My mom was one of ten children. Four have already passed; the rest are in twilight years and varying stages of decline. One died this past month; another has severe congestive heart failure; a third is wheelchair bound and near totally disabled; one is in hospice care and preparing to die from stage 4 cancer. (To add to the misery several of these folks smoked for decades so the illness and suffering possibly could have been prevented. Don't get me started on what I think of tobacco companies!)
Unfortunately a couple of these folks were bad with money so there's no savings for assisted living or in home care; also, the original 10 siblings in most cases only had one child themselves, or no children. So we cousins and whoever else is available are hustling trying to caregive. To make matters worse, several of the cousins have ill spouses, disabled children, etc.
My main issue, however, is Mom's sister with heart failure - she and my mother have been like twins for over 80 years. My mother is spending a lot of time taking care of her, and she's calling me a lot to vent. (I'm doing some cooking and various helping for her but not as much hands on care as Mom.) I'm close to this aunt myself so it's hard for me to be objective about the situation. Honestly, this one on its own would be very difficult without the other severe illnesses happening in the background.
I know I probably should try to find some kind of support but honestly I don't know where to start. Should I get counseling myself? Should I urge my mother to get counseling - I'm not sure how she'd even go considering how much time she's spending on my aunt (which functionally means I've lost my mother too because all of her time and mental energy are going to take care of other family members.) She's also using this as an opportunity to start making 'gloom and doom' statements about how she herself will likely be incapacitated by illness at some point relatively soon - which is probably true but I just can't mentally deal with that right now.
I just feel like my whole life has been taken over by a black cloud. Adding to the issue is that spouse's & my investments aren't doing well and I really REALLY need to get a job, but how can I do that when so many people need care - and a new job won't give flexibility for time off for trips to the doctor, visiting in the hospital, that kind of thing.
I know many would just say the elders need to fend for themselves and my own financial security should be paramount but my family is very close and that attitude just does not work for me. Any advice appreciated. 💗