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Aging Question: Who's Going to Care for Your Parents When They Get Old?

In many/most families, this duty falls on daughters - unless you're rich enough to afford live-in help - but how do you reckon it's going to work for your specific family when your parents reach that point?

As a gay, are you expected to be more/less involved? Does it boil down to who's closest to them? Who has the most free time? Who can afford it? Will any of you be converting your sex dungeon spare room into a suite for mom?

I know for my family, assuming my mother lives to old age, my brother assumes I will be the caregiver. He at least assumes I'll be the one to pay for it, since I'm the childless gay who went to college and has more money.

If you haven't thought much about this, don't feel alarmed. Most people don't give it a second thought until it's dropped in their lap and they have to make rushed decisions about where mom's going to live and who's going to put up with dad's busy hands and foul jokes.

by Anonymousreply 97November 24, 2022 2:43 AM

My husband and I moved in with my folks earlier this year to take care of my dad. It’s been ok but my mom is driving me crazy. I stay late at work-it helps. You do what you have to though, right?

by Anonymousreply 1November 21, 2022 8:20 PM

Luckily, my elderly father married a younger woman and now the task falls on that whore.

by Anonymousreply 2November 21, 2022 8:26 PM

I did. My parents were diagnosed with terminal illnesses in the same week. My mother died in less than four months -just a couple of weeks after her 60th birthday. My dad remained completely bedridden for five-and-a-half years before he died just before his 70th birthday. They lived with me and I took care of them pretty much on my own -due to poverty, not gallantry. They had no medical insurance, and were both too young for Medicare when diagnosed. My mother's treatment left $350,000 in medical bills. My father's monthly prescription bills were $1800, offset by a pension of just under $700. I'm still paying off the debt I accrued. You can't inherit debt, but someone has to pay for meds and other stuff...

So, who's going to care for me when I get old? No one... :(

by Anonymousreply 3November 21, 2022 8:28 PM

I'm in my early 30s and my mother, in her mid-60s, is already flipping out about it. My grandparents lived well into their 80's and only spent a few months at the most in some sort of 24/7 care, so I feel as if her fears are a little premature, but she always has been one to worry about everything. I feel as if I'm too young to be concerned with this and it makes me feel like a bad person. I don't have the room for her to move in if it ever comes to that. I can't even imagine what people with children do when they have to care for their parent.

by Anonymousreply 4November 21, 2022 8:31 PM

My sister has pretty much always lived with our parents instead of getting a job that supports herself. She lived with my father for years before he died (over a decade ago), and now she and her young daughter live with my mother, who's in her early 70s.

by Anonymousreply 5November 21, 2022 8:35 PM

Both my parents had strokes within 4 months of each other, Dad is in a senior apt, mom is unfortunately in a nursing home (she is also bipolar and addicted to opiates). My sister is married but works 2 jobs and lives 45 minutes away. I was living in another state (600 miles away) but I had to deal with most of this going back and forth up till the pandemic. I didn’t feel comfortable traveling and trying to go back and forth while trying to manage everything.My relationship ended during the interval and I have remained at home to see this all out. I do feel it’s my obligation to my parents and my responsibility but admittedly at times I could use some help. After all , they raised and provided for me through college. However who could have predicted having to face this with both at the same time. Dad also has Parkinson’s and the pandemic certainly took its toll on his health. He’s gone downhill a lot in the last year.

My ex had a similar experience except his sister is the older sibling. When this saga began tome he once said to me “it’s the gays who have to clean up the mess”. I had taken early retirement, had no other responsibilities and of course had no children to tie me down. My sister has 3 kids although through this sag, they have all finished high school and graduated college.

by Anonymousreply 6November 21, 2022 8:36 PM

R3 I totally empathize. On an even bleaker , some may call selfish note, I’ve pretty much decided if I should get a terminal diagnosis to count it as a blessing and kill myself. Unless some miracle happens, I have no one to look after me but myself. I actually think that’s the most pragmatic response. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone . I often say to people whose parents actually have a plan they have no idea how lucky they are. It was like pulling teeth to even get my parents to do wills. R6

by Anonymousreply 7November 21, 2022 8:43 PM

R4, just curious, but did your mother take care of her mother/father? I ask this because I notice that sometimes people who are so eager to yoke their kids into a caregiving role had little to do with taking care of their own parents.

by Anonymousreply 8November 21, 2022 8:49 PM

I am dealing with this now and it sucks. It sucks because my parents were shitty parents. My dad tried to murder my mother and himself several times. My mother remarried an abusive alcoholic who verbally abused her and kicked all of her children out of the house for various reasons. They kicked my sister out because they went through her things when she came home from college one year and they found birth control pills and a bottle of wine. They told me to tell her when she returned home from work that she was to leave that night. Before they did that, they took all the telephones out of the house so she could not call our father to come get her and so she walked to the liquor store down the street to use the pay phone. They kicked my younger brothers out when they were 11 and 7 because they were tired of my dad threatening to call social services on them for beating them. They went to live with my father who then let them both drop out of school to spite my mother. When my youngest brother was 16 he got a job and my mother went and had him emancipated so she didn't have to pay child support. My father had fought paying child support for his four kids and let the house we lived in be foreclosed on rather than making sure his kids had a place to live (prior to my brothers moving in with him). My parents never helped any of us out financially. Even if they were going to "give" us something like their old outdoor furniture, they would sell it to us rather than just give it like most parents. They all are just shitty people.

So now, my brother was diagnosed with MS last year, I have cancer, my sister had cancer and all of us struggle with mental issues and weight issues thanks to the trauma of our childhood. My father is 78 and while I was going through radiation this year, called me to tell me he was going to kill himself because he is in pain and had financial trouble. I told him off and told him I was sick of his bullshit and how he makes everything about him and now I have blocked him on my phone. My brother who is dealing with MS gets phone calls all the time from my step mother telling him shit like, "your dad fell so you need to come get him and take him to the hospital." My brother refuses and tells her he can't because he himself falls often with his MS.

