Moved to Florida to retire after 14 years of caregiving my two parents in our home, while we raised our youngest child. Moved to a 55+ community. Loved it the first couple of years. Now my husband has older aunts and uncles who live near us and are asking us to help with their care. It started out please just help us put our garbage out to the curb once a week. We felt we could help with that. Then one became ill spend 3 weeks in a hospital and now is moved to a rehab center. (we don't think he will get out --92 years old) But spouse wants us to drive her every day to hospital and then nursing home and back so she can visit. (She claims she can drive but we have never seen her, she has lupus and is very unstable on her feet).
We moved to Florida to have a break and enjoy our retirement. It's not happening. We feel guilty, we want to help but not on an ongoing basis. Our lives have been so disrupted. We aren't young anymore ourselves and are tired out after helping others. We thought of helping two times a week, but then even that thought leaves us feeling frustrated and resentful.
That is just one of 3 people who are putting demands on our time. The other is no relation at all but wants us to drive her to church, with us every week. This leads to any church activity we attend they want a free ride. We give her the front seat and my husband puts her wheel chair in car ( I can do it but it is hard for me). I end up sitting in the back seat with no seat belt or have to drive. I don't like either option.
Then we have the 3rd aunt who lives in our condo building and doesn't over use us, just asks for help when needing a ride to the hospital. She is handy and always offers to pay us. (we don't take it) She lives so close it is no trouble to help her with garbage, car, etc. We tend to stop by on a regular basis to check in or she won't ask for help.
I think it is the ongoing commitment we don't want to make. Helping now and then, here and there is no problem. But we don't like being tied down to helping some and them counting on us to take them regularly. How and what kind of boundaries are reasonable to set?