I feel like I need a support group, which one(s)? Single child of 45, living with parents who refuse to even consider help. - AgingCare.com

I feel like I need a support group, which one(s)? Single child of 45, living with parents who refuse to even consider help.

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Battles started. My parents are in their late 70s, early 80s. They are basically in their right minds. Dad has slow Parkinsons and a heart problem. Mom has very light diabetes, controllable by food.
In most areas, things are decent. But I have definite concerns in other areas. I am an only child, without other family support. Their finances are horrible. They use that as an excuse. They have several accounts in different banks, and they are often overdrawn. Financial paperwork covers a quarter of the kitchen counter. They refuse to do online banking, to see how much money is available before going shopping, etc.- they're scared to death I will get control of their money somehow.
The house is a cluttered mess. When Grandpa died over a decade ago, he sold his and Grandma's house to Mom and Dad for a $1. We've been "moving" ever since - the tornado and the aftermath took care of a year or two. Now the other house is the same way. They're not about to get filing cabinets or anything to actually organize the stuff, so it's in boxes and stacks and piles - my folks have never been good housecleaners or property cleaners. It's junky and embarrassing, and we argue about the time wasted and stuff trying to keep track of stuff. No interest in actually getting rid of things either; my father goes through the trash regularly to ask questions about it and put stuff in his recyclable box.
We do have a serious bathroom problem - the floor has fallen in again around the stool. One of the cat's little boxes plugs it up, but the heater also broke at the end of winter a few months ago. Nothing has been done with the hole for years. They've had countless opportunities to do something, but either it's "I'm going to fix that," or "we don't have the money" - well, now there's not going to be anything done. That's the most serious house problem.
My mother also has serious problems with her knees. She cries a lot with the pain, especially getting up and down, but refuses to do anything about it. Last time her knees were xrayed, they were "fine," so, in her mind, they've stayed that way.
Dad refuses to do anything to help her with her knees. The phone in the bedroom went out months ago. There's a chance the jack has died. She spends much time in the bedroom; the TV is in there from when she had back trouble years ago. Dad doesn't like TV except for news, so it never got put back in the living room because that's his domain. Anyhow, to answer the phone, now she has to get up from the bed (painful knees), walk all the way into the kitchen/dining room/living room (again knees, and she stumbles with her neuropathy - won't use a cane), and answer/talk on the phone. I tried to fix it - I managed a couple of years ago to buy them a pay-by-card Verizon cell phone, which Dad keeps by his side of the bed - and I would call it so she didn't have that far to go, or to get off the bed. Worked a couple of times, and then she or Dad (don't know which) reminded her that it cost money, so now she refuses to answer that phone, and instead goes down the hall. If I don't call, she gets up and calls me. A cheap digital phone at Walmarts, with one station, is just $60, for Pete's sake.
I only get to work one day a week, and I am shuttled there and back. We have one car, and Dad has therapy or Mom's volunteering every single day. I can't make plans; if they need the car for anything at all, then I can forget it. Had a blowup over that a weekend ago, and was basically told "forget what you want."
We make plans, and then when it's time to do them, "oh, we never talked about this," or "that's what you thought we were going to do." or "I never said that." or "I/we can't do that and you know it."
Same with talking to them. "I never said that," and variations on "you're lying."
I get the little condescending pats on the head "don't you worry about it," or "DON'T YOU DO ANYTHING OR TALK TO ANYONE!" Which would be great, except nothing is happening to make things better.
I have nowhere to go, no one to talk to except some long distance friends who let me vent. I fear overloading them; I need someone to talk to/vent with, that is going through/has gone through the same things. Especially as my folks get worse, as I know they will.
Is there a group(s) I can/should start out with? I'm not a caregiver in the normal sense, and I don't have Parkinson's and/or diabetes myself, yet.
Thanks
Theresa


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You say you went to school? Did you get a degree and if so what is it in? Need a little more info.
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Theresa, welcome to the forum, great group of people here... I have learned so much by being on the forums :)

Time to take control of your own life. Can you live with a friend until you can financially get back on your feet? Maybe someone at your choral society group can help.

Your parents are still young enough and healthy enough to take care of themselves, especially since your Mom is able to do volunteer work. I think they depend upon you too much.

As for their living conditions or how Dad drives, everyone has different ways of living and driving, doesn't mean it is right or wrong.
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Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and your suggestions..