My mother now has dementia and my step father is having to deal with her. It's actually ironic because she's now combative and won't let anyone in the house nor will she go to the doctor. Step dad is crying about how he can't take care of her anymore and I guess he expects that we will. He screams at her constantly still and drinks himself into a stupor at night. Things is, none of us have any money except my older sister and she refuses to do anything for them. We told him a few days ago that it's time he finds a place for her and he got pissed and thinks we all need to help out. I live 100 miles away, my sister lives 500 miles away. My two brothers are closer but none of us wants to do much for these people who were the cause of so much pain in our lives.

Don't get me wrong, I feel badly for both of my parents but I absolutely refuse to take care of them because they could not be bothered to take care of us. When I see people who have amazing relationships with their parents, it does not compute with me. My parents have acted like "victims" their entire lives and put their spouses above their children and themselves above us too. So they are grown adults, they can figure their own shit out.

Word of warning...if your only retirement plan is to have your children take care of you, you best treat your children better.

by Anonymousreply 9November 21, 2022 9:04 PM

They dead.

by Anonymousreply 10November 21, 2022 9:04 PM

My parents were about to move in with my brother and his family when my brother was killed in a car wreck.

I'm across the country, but my parents live in a nice elder community (with levels of care depending on how independent you are. My mothers favorite sister lives a mile and a half away. They get together a lot and have discussed that when their husbands are gone (my uncle is in steep decline), my mother will move in with her and they'll look after each other.

I'm able to offer financial support, but my mother can barely stand LA for a few days, much less move here after 70+ years in small towns.

My greatest fear is that my mother will go first. My father is the stereotype of a Grumpy Old Man, complete with a limited social circle (my mother handles all that) and a refusal to go to the doctor under any circumstance.

by Anonymousreply 11November 21, 2022 9:06 PM

R4 you and I are in roughly the same boat, but as I learned from my brothers death, life has its curve balls. Best to make the plan and put it on a shelf than be in a panic when a curve happens.

I had my parents update their wills this year (they hadn't since I was about 10, when they would've left me to a relative that ended up going MAGA if they'd died) and discussed what to do in the event of a life support situation. Neither of my parents wants to be kept alive by extraordinary means and I'm to pull the plug.

by Anonymousreply 12November 21, 2022 9:10 PM

My father died young, but I looked after my mother from her mid-sixties until her death at 79. At first it was just monitoring medication, taking her to doctor’s appointments, buying groceries, but for the last 8 or 9 years it was like a second full-time job, as she developed vascular dementia and grew increasingly frail from osteoporosis and COPD. Life was a struggle for her and she grew dependent on me for almost everything, although she could still wash and dress herself.

I don’t think many people realise just how easy it is to fall into the role of a care-giver. I never made a conscious decision to do it. I just began helping out when mum was ill and the responsibilities just grew and grew. I only realised I was in it for the long term when I came very close to having to give up my job. I was the youngest kid (mid-twenties), geographically closest, and single. I do occasionally resent the fact that I gave up a big part of my life, when I should have been having fun and/or pouring my energy into developing the best career possible. My sibling is much older, and had many more years with my parents as active, healthy people, and is far wealthier than me because she could focus on her own career.

I wish things had been different but I don’t really resent her though. She was living at the other end of the country by the time my mum needed care. And I’m glad I could care for mum. She was a good person, and her life was hard in many ways. And she is the one person who was always in my corner, and always believed in me. I’m glad I was here for her when she needed me.

by Anonymousreply 13November 21, 2022 9:14 PM

My brother should, because he is a loser (ex-con) in his 40s and still lives with them.

However, my sister is a hospice nurse and will likely have to step in when the chips fall.

I moved abroad and don't plan on returning to the USA.

by Anonymousreply 14November 21, 2022 11:34 PM

Luckily, my parents live in another country and they have money.

I have plenty of other problems but at least that's not one of them.

by Anonymousreply 15November 21, 2022 11:40 PM

The task usually ends up with the daughter. If there are only sons, then, yesm the gay son will probably end up doing it.

It really make more sense for the married child with a family and a house to yake the responsibility.

by Anonymousreply 16November 22, 2022 12:14 AM

If your parents are still healthy and have more than $15,000 in assets and savings, they need to move their assets into a trust, that way they can get Medicaid and Medicare to cover their nursing home or at-home healthcare aides costs. This is also dependent on your state.

The rich do this and so can everyone else. Most of my friends parents are in nursing homes, my friends aren't paying a dime. While the other parents of my friends have 24 hour at-home care. All this care is covered by Medicaid and Medicare.

Basic health insurance plans don't cover nursing homes or at-home care. Most people don't even know this. Up to 100 days at a nursing home are covered by most health insurance plans, but most nursing homes make sure to cut off a patient by the 20-30th day. Nursing homes pull a lot of scams.

If the patient has no assets, nursing homes will take patients Social Security and/or pension, the rest will be covered automatically by Medicaid. If a person would rather remain at home, their home aide care is usually covered by Medicaid. For example, if a person needs 24/7 care at home, that would cost around $3000-$5000 a week out of pocket. Most people cannot afford that. Medicaid usually covers this level of care, same with longterm nursing home stays.

There is also a look back period as to when you set up the trust. In NY, IIRC, it's about 5 years. Which means the trusts have to set up way before the elderly or ill parents need this level of care.

Get moving on having your parents set up their trusts! Call an eldercare lawyer or talk to their accountant.

by Anonymousreply 17November 22, 2022 12:45 AM

Thankfully my father only spent 2 years in Assisted Living before expiring in his sleep. My mother would have had to sell everything to pay his bills (as it stands, she spent about $200,000 of precious money).

She's doing okay living alone in their house. But her short-term memory is getting bad. She may eventually have to move in with- or near to- my sister in another state. Then eventually to a retirement home herself, if she lives that long.

by Anonymousreply 18November 22, 2022 1:02 AM

My mom refuses to do any of that ^ It is really frustrating. But this is great advice

by Anonymousreply 19November 22, 2022 1:03 AM

[quote] As a gay, are you expected to be more/less involved?

