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.

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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.
Helpful Answer (34)
anonymous272157 Jul 2019
Well put, and good advice.
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.
Helpful Answer (28)
anonymous739426 Jul 2019
Great message, I'm inclined to agree.
What would you expect if they were sons and not daughters?
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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.
Helpful Answer (26)

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.
Helpful Answer (19)

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 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.
I find it interesting all of the resentment in some of the responses. Many years ago, I volunteered to be my mom and step dad’s everything, POA, healthcare POA, etc. before they even needed help I am the only girl with four brothers who asked why I wanted to do it and I said because I wanted to.
My step dad has passed and my mom recently broke her hip. I have made quite a few mistakes with my decisions but bottom line, my mom is doing really good. I am thrilled that she is still alive and although I am tired, I am still glad I volunteered. Once my mom is gone and I have retired, I plan on volunteering to help others like my mom navigate this complicated world of aging care.
I am a 41 year year career banker and knew nothing about this convoluted topic. I do not have children and I hope one day someone with a big heart will help me when I need it.
Helpful Answer (16)
polarbear Jul 2019
Barbara - You're a gem. Most people don't like to be long term caregivers for years and years. We would love to have someone like you to help us to take care of our aging parents. You should consider working for pay, not just volunteering, in the senior healthcare business.
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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 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!
Helpful Answer (15)
TaylorUK Jul 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.
You are not likely to get anymore out of them than you have been getting. It's possible you have presented yourself as quite independent all these years and needed little help, however your recent time of need kind of opened the door that indicated you needed some assistance. Is there any possibility you really didn't ask them for any help...perhaps hoped they would offer without you asking? You are not clear about if they have specifically said they will not be caretakers. Or maybe they suggested that when you can no longer care for yourself, you need to find a facility for extra care.

Did these children see you care for elderly parents or relatives while they were growing up? Or, did they see your elderly relatives moved to facilities when they could no longer care for themselves? Sometimes that can have something to do with how the next generation manages elderly relatives.

If they point blank said they cannot do more for you or give you extra care as you age, then at least you know what you are dealing with while you are still of sound mind. If that's what happened, get your ducks in a row. Use whatever income and monies you have available to take care of yourself. If taking care of a home (inside and outside) is no longer manageable, start looking at assisted living housing that will better suit your needs. Visit a few to find one that has other people you would feel comfortable having as neighbors - similar likes, activities. You can keep your car (if you still drive). Just think of it as a home you no longer have to do the upkeep on PLUS there are staff there to help you out when you need a little help.

If you're goal was to provide a generous money windfall for the children, change your goal. Whatever you have asset-wise needs to be used to be comfortable and happy as you age. If you spend it all up - so be it. Continuing to be concerned about what you leave to your children will be to the detriment of your own well being. The relationship with them will probably remain about what it is today...UNLESS...they expected to inherit without lifting a finger to help. Of course, if they are simply greedy, uncaring children - you're going to find that out right away when you start spending the money on yourself.

This really isn't about them - good or bad. It's about the decisions you are going to make for yourself and what care you believe you deserve.
Helpful Answer (15)

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.
Helpful Answer (15)
cherokeegrrl54 Jul 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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