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-   -   Caring for Aging Parents (http://www.friendsandfamilyforum.com/showthread.php?t=5120)

LucyVanPelt September 3rd, 2012 06:26 AM

Caring for Aging Parents
 
As some of you know, although my DM is not sick, she is aging and she's entering that time in her life when she wants to be closer to her children when we are most busy with our own families. She wants to be assured that she'll be loved and cared for while we're running and facing empty nests in the next decade.

Family dynamics have determined that I will always be her primary care giver. I have already asked my siblings for help, but both DM and my sibs have relationship issues that impede assistance. So I'm already dealing with some of the things that primary care givers deal with: guilt when setting boundaries. This is what I have learned so far.

Knowing what my boundaries are and saying "no" when they are crossed is necessary to a healthy relationship. I've already learned this when I became a parent, but somehow I have a hard time following this with my own DM: The most important boundary is ME-TIME. I should take some to care for myself everyday. Wind down, relax, exercise... whatever it is I need to refresh. I have to be almost religious about it. Although I still feel a little guilty, I also know it is necessary.

Hope this helps someone else who is entering this time in our lives.

Lizzie September 3rd, 2012 06:38 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Knowing what my boundaries are and saying "no" when they are crossed is necessary to a healthy relationship. I've already learned this when I became a parent, but somehow I have a hard time following this with my own DM: The most important boundary is ME-TIME. I should take some to care for myself everyday. Wind down, relax, exercise... whatever it is I need to refresh. I have to be almost religious about it. Although I still feel a little guilty, I also know it is necessary.
quote:


This is such an important piece that Lucy wrote above.

My parents were 'older' parents when I was born and they have passed on a good
while ago.
I was always the primary carer as I have just one male sibling who is rather selfish.
I do though still have a sp needs son and just like with ageing parents etc
it is so important to realise what you can physically take on and where the boundaries are

Me time for all of us is very important and with Me Time comes a much happier, healthier
carer/mother.

KayKay September 3rd, 2012 06:51 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
((((Lucy))))

My parents are both deceased (like Lizzie, they were "older" when I was born) but I often wonder about my ILs.

Does your mom have any outside interests at all?

LucyVanPelt September 3rd, 2012 08:34 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
KayKay, I continue to encourage her to have outside interests. All of her interests seem to revolve around me, or she feels like she has to include me. For example, I've encouraged her to make friends with people the last few years; she always blamed my DSF's illness for not being able to forge friendships. She finally invited someone she's known for over 20 years to dinner. Great! But then she insisted we had to come, too. :confused: I politely declined.

Thank you for sharing, Lizzie. I'm glad you still know the importance of Me Time. (((hugs))))

marcjohnson01 November 2nd, 2012 03:26 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I have a grandpa who always wants to live independent. Now he is in assisted living home in Toronto. We are glad to know that he really enjoys the life there. He engages in social activities there. Also staffs there take care of him well whenever needed.

LucyVanPelt November 2nd, 2012 04:20 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Welcome, marcjohnson01. I'm glad your grandfather likes his living arrangements. Making that adjustment is hard for everyone. Do you visit him often?

Freek November 17th, 2012 03:25 AM

Caring for Aging Parents
 
I think you can avail some well furnished and facilitated old age house for your aged parents. As their are some organizations providing luxrusies and five star facilities to senior citizens at reasonably priced homes. Along with 24/7 nursing facility with complete privacy.

marcjohnson01 November 23rd, 2012 02:45 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt (Post 56258)
Welcome, marcjohnson01. I'm glad your grandfather likes his living arrangements. Making that adjustment is hard for everyone. Do you visit him often?

Yes, we visit him every weekend and he has a lot to share with us.

ValQu December 13th, 2012 01:24 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
My grandmother has always been very firm on living in her home she raised her children in, and lived with my grandfather in. She suffers from dementia and other illnesses. However, once boundaries were set and she was moved into an assisted living home she not only improved mentally, but physically as well. She even insisted on putting the house up for sale that she never wanted to move out of. Stay positive. Your mom will benefit from your boundaries.