I'm not "a gay". I'm gay. It's a descriptor, not a noun. Using it as a noun is vulgar.

I'm the only person responsible for looking after my 85 year-old mother who suffers from dementia and deafness. My younger brother is out of the picture and there is no other family to rely on.

by Anonymousreply 20November 22, 2022 1:08 AM

I thought I would move back and help my sister who was getting stuck with 90% of it. After 5 years of it, I’m done. I’ve stepped back and told her she needs to go onto a nursing home. She won’t of course. Will guilt and use her children like an entitled narcisstic old mother does. Don’t let it happen to you, don’t t feel guilt. Leave them to take care of themselves. The process made me realize how mothers are generally narcissistic and in it for the attention and love. I realized I was sick of being used - and am comfortable now abandoning her. The problem is my sister is still guilted into helping her. But I realized I can’t make the decision for her - I have to save myself.

by Anonymousreply 21November 22, 2022 1:10 AM

Thank god my parents are already dead. The worrisome question is - who will take care of me? The answer, I know, is no one will.

by Anonymousreply 22November 22, 2022 1:12 AM

My father died young at 72, 17 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 23November 22, 2022 1:14 AM

Forgot this, the $3000-$5000 a week is only the cost of the home aides! If your parents need adult diapers and other supplies, that adds to the cost.

These at home MLTC plans usually cover any needed supplies.

by Anonymousreply 24November 22, 2022 1:21 AM

My mother will be 83 in a little over two months, and I suspect she has early Alzheimer’s. Her own mother did, too, but she died after breaking her hip not too long after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so she hadn’t gotten too bad. My mother has been showing some signs of cognitive decline, some of the time, with respect to certain things. I honestly don’t know what the difference is between senility and dementia/Alzheimer’s.

I’m an only child. I am not ‘out’ to my mother but at this point I don’t know how she couldn’t guess that I’m not straight and not going to “settle down with a nice, pretty girl.” (Ugh.) She said horrible things to me about gay people, friends of mine who turned out to be gay and weren’t closeted (“I’m glad you’re not in that boat,” she once said to me), and about AIDS (she being of the mindset that ‘every gay man gets AIDS’, a relic of the 80s gay panic I guess.) So much of my insecurity and anxiety comes from her and the fear and shame she instilled in me — and she’s been horrible in a lot of other ways, too, and was often way, way too nosy and overbearing far longer than most parents like that usually are — that I’m not really feeling particularly guilty for not living near her.

The problem is, my dad is dead and I have no other siblings. So it’s really up to me to make sure she doesn’t endanger herself, or to take care of her if something happens. When that happens, I’ll step up to the plate as best I can, but honestly, just between me and the rest of DL, I’m hoping she dies of a heart attack or something before her cognitive decline gets too bad.

by Anonymousreply 25November 22, 2022 1:37 AM

My parents are dead. Who's gonna care for ME when I get old?

by Anonymousreply 26November 22, 2022 3:36 AM

[quote] Who's gonna care for ME when I get old?

Try the Andy Cohen solution.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 27November 22, 2022 3:48 AM

R8, she did a good deal for her parents when they were ailing. She'd help out as best she could, but her siblings did carry most of the weight.

by Anonymousreply 28November 22, 2022 3:51 AM

The more relevant and concerning question for most gay people should be who is going to care for you? Most gays don't have kids to lean on.

by Anonymousreply 29November 22, 2022 4:11 AM

My mother AND my grandfather live with me. My mother is retired with no pension only social security. She has a chronic illness. My grandfather is nearly ninety and has dementia. I had no choice but take on this situation…where were they going to go? My mother can not afford to live on her own with just her social security and I just couldn’t fathom putting my grandfather in a nursing home, besides we could not afford one. Thankfully his pensions takes care of meds and a nurse that comes in three times a week.

It’s hard. I went to get my grandfather out of bed the other day and found that he shit all over himself and the bed. I was disgusted and heartbroken at the same time. My mother is very needy, co dependent and rarely leaves the house…but she takes very good care of my grandfather. I felt bad for her and felt she needed a break. I sent her to Florida to visit her best friend this past July. Everyone needs a little grace now and then right??

I dunno. I am still young just turned fifty. When all this went down and decisions were made it just so happened my partner and I were splitting up. Everything happens for a reason…so I stepped in. My mother thanks me everyday. I appreciate that. This experience has been very cathartic for me…. the circle of life…blah…blah. It terrifies me that when I get too old and shitting myself…I am going to be all alone. I try not to think about it. Honestly I am just praying I am offered the opportunity to get some good dick though because it is really hard to have a free wheeling fuck life when your elders are in the rooms just down the hall.

by Anonymousreply 30November 22, 2022 5:54 AM

Yeah, R30, getting "some good dick" is an extremely high priority when one is making plans on how to deal with an old and possibly ill parent or parents.

Btw, who ended up cleaning your grandfather's shit? Your overnight rent boy?

by Anonymousreply 31November 22, 2022 7:20 AM

My parents are long dead. I put my mum in an old-age home. My father engaged his caregivers on his own. All I had to do was bury them.

by Anonymousreply 32November 22, 2022 7:23 AM

My parents live with my older brother and my younger brother lives down the street. My dad is 90 and is basically infirm. Thankfully we have the means to have 2 people take 24hr care of him. But it seems like such a horrible and depressing way to live - I don't want this when it's my turn.

by Anonymousreply 33November 22, 2022 7:42 AM

Am so sorry OP. My twin brother and I are dealing with this right now. My dad passed away in August (it was lung cancer - he went quickly) and he really screwed over my 77 year old mom (will was almost 20 years old, got nothing in order, etc.). She has been hinting at either moving in with myself or my brother... And we both hate her (she was a bad parent). I think my brother is a better choice (he's a pilot, so he is never home) and he doesn't live in an ANTIFA crime area like I do. Honestly, I kinda hope she works herself into a panic attack and drops dead.

by Anonymousreply 34November 22, 2022 7:49 AM

Mine are dead but they would never have been in my care. They had money enough and we're overloaded on insurance options (inasmuch as one can be.)

