Follow
Share

My twin sister has had a heart attack and on blood thinners. My younger brother has just had a stroke and the prognosis isn't good as yet. He does seem to be improving. My older brother is a drunk living many miles away from me. Parents are dead; and, I only have one aunt still alive. She will be 90 soon. I never married or had children. I have Fibromyalgia and one cat. I have a lot of cousins; but, I am not close to any of them. I will be 70 in September and am the person who is requested to solve all family problems.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I push planning ahead to avoid potential problems. Complete your advance directives/living will, if there is someone you trust to be your durable power of attorney (should you become incapable), then you need to appoint one to act on your behalf when you're no longer able to make decisions. Connect with other family members, let them know you have medical issues of your own and you can no longer continue to help solve issues with family members. You need to care for yourself. I am the caretaker in my family, I do what I can and I let the rest go because I can't do everything. I don't mind someone telling me about the issue-my response is what do you want to happen and how can you make it happen. I'm there if they really need me in an emergency, but I know they are there if I have an emergency. A family is give and take, make sure you balance it. Good luck
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Take care of you for a change. I think you deserve it. Yah, one day a week take the phone off the hook and let it all go.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

First of all, IF you are just wanting to help everyone else, or feel that you MUST be there to help everyone else, I suggest this book, which was an immense help to me: Boundaries Book By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend It's a paperback and I found it on Amazon. As we age, and I am your age, with my own health issues, so I know this....we just cannot be all things to all people. We need to start thinking about how WE will need the caretakers for us at some point coming up! I am an RN, retired, ad only girl in my family, so well trained and cultured to be the 'caretaker' of all others. I have a narcissistic mother who also well trained me from little on, to feel like HER happiness was my problem, so that carried over into my sense of care taking for others. I had NO boundaries basically until I read this book. If husband or daughters or parents or neighbors expressed any kinds of needs or unhappiness, I thought it was automatically my job to 'fix' it for them. Then, I became automatically responsible for parents in their elderly decline into dementia and other health issues. I was the only child left. As Mom started in with Alzheimer's, and Dad had to be placed in a facility, her manipulations increased to the point of intolerance for me. I am glad I found the book! So...yes, as the others above have said, you must figure out how to care for yourself first....and then you must realistically determine what you can do, based on your own energy, health issues, time and emotions, what you can do for anyone else. If you have any problems with poor boundaries, the first lesson is that you cannot be held responsible for anyone else's happiness! You may HAVE to be responsible for someone else's SAFETY...but that is all. And it doesn't mean that YOU have to do it all. Get a list of resources....Start with your local council on aging and look for free assistance. you are in the age bracket where you can even accept some of it for YOU...but you also can provide others in your family with resources from where they live that they can call for themselves.

I would also say, if you are going into your own old age alone, you might want to think down the road and do some planning now re: what you might do as YOU need more help physically and more resources to exist. Perhaps comparing the costs of independent living to the costs of living on your own, might help you see that a move into a full service facility where you can start in your own independent living apt but as you might need Assisted Living or nursing home or memory care down the road, it's all there under the same roof. I am looking at such issues for my Mom who is home alone but not able to care for self as she once was. I was amazed that when I added up all the costs of maintaining her house, utilities, taxes, insurance and the costs, at 89 yrs of having a car was way more than the rent on a nice independent living apartment. In the places I've been checking out for Mom....some require a certain amount of time living there at private pay, but then, when you run out of money, you can apply for Medicaid to cover the costs and the facility will have people who help you do that and get qualified for some assistance. The less resources you have left, the easier it is to gain qualifications for gov't assistance. But, then you have your own support system in place. In independent living, you can come and go as you please, generally have your own care...and it's like renting an apt there, but you have options to join in with activities and eat in the dining room if you don't want to cook a certain meal. It may not be what you need right now, at 70...but I am just saying, for me to find out how this works, it seems like a good long range plan to consider for someone without family, or who is alone but doesn't want to have to ever move in with family down the road. I am considering such a move for husband and myself, because our daughters and their families are out of town, have their own issues in life too and my husband is recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Even as a retired RN, I know that right now, I don't have the physical ability to care for him as he declines and seeing what my parents are going through because they both got into that negative place of: " I am never leaving my home, no matter what, I am living here til I die...." place, I think the time for good decisions is before that enters our minds! Just plan what situation will cause the move, and get on with it. To that end, we are planning to start the down sizing process of going room to room and cutting back on things we do not really need anymore....giving things away to the girls and grandkids NOW and stuff like that. We have our trust and wills and POA all taken care of....so it's just a matter of deciding that we need more help and cannot do it all ourselves. That way, we won't force our kids to make difficult decisions on their own, while we are in our elderly negative state of mind!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Like what kind of family problems? Are you expected to help your aunt? Does she have children? Do you need to do things for your sister and local brother? Does the Fibromyalgia make that difficult? Is it a matter of what everyone expects of you, or more about what you wish you could do and what you expect of your self?

More details might result in more detailed responses. But basically you need to put your own needs first, as Chicago says.

It may be that each of you will have to consider some outside help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

:) It sounds like you need to set some boundaries. Do not make yourself so available. Do not answer every phone call. If you have been lending money, let everyone know that you are tapped out.

I am sorry about your twin. You have a lot on your plate. Take care of yourself, #1. Then, see who else you have time for.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.