I realize the transportation is the key. We had two cars for a while, then theirs broke down (used to be Grandma and Grandpa's, so Mom is emotionally involved). Dad cannot fix it (steering wheel column problem, it's in pieces right now), and we are lucky no one from the city has decided to fine us for having it in the front yard (the man behind us does drag racing in the spring/summer/fall, and they made him jump through hoops to keep some of his vehicles in his back yard.)
So we are dependent on the one car. It's a catch-22.

Dad drives. Usually Mom goes with him. I'd like to say he does ok, but he scares me at times by following too close for my taste. Mom always says he's just fine. I can see the time coming when he'll be worse. Mom could drive, but won't, because she doesn't want to be in a wreck. Most of their trips are for Dad's therapy, wash clothes, shopping, Mom's volunteering, work on the other house, etc. I've told them several times that if/when I have to drive them, we're not doing all the running around.

I did work full time for several years and half time while going through school, so I have some Social Security etc, but not much, no savings. I've never really made enough long enough to buy a place of my own, especially not the last several years. Worst thing I ever did was to go back to school - don't EVER do that unless you can pay for it straight out. My student loans keep rising, and I can't pay them.

I'm not allowed to go with them to doctor's, etc. That's a bit of a mess, as well - they got a new insurance, but it refuses to pay anything. Mom wants to go back to the old insurance, but she won't do it herself, she wants Dad to do it.

We went through some tough times with government and family with my grandparents, Sunnygirl1, which is one big reason why I am so hesitant to get them involved. My cousin ran roughshod over everyone and everybody, people told her things they had no legal right to tell her (banks giving financial information, etc.), and, that's what they're going to see me doing as well.

Mom gets unsteady on her feet. She has neuropathy. She wanders back and forth while walking in the halls, etc. She tries to be careful. She hasn't fallen in a long time.

She and Dad have probably 99% of their faculties, and I want them to do things for themselves as long as they can - but .... (My uncle was involved with Dad's parents with POA, etc., and everything else they needed.)

I need somewhere and someone to vent to that can do something. I have been tired of the situation for a long time, and been pushed off. They are religious, and sometimes I think they are expecting miracles to happen. I'm not that religious,definitely not any more.

I have a lot of anger about how things are going - Mom gripes about Dad and things to me, but she's not doing anything. She's on the accounts, she can sign the checks, but no. Sometimes I just want to shake her - but that won't do any good,and frankly, scares me a little. I don't like scrabbling like this.

I don't like seeing the train wreck coming - I don't have a clue how I can/will handle things when the crash comes. I thought that it had arrived in December when we took Dad to the hospital, only to find that he had overdosed accidentally on one of his meds. He hadn't before, and he hasn't since then, so it was a freak accident.

I'm angry that I studied and worked hard in school and otherwise, all to no avail. I can't help like I should, because I'm dependent on them.

I have thought about the groups that the hospital has, but Mom volunteers there, so it would be easy for things to get back to her. I have tried to get her to go, but she refuses.

I really don't know where to turn, what to do.

Must go, or I'll be late to my Choral Society group. Thanks again.

Theresa
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It's difficult to help parents who don't want help. May I suggest to you that in light of your description of your parents, I suspect that some people may question if they are thinking clearly. Some might say their state of mind is debatable. When adults are not properly handling their finances, not properly addressing medical issues, and letting their environment go into a state of disrepair, then it could indicate a serious problem with mental decline. Of course, since they are resistant to help, it will likely take something big like a crisis, to get their attention or to get the attention from others like medical professionals.

Do you attend their doctor appointments with them? Their medical conditions can lead to to other kinds of problems. Does your mom monitor her blood sugar daily? Her falling and refusing to use a cane is very concerning.

There are options for getting some outside professionals to investigate, but that is a decision you would have to make, since it's likely they may not be pleased.

A support group is a great thing to help you. That's a first step. Is there anyone else who might help with them? If they resist support, you may have to look out for yourself. Sometimes the dysfunction in a home is very difficult to rise above while you are in it. I wish you luck.
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I agree with Kimber. It's time to have your own life, find a full time job as well as a place to live. Being depending on your parents only makes you more vulnerable to them.

They have no reason whatsoever to change as it's their home, not yours.
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You should be working more than one day per week to support yourself and save for old age. Move out. Stop doing things for them. As long as they are in their right minds, they can do what they want even if it is harmful for them. That being said - you don't have to keep feeding the crazy. Work on your own life and future. If there are things you are willing to do, great - do them. But take care of yourself.
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