I lived quite far away and now in another country whereas my two older siblings lived within sight of my parents' house. They were much more involved on an almost daily basis of interaction and had the responsibility of watching for signs of decline or health and welfare concerns. My father had a chain of serious complications from surgery and died within a year, in and out of hospitals. My mother turned into something of a mess during this time, shoeing signs of confusion or even poor judgment and my siblings and a few other relatives stepped in and saw that my mother wasn't left to drive anywhere on her own and kept me informed and through them I could plan better times to visit.

In the year after my father's death, my mother's Alzheimer's progressed significantly. Home care aids, falls, more falls, reengineering the house for brighter light and ease of movement, within that time frame my siblings researched the various assisted living and nursing facilities and, when hone care was untenable, she lived her last year in one.

Among the siblings we were upfront about the options available, the costs, and in doling out responsibilities, fee of which I could see to beyond bring a sounding board that they were doing the right thing. The most I could do was call often (my mother and siblings) and visit occasionally.

None of us were in a position to house an ill elderly parent, nor wanted to. My mother was a difficult woman in her good years and became downright difficult and mean in her last years. Lack of money and options makes for other choices, of course. My family were fortunate not to have had to make any real sacrifice.

by Anonymousreply 35November 22, 2022 8:33 AM

r9, in a similar situation with my partner's mother, who went to a lot of trouble to try to hoodwink us into taking care of her. My advice to you is to go full no-contact on your mother and step-father and not do a single thing to help. Nothing. And make sure you don't live in a state with filial laws. If you do, talk to an attorney now.

by Anonymousreply 36November 22, 2022 1:57 PM

[quote]and he doesn't live in an ANTIFA crime area like I do

He's probably not delusional, either.

by Anonymousreply 37November 22, 2022 1:59 PM

I helped my Mom take care of my Dad when he became ill with cancer until he died.

I helped my Mom when she became ill and through her final days.

I don't regret it, but I was able to do it and very willing to do it.

I was single, and I lived with them. Not many are in the position I was in.

Remember, your family is your spouse or partner and your children (if you have them). They are your first priority.

Make sure your parents are well taken care of. Before they become ill, urge them to make provisions for it. Tell them they may not be able to count on you for full-time care. Or even part-time care.

A friend is going through this. He, his wife, and child live several states away from his parents. They've become ill, but they made no provisions for it. He's made the best plans for them to get them into long-term care facilities. But he has a career and family who need his support, so he cannot be at his parents' beck and call.

If you're in the same position as my friend, DO NOT feel guilty about it.

by Anonymousreply 38November 22, 2022 2:16 PM

Don't know father and I don't give a fuck about him. I know my mother, wasn't raised by her, even didn't talk to her for a decade, she's mentally ill and being watched and helped some by my aunt while being caretaken by the state and funded by benefits and apparently her dead husband's pension or something. Nothing I can do for her unless I was particularly wealthy enough to put her in very specialized, expensive care. I'm learning that exposure to her is not good for me. My aunt and uncle are otherwise the closest. They have three children, one adopted that doesn't talk to them anymore, two biological that they talk to. They'd be taken care of by them, or at least one of the two. I'm at least 3rd down the line for anything like that. My uncle is gradually deteriorating in several ways so I expect he needs more help first, but that might come from my aunt and/or a facility one day. An easy guess for my aunt would be that she then stays with one of her sons, if necessary. So I have some concerns about what is going on with my mom, since it could smack me in the face one day with heavy responsibility, but otherwise I'm not taking care of anyone any time soon. Maybe there's younger relatives that could do with my help one day in the future, but that would be pretty voluntary by myself since I barely talk with any of them, and the one(s) I did, the pandemic and life changes for him have apparently pulled us apart; talking but rarely.

I'm more concerned with taking care of myself - at least in this decade.

by Anonymousreply 39November 22, 2022 3:27 PM

For those of us who have no one to care for us in old age, just remember it is best to kill yourself before being put in a Medicaid-funded nursing home.

by Anonymousreply 40November 22, 2022 4:07 PM

R40 agree. Go out on your own terms and leave your money to loved ones and charities, instead of letting the greedy care industry have all of it.

by Anonymousreply 41November 22, 2022 4:30 PM

I moved with my partner to care for his elderly mother, who loved and accepted me as another son the moment she met me. I found a mom in her, my own was cold as fuck and hated my gayness.

by Anonymousreply 42November 22, 2022 4:32 PM

R25, I read something awhile back that said when people suddenly begin getting confused trying to operate something they use frequently, like a familiar coffeemaker, for example-- as in, they stand there trying to figure out what they're supposed to press-- or things along those lines-- can be a sign of something more than regular forgetfulness that comes with aging.

I'm not in denial on behalf of your mom, but that age group also has sleep issues, and some rough nights can affect anyone's mental function the next day.

by Anonymousreply 43November 22, 2022 4:41 PM

My sister is a spinster. She doesn’t have much money however so I assume she will step in to take care of her and and I will pay the bills.

by Anonymousreply 44November 22, 2022 4:44 PM

And everyone with elderly parents, don't forget that a simple undiagnosed UTI can make an older person suddenly act really, really weird, so get them tested for that if they just suddenly start acting irritable or confused.

by Anonymousreply 45November 22, 2022 4:45 PM

Good to hear stories about the gay men who didn’t take it on. We’re on our own in old age - why should we sacrifice our prime to breeders - especially parents who don’t deserve it. I’ve planned and scrimped and saved as best as I could for old age - my whole life has been defined by saving enough for old age. May still not be enough and may still end up in a hell hole of a nursing home - but I’ve done what I can. I’m not sacrificing my life for a needy, narcisstic old women who has tried to suck the joy out of my life since I was a child.

by Anonymousreply 46November 22, 2022 4:48 PM

Thank you R43. That’s helpful. I don’t think my mom has quite that kind of trouble (yet) that I’m aware of. It’s more repeating things — giving the same gossipy, nasty spiel about her neighbors and their children nearly every time I talk to her on the phone, which is once every couple weeks — and having trouble using the internet. Also forgetting details from decades ago (like my father suffering from bad seasonal allergies—she has no recollection of that), while remembering others with crystal clarity.

