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My parents have always been and still are very loving and supporting parents. They’ve always been there for my brother and I if we needed anything. I’ve always made it my priority to not ask them for help financially however other family members have and continue to indirectly guilt them into over extending themselves. Additionally my parents are struggling with physical ability to maintain their house/yard, etc. for years I’ve helped with their yard work, moving furniture, etc. I can no longer maintain my home and their needs without physically harming myself. I’m sore every day and let’s face it I’m not getting any younger either. In my opinion it’s time for them to sell their home and move to a more manageable situation. I’m losing the battle to get them to do this. Any suggestions would be so appreciated. I love my parents so very much and can’t escape the guilt I feel when I have to tell them that I can’t help them with things they ask (and at times, expect me) to do. Please help.

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It is not easy for anyone in the picture, so don't accept the guilt because this isn't the first set of parents that this has happened to, and they won't be the last.
Get help from all of the resources that you can find--your church, your family, a support group for yourself, etc.  Contact an attorney and get a POA in place to start with.  You may even have to go to guardianship, but the attorney can guide you on this.  Research facilities.  Research in-home care.  Research respite care for yourself.  Get ready to take the plunge and get ready for things that you never thought you'd say or do or would happen.  Remember that their safety is paramount, as well as the safety of everyone else out there.  Get others in your social groups to talk about how they handled it when they had to go through this.  Be strong, and up front about the situation.  Then, do it.  And stay in contact with the rest of us out there that are feeling our way around as well.  There is no rule book about this because it is different for everyone, but it is the same for everyone.  It's like the first attempt at anything new and different.  Sometimes it works out well, and sometimes it doesn't.  Try to find a center point for yourself.  Take a deep breath!
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Reply to debbiesdaz
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Should your parents feel guilty for getting older and needing help?

Of course not.

Neither should you.

Don’t (figuratively) stand opposite them over the problem. Stand right next to them with the problem in front of all three of you.

It’s not really your problem but you have been willing to stand with them to help THEM solve it.

When it feels like you are on the opposite side from them, something is wrong.

When you have to give up your OWN life in order to ENABLE them to prop up a life style they have aged out of then you aren’t on the same team any longer.
They are being selfish to expect you to give up your life for theirs.

Even if they are competent they may have trouble understanding that you have been Aging right along with them. That’s not unusual.

About the other family members taking from them. I have a very simple way of looking at that.

Your parents are actually saying that YOU should support the other family members.

That probably would surprise them to hear.

But consider that if they are using their money to give to the others while at the same time accepting your time (is money) and your money then YOU are subsidizing the other family members and I bet they don’t even say thank you.

So lose the guilt. It’s just a fact of life. They can no longer afford to subsidize others because you can’t afford to subsidize them.

Give your notice and allow them time to sit with it a bit. Outline what you see as options and ask what their plans are.

Let them know that any time you volunteer will be very specific and not geared to enable their old lifestyle. No lawn work. No moving furniture. Their ability to manage may surprise you. Allow them to discover for themselves that they need to make adjustments.
They will lower their standards which will be difficult for you to watch but it’s a necessary trade off to retain their autonomy. When you start overly concerning yourself with their safety ask yourself what you are saving them for....
Many times it takes a medical emergency before things change. Maybe more than one.

“Safety is what we want for those we love but autonomy is what we want for ourselves”.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Wouldn't it have been nice to have nip this in the bud at the beginning. Telling the parents as soon as they could no longer do upkeep on their home that they needed to pay someone and if they could not afford it, sell the house.

All you can do is say, I can no longer physically can help you with your home. Since you can't afford to pay someone, its time to think about selling your house and using the proceeds to get an apt.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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When your parents choose to give their money to help struggling family members it makes your parents feel good (or they wouldn’t do it).

I bet it also makes them feel good (and prideful) that you aren't struggling like the others. You are the one they can rely on and turn to—maybe you’d rather have cash than admiration—personally, I’d rather be in your position. (And I was).

How nice for your parents that they get to see some of their hard-earned and hard-saved money help someone they love. It is completely, legally, their (and only their) money. A gift during their lifetime may be more meaningful to them than a later bequest or charitable donation. (Charities are not always the best stewards, either).

If you can no longer physically help them, communicate that.

if they are giving/spending beyond their means, discuss options jointly with them and a financial planner.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Geeeez, I wish I could downsize now! A larger house becomes a headache!

Just tell them there will be changes, starting with downsizing and make sure you tell them how common it is so they won’t feel singled out. Good luck, take care. Enjoy your life. Hugs!

They will adjust, you will be at peace. Win, win situation for all!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Have you tried to sit down with mom & dad and just explain that you can no longer physically help them anymore. That your house, your body, your emotions, and your finances just simply can't do it any longer and you are just wore out. Maybe, just telling them as a matter-of-fact and giving them examples of what is going on with you will help them see your point-of-view.

However, if they continue to want you to help them with their house then sorry they have made their choice to stay where they are no matter what the cost is to you, there in turn, they are being selfish and it is time for you to take a step back for awhile and see what happens. Sometimes people just have to have reality hit them in the head before they get the picture. If and when they decide to make a plan to change their living situation then you can offer help.

Lose the guilt! You have no reason to feel guilty. You have been a good son and there is nothing you can do if they won't help themselves then you can't help them. Sometimes we just have to let the chips fall where they may. Easier said than done!

But you can not support their bad decisions any longer. Sometimes we have to give our parents tough love.

Good luck!
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Reply to Shell38314
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