....
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