So, no idea what all that means.

by Anonymousreply 47November 22, 2022 5:41 PM

We had a similar thread a few years ago and I remember one poster who said that his plan was to go to the beach and overdose on pills and wine, before he would become dependent on care and that always sounded like a good , if not the best solution to me. Having to care for someone else and basically having to give up your own life in the process is hell and nobody should have to do it.

by Anonymousreply 48November 22, 2022 6:08 PM

[quote] Remember, your family is your spouse or partner and your children (if you have them). They are your first priority.

Depends on your culture and I noticed that you were able to take care of both of your parents. If your parents were good to you, why wouldn't you make them a priority, partnered or not? I was serious with my ex-BF and did discuss with him that I wanted my mom to have a place to live (with us) should there come a time when she was unable to live on her own. He (ex-BF) liked my mom (and vice-versa) and said that would be OK with him.

I'm not talking about taking care of shitty parents. I'm talking about taking care of a parent who was good to you.

by Anonymousreply 49November 22, 2022 6:45 PM

My mother died when I was relatively young. My father remarried, and chose a selfish, manipulative woman to marry. I had never had a good relationship with my father, anyway.

I realized over time that despite both my siblings (sisters) having passable to good relationships with my father, I was going to end up with all the responsibility for him, not only because I was the most responsible of the three, but was also the one with the most money.

The wife had her own health problems, real and imagined, but for a long time they took care of each other. That worked for me for a long time.

This is where I faltered. I prayed - well, not literally - just hoped against all hope that his wife would outlive my father so that I would not have to care for him. I was consumed with guilt about not wanting anything to do with them both, much less take care of my ailing father. Worse than our non existent relationship, my partner and I would have had to move to his state, or move him to our state.

He died earlier this year. I thought I'd continue to feel guilty at and after his death. Instead, I feel relieved.

I'm generally a good person, but I was no shining example in this matter.

(The wife played all sorts of financial games as he was dying. I caught her and she didn't like that at all. S o I won't have to ever speak to her again.)

Reading all these responses above...bless you all for having good relationships with your parents and for assuming responsibility for their care, often at great personal cost, emotional and financial.

by Anonymousreply 50November 22, 2022 7:40 PM

Ditto, #46. Mine knows she's on her own, after a life of selfishness and meanness. She always made sure she got all the goodies. You can't expect people to come to your aid after that.

by Anonymousreply 51November 22, 2022 8:02 PM

Both my parents are dead. Mom died first so it was up to me and my siblings to care for dad. We all pitched in, he stayed in his own home until the end, and he died peacefully in his sleep. Thank god no one needed to take him in but I'm sure one of my sisters would have. I did not have the room for him and also our relationship was never great. My partner is going through the same thing right now, Mom died earlier this year and now his dad, who thankfully is somewhat loaded, is in assisted living. He has enough money to hang on for another 12 years and then it's just Medicare and Social Security, but we doubt he'll make it that far. Not expecting any inheritance but we'll see.

by Anonymousreply 52November 22, 2022 8:15 PM

I'm glad to see this thread has legs.

But someone should start a sister thread about "The Whores and Shitbirds Our Parents Choose in Remarriage."

by Anonymousreply 53November 22, 2022 8:18 PM

The gardener.

by Anonymousreply 54November 22, 2022 8:19 PM

You are op

by Anonymousreply 55November 22, 2022 8:24 PM

I am so depressed after reading all of this.

by Anonymousreply 56November 22, 2022 8:28 PM

Why? Death is part of life. We should all be prepared, for our own death and the deaths of our loved ones, especially older loved ones who will hopefully predecease us younger folks.

by Anonymousreply 57November 22, 2022 8:32 PM

My beloved father lived with me for three years after his dementia diagnosis. He was at the point of having to go into care and he took his own life. He was a brilliant man and couldn't face a truly terrible end. It was already getting incredible hard and painful...

My mom died alone. She was incredibly abusive both physically and emotionally and I stopped all contact with her at the age of twenty seven.

by Anonymousreply 58November 22, 2022 8:37 PM

My family has a horrible gene pool (on both sides) and everyone either drops dead or lasts a fortnight after a terminal diagnosis.

I had my Dad and 12 blood related aunts and uncles die within 6 years, none were over 70.

by Anonymousreply 59November 22, 2022 9:02 PM

My parents have it all financially planned out and will go into assisted living when and if the time comes. My oldest sister is the one most involved with their medical issues and keeps me and my other sister and brothers informed. My parents live in Florida and between us and their grandchildren, someone usually visits them at least once a month. COVID was really hard though, and none of us Northerners would set foot in Florida.

My boyfriend's mother is in her 90s, has dementia and is extremely hard of hearing. She loses hearing aids constantly so that's no longer an option. She's in the house she's lived in for nearly 60 years and has no interest in going anywhere. He hired a gal to check on her every day, fix her lunch and make sure she has something for dinner, that she's had a shower at least 3x a week and that she takes her meds. She also has weekly cleaning service. My boyfriend lives about an hour away but I live 10 minutes from her, so I often pop in. It is awful to admit but I can't stand to be alone with her for more than a half hour because I get so frustrated shouting so she can hear me, and repeating myself over and over because she has no short term memory. Her own mother had an early AZ diagnosis and was put in a home but she was a runner, which I think traumatized the family. She died not long after she escaped in the winter and was missing for hours. I know most facilities these days are better than that, but they don't want to put her in a home as long as she seems safe in her own home.

I will take her to doctor's appointments if needed but he needs to step it up or pay someone to do it. He has a sister who is mentally ill and lives in Colorado. She visits maybe once every 18 months. At one point she was calling me to offer suggestions on caring for their mother and I cut that right off. She has four children who live around the world but none of them visit often. It's quite sad, really. She spent her life devoted to her family and now that she's feeble and lonely, they don't want to spend any time with her.

by Anonymousreply 60November 22, 2022 9:04 PM

"... but we doubt he'll make it that far"

Oh honey, you don't know how long these fuckers can live.

by Anonymousreply 61November 22, 2022 9:06 PM

[quote] My husband and I moved in with my folks earlier this year to take care of my dad. It’s been ok but my mom is driving me crazy. I stay late at work-it helps.

Your husband must be a frigging saint!!!

by Anonymousreply 62November 22, 2022 9:24 PM

I agree R62, and he'd better be careful and take more interest or hubby may take a hike out of his dismal life.

by Anonymousreply 63November 23, 2022 1:05 AM

Only one of them is alive, now. And when the time comes, she's going in a home. I've already told her if it's left up to me (which it inevitably will be because I'm the eldest and "most responsible") she's going in a home. She thought I was joking.

I am not.

by Anonymousreply 64November 23, 2022 1:26 AM

My parents are 85 (mom) and 90 (dad). They are still living independently in the town where I live. My mother had a series of mini-strokes 2 years ago that the doctor seems to have been able to stop. She hasn’t had one since January of this year that we can tell. Her short-term memory is pretty poor though. She’s put on a ton of weight, too, which has affected her mobility and balance. She fell and actually put a large hole in the wall in their apartment. My father is one of the healthiest people I’ve ever seen for his age. He takes care of my mother. She could not live alone. I see them frequently and help however I can.

I have 2 brothers, also single and childless. One lives far away, the other lives in town with us. The one in town has schizophrenia.

It’s on me to look after my parents and I say that as a privilege. I would do anything for them. I don’t have a lot outside of my job (incredibly stressful) and them. I don’t know what I’ll do when I get that call. I think of this EVERY single day.

If I outlive my parents, I’d like to move to a larger city where there’s more to do and a bigger gay community, but I feel I will have to cater to my brother in town and help him.

by Anonymousreply 65November 23, 2022 1:35 AM

I'll take care of my dad, but he told me when the time comes to help with some bourbon, benzos a bathroom, a bag and a burning grill. It's insane we don't have same options like the Swiss

by Anonymousreply 66November 23, 2022 1:36 AM

[quote] Who's Going to Care for Your Parents When They Get Old?

Probably a polar bear.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 67November 23, 2022 1:41 AM

Word of warning. If you start caring for your parents, don't expect your siblings to take part. Unbeknownst to me, it's common for one sibling to be left as sole caregiver. Found out the hard way w/ both of my siblings being MIA. Too difficult for me to forgive as my Mom deserved much more from us. In some way, plan ahead for respite care so that you can get needed breaks. Breaks give you the patience you'll need.

by Anonymousreply 68November 23, 2022 2:27 AM

Asians roll their small eyes reading this question.

by Anonymousreply 69November 23, 2022 2:31 AM

R65, you're a lovely human being.

by Anonymousreply 70November 23, 2022 3:18 AM

If you do have siblings, and you help your parent(s), but your siblings don't do shit, then make sure that you get compensated for the care you provide. The siblings who never visited your parents will be more than eager to visit when they want to read the will.

by Anonymousreply 71November 23, 2022 3:38 AM

My mom is 87 she lives with my aunt who is 86. My dad is 86 and lives with his second wife. They can take care of themselves.

by Anonymousreply 72November 23, 2022 3:40 AM

I'm curious how much those in this thread pay out-of-pocket for home aides to help your parents and other elderly family members? No one has mentioned any kind of free or low cost program their families are involve din.

In some states it's $25 an hour for a home aides. If a person needs 24/7 care due to being bed bound or needing help to walk and bathe, that's an awful lot of money for anyone to pay out-of- pocket.

Are most of your parents, and elderly relatives, millionaires? Billionaires?

Social Security and pensions sure don't cover long term care and even the at-home programs are costly.

For only a few hours of home care a day, a family member is paying $700 a week out-of-pocket. That's difficult for someone getting a small SS check and no pension, they are slowly depleting their savings,. This is especially difficult for the elderly who don't have life insurance and want to be buried not cremated. It's surprising how many people don't prepare for their old age. Shocking really.

by Anonymousreply 73November 23, 2022 4:32 AM

I laughed when a relative told me their late mother-in-law was "in an expensive memory care facility in Florida".

The mother-in-law was in her 90s and had Alzheimers. I was curious what the father-in-law was paying monthly to keep his wife in this facility. The relative told me, "Oh, it's very expensive, $1,000 a month." I almost fell off my chair. $1,000 a month is nothing. Most facilities cost between $15,000-$20,000 a month.

You'd be hard pressed to find any facility charging only $1,000 a month, at least not on the East Coast, especially with nursing homes starting at $450 to $500 a day!

My mom was briefly in a nursing home which charged $480 a day. Thankfully, her stay was short, she was there for physical rehab. My mom left before the 100 days allowed on her insurance were cut off. Nursing homes usually never honor the100 days allowed by a person's health insurance.

by Anonymousreply 74November 23, 2022 4:38 AM

r73 Me and my cousins are caring for our bed-bound grandmother right now (all of her children are dead and her husband is also gone, so it's just us grandkids left to care for her). She has private health insurance and that's how we're paying for home health aid. At least that's the plan. It hasn't officially started yet.

Right now it's just us alternating caring for her as our work schedules permit since her final child just suddenly died this year; this child (who was also retired) also was her primary caregiver. But, the plan is for her insurance to cover home health because we're all in our 30s caring for someone in their 80s which is not unheard of but, usually, barring special circumstances (such as the tragic situation of my grandmother burying all of her children within a year of each other) you don't start thinking about elder care until you yourself are 55+. So, it's an adjustment that none of us were prepared for. Between my cousins and myself also basically grieving the sudden loss of our parents (and me recently having to put my dog to sleep in the middle of all of this) and having to figure out probate shit because they died intestate and now having to care for our severely inferred grandmother who seems to have, seriously, just given up on life at this point (she is understandably depressed), I don't think I've ever been under this much stress in my entire life.

Honestly, I come to DL to escape it all even if the content on here is 99.9% negative, but this topic just snapped me back to reality for a minute. Shit's real. It sucks. Everything sucks right now.

by Anonymousreply 75November 23, 2022 4:44 AM

r73, see r17.

by Anonymousreply 76November 23, 2022 5:03 AM

[quote]Me and my cousins are caring for our bed-bound grandmother right now (all of her children are dead and her husband is also gone, so it's just us grandkids left to care for her). She has private health insurance and that's how we're paying for home health aid. At least that's the plan. It hasn't officially started yet.

I hate to break this to you, no health insurance plan covers home health care, you must mean your grandmother has a third private health insurance plan? I hope you are getting the correct information.

My late elderly neighbor across from me had this third type of health insurance. Her husband was a very smart man who set all this up for her years before he died. My neighbor was a dizzy woman who never worked.

These third health care plans are costly, especially as your grandmother must be paying for her main health plan, because Medicare only covers, IIRC, 80% of medical bills, such as doctor visits and hospital stays. That's why anyone over 65 needs a secondary health insurance. Then third if they need extended care. This is why many people apply for Medicaid years before they need longterm care. That's where setting up a trust comes in, you don't have to be rich to do this.

Medicare, which is deducted from Social Security is about $160 or $170 month. That all adds up, then, there are the extra expenses associated with aging at home.

Third health insurance plans for long term health care, whether it be at home or in nursing homes, must be taken out years before the person needs this plan. Those greedy health insurance companies won't allow a person to get these plans when they immediately need them, they want a person t pay into these plans years before they need them. No wonder health insurance companies make billions in profits.

Regular health insurance plans, and Medicare, don't cover home aides and long term nursing home stays or even longterm care at home, Medicaid covers this.

I've been navigating his with my father and previously with two of his older siblings who didn't have children. Over the years, due to his heavy smoking, my dad had several heart surgeries, he stopped smoking over 20 years ago, but the damage was done. After each hospital stay, my father was allowed a home aide for only 20 days that's all his health plan allowed.

Yes, reality sure does suck!

by Anonymousreply 77November 23, 2022 5:10 AM

Just read r17. Specifically these parts:

[quote]If your parents are still healthy and have more than $15,000 in assets and savings, they need to move their assets into a trust, that way they can get Medicaid and Medicare to cover their nursing home or at-home healthcare aides costs.

[quote]There is also a look back period as to when you set up the trust. In NY, IIRC, it's about 5 years. Which means the trusts have to set up way before the elderly or ill parents need this level of care.

[quote]Get moving on having your parents set up their trusts! Call an eldercare lawyer or talk to their accountant.

Goddamnit. -_-

by Anonymousreply 78November 23, 2022 5:10 AM

Yeah, r77, I just read through r17. Yes, she has a third private health insurance although I'm not privy to the full details of its coverage. We're all going to have to go over her policy and see what exactly is and is not covered because she definitely is ineligible for Medicaid because of her assets and her retirement income.

If it turns out to only be a limited number of days that is going to be a serious problem because she absolutely requires 24/7 care; care that requires constant turning to avoid sores and changing her briefs every 4-6 hours. She requires skilled nursing care. There's no way having home health for a set period of time will suffice.

Yeah, my anxiety is back now. Reality is back. Sigh. Thank you for the tips because we honestly have no idea what we're doing and are learning as we go.

by Anonymousreply 79November 23, 2022 5:18 AM

[quote]Just read [R17]. Specifically these parts:

That was my post too! As I said, I've been dealing with this for years.

by Anonymousreply 80November 23, 2022 5:18 AM

[quote]R48 Having to care for someone else and basically having to give up your own life in the process is hell and nobody should have to do it.

And yet parents do it every day.

by Anonymousreply 81November 23, 2022 5:18 AM

[quote], I've been dealing with this for years.

And your input is much appreciated and valued in this thread, r80. Seriously.

Stay strong! Caregiver stress is legitimate, as you well know and we're surely finding out.

by Anonymousreply 82November 23, 2022 5:20 AM

[quote]And your input is much appreciated and valued in this thread, [R80]. Seriously. Stay strong! Caregiver stress is legitimate, as you well know and we're surely finding out.

When I talk to people who work in the healthcare industry, such as nurses and medical assistants, and see they have no clue that health insurance doesn't cover longterm nursing home stays or at-home care, it truly blows my mind!

I would also advise people to check out the Medicaid nursing home and managed longterm at-home care laws for their state.

The state I live in has very lenient Medicaid laws. But there will still be a loopback, especially for longterm nursing home stays. For at home care, it used to be only a one month look back. Now it might be around 30 months look back for at-home full time care. An eldercare lawyer should be helpful in bypassing some of these laws.

by Anonymousreply 83November 23, 2022 5:34 AM

[quote]And yet parents do it every day.

For parents, who want kids, that was their choice to make those sacrifices to give up so much to have kids. No one is holding a gun to their heads.

It's usually never the choice of an adult child when their parents have been extremely lax in preparing for their old age. Especially when their adult child doesn't have much money to prepare for their own old age, then, to be asked to contribute to an elderly ill parents upkeep. You've got to be kidding.

Very few people would step up to the plate. I have some extremely selfish relatives, these people were lucky to never have to lift a finger to help their aging sick parents, others did ALL the heavy lifting, the actual care. But these relatives all ended up inheriting a lot of money, Summer homes and, well, everything. That really stings, especially when others in the family have to deal with aging parents and financial issues which were not of their making.

Not to mention, the ongoing stress of these caregiver situations, especially when the adult child is not yet retired and has little free time to truly help with the level of care a parent, or other elderly relative, needs.

Caregiver stress is very REAL. Try it sometime.

Your post doesn't make much sense. Walk a mile in others shoes before spouting such bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 84November 23, 2022 5:46 AM

Ever seen this movie, OP?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 85November 23, 2022 5:55 AM

I plan to die before my parents. My mother, at least. My father has two fundie cult member children who can take care of him.

by Anonymousreply 86November 23, 2022 6:03 AM

I took care of my dad until he succumbed to Parkinson's at 74 and my mom died at 55.

by Anonymousreply 87November 23, 2022 6:05 AM

For the poster who suggested putting assets in a Trust, read this - There is, however, a potential wrinkle to be aware of. Medicaid estate recovery laws allow nursing homes and long-term care providers to seek reimbursement for long-term care costs from the deceased person’s estate. Specifically, if your parents transferred assets to a trust then your state’s Medicaid program may be able to recover funds from the trust.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 88November 23, 2022 7:11 AM

[quote]For the poster who suggested putting assets in a Trust, read this - There is, however, a potential wrinkle to be aware of. Medicaid estate recovery laws allow nursing homes and long-term care providers to seek reimbursement for long-term care costs from the deceased person’s estate. Specifically, if your parents transferred assets to a trust then your state’s Medicaid program may be able to recover funds from the trust.

This was already posted upthread. This doesn't apply to most states which expanded Medicaid, this mostly applies to red states, so, by all means, keep on voting ReThug. Stand by, pay back, while the rich get more tax breaks while you pay your dead parents medical bills on some sort of installment plan!

I already posted, I don't know one family whose loved ones were on Medicaid, whether in a nursing home or in an at-home care program, called an MLTC, who had to repay the care coverage from their parents trusts.

One friend has nine siblings, their parents weren't exactly wealthy, that trust money is long gone. It would be interesting if the government allows the millionaires to slide re the re-payments, then, has the middle class and working class reimburse their late parents coverage! Talk about rioting in DC! This is a real cause to get upset about.

by Anonymousreply 89November 23, 2022 7:45 AM

I live in Italy. Italians put all their wealth into property; 85% own their own homes. Houses and apartments are pretty large because it is expected that multiple generations will be living in them. They are passed on from generation to generation. Italians do their utmost to care for their aged parents because otherwise their inheritance will be significantly diminished. It is the expectation that makes it bearable; it is just a part of life. That doesn't mean the siblings don't squabble over it, however.

by Anonymousreply 90November 23, 2022 7:45 AM

I took care of my mom for 20 years - from the time she was disabled as the result of septic shock and gangrene of extremities at age 78, until the house we shared suffered a major fire and became unlivable in 2020 (moments before COVID lockdowns began). She was then just shy of 98. She was in assisted living for 1 1/2 years, then my sister moved from California back to the Northwest and took her into her home. (The home I own cannot accommodate a person in a wheelchair). My mom turned 100 in June, so she's halfway to 101 now. I had a bit of a meltdown on my 60th birthday when I realized that I had spent nearly 1/3rd of my life taking care of my mom, but it was by no means a full-time job, and she fortunately retained her mind and her lovely disposition for all of that time. But lots of good things happened during that time, and I was able to continue to work after a fashion and to have a social life after a fashion. Could never do the amount of international travel I wanted to do, opted out of long-term romantic relationships, and some of my career was stymied, but who ever accomplishes everything he/she dreams of?

I will not have care when I grow old(er) and infirm, so I have no qualms about offing myself if I have sufficient warning that things are going to go south in a hurry for me physically. I have lots of nieces and nephews, but they are unlikely to care for their own parents, never mind me. There is no shame in assisted suicide. If I felt I could exist all by myself in a foreign culture, I'd move myself to a nursing home in Southeast Asia, where people have a reverence for the elderly and the cost of care is pennies on the dollar compared to American long-term care. But I think I would be bored and lonely in a place where few people speak English. I have accumulated some good real estate assets and I will sell those off to keep myself comfortable while I can, and then, whee, off I go. A good middle-of-the-night deadly heart attack at age 75 or 80 would not be such a horrible thing, but we can't count on such benign endings, unfortunately.

by Anonymousreply 91November 23, 2022 10:00 AM

Don't leave it up to me I'd sooner stick their asses in a shady pines type home and go on about my day. Fuck them both they never took care of me so I would simply return the favor, they're on their own.

by Anonymousreply 92November 23, 2022 10:06 AM

r75, and it all gets worse, trust me.

by Anonymousreply 93November 23, 2022 8:56 PM

^^ meant "only gets worse"

by Anonymousreply 94November 23, 2022 8:57 PM

My father died 2 years ago from a UTI. Prior to that he had several massive heart attacks and 2 open heart surgeries but it was the infection that finally did him in. My brother took care of him most of the time because it was well known that my father and I hated each other. My mother told me recently that when I was about 5 he told her he didn't like me and didn't know what to do with me. My brother texted me and told me I needed to come to the hospital right away. They were just waiting for me to get there so they could pull the plug. I watched him die and I felt nothing.

My mother is 85 and still going strong on her own. She had divorced my father when I was 19. She has some issues getting around due to arthritis and degenerative spinal condition but otherwise is in good shape. She still lives on her own and manages to take care of herself and we see her often.

Sadly I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 2 months ago and she will outlive me. Telling her was the most devastating moment of my life. No one will need to take care of me because when it gets to that point I'm going out on my terms. There is no way in hell I'm going to hospice and my family and friends understand this and support me.

by Anonymousreply 95November 24, 2022 2:07 AM


I am very, very sorry. Nothing else to be said.

by Anonymousreply 96November 24, 2022 2:15 AM

My parents are gone; dad in 2020 at 91 and mom in 2021 at 88. Luckily they had 9 kids who worshipped them and we all just showed up. Three of us lived close enough that we could go by whenever we needed to; my parents only declined the last few months of their lives. Dad mowed his grass and mom cleaned the house; one of the 3 local kids stopped in every week at the beginning and then we camped out when it got closer to the end. After dad died, one of the long distance sisters retired and moved in with mom until she went. Really sad time in the sense that they thought our parents would live longer. Lol we were glad to do it.

by Anonymousreply 97November 24, 2022 2:43 AM
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