LucyVanPelt December 13th, 2012 04:12 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I had forgotten this thread. :o

I don't know that my mom will benefit from boundaries. She is highly resistant and doesn't believe in them when they apply to her. She will eventually resign herself to them, and she'll be the martyr and I'll feel guilty. But I'm beginning to believe that guilty is better than harassed. :(

I'm glad things turned out well with your DM ValQu. Did you move your DM against her will, or did she eventually agree to the move before she was placed in the home?

Freek December 14th, 2012 10:40 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt (Post 57219)
I had forgotten this thread. :o

I don't know that my mom will benefit from boundaries. She is highly resistant and doesn't believe in them when they apply to her. She will eventually resign herself to them, and she'll be the martyr and I'll feel guilty. But I'm beginning to believe that guilty is better than harassed. :(

I'm glad things turned out well with your DM ValQu. Did you move your DM against her will, or did she eventually agree to the move before she was placed in the home?

That's what i think about it, what you think give your comments.

LucyVanPelt December 14th, 2012 11:08 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Freek, I edited your post. No links, please.

And to make things clear, my mother is not sick or frail or in any way in need of assisted living arrangements. She is emotionally dependent, not physically or financially dependent on us.

Adonis January 3rd, 2013 06:42 AM

Caring for Aging Parents
 
Parents are like big strong trees under their shadow children bring up and become strong to face the hardships of life. In old age they require the attention and care of their children, so it is our duty to care our parents in their week time. We have to do this with tolerance and great stamina with our hectic and busy life.

LucyVanPelt January 3rd, 2013 05:31 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
While we may have a duty to make sure our parents are cared for, we also must take care of ourselves. Parents can become difficult. They can become demanding, focused on what they want instead of what they need. It is important to set appropriate boundaries.

Adonis January 5th, 2013 08:08 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adonis (Post 58000)
Parents are like big strong trees under their shadow children bring up and become strong to face the hardships of life. In old age they require the attention and care of their children, so it is our duty to care our parents in their week time. We have to do this with tolerance and great stamina with our hectic and busy life.

Any Comments?

*link removed by moderator*

KayKay January 5th, 2013 08:59 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
You mean besides Lucy's? Yes. We have a no advertising policy here, Adonis.

LucyVanPelt August 12th, 2014 08:35 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt (Post 58038)
While we may have a duty to make sure our parents are cared for, we also must take care of ourselves. Parents can become difficult. They can become demanding, focused on what they want instead of what they need. It is important to set appropriate boundaries.

I am still struggling with this!

I get that she's lonely, but I don't think it's my responsibility to relieve that loneliness. DM has money and mobility. I have limited her time with us so as to encourage her to pursue friendships. She is still very reluctant. She has other people with whom she could spend time, but she's so critical that she doesn't really maintain friendships. The she says that she only wants to be with us, even to the exclusion of my other siblings. :(

She has two weeks off from work and she expects me and DD to entertain her. She's asked several times what we're planning and when can she come over. She's known she was going to have these couple of weeks off for months.

I think it's important to keep the same routine with her here; Sunday dinners and special occasions. When I didn't have those boundaries, her critical nature interfered with my ability to maintain healthy friendships. I'm not willing to compromise that again.

There will come a time when she is with us on a full time basis. I'm not shirking my duties, but she needs to learn to be responsible to entertain herself and be independent while she still can.

HisHeathenHoney August 12th, 2014 08:44 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt (Post 71955)
I am still struggling with this!

I get that she's lonely, but I don't think it's my responsibility to relieve that loneliness. DM has money and mobility. I have limited her time with us so as to encourage her to pursue friendships. She is still very reluctant. She has other people with whom she could spend time, but she's so critical that she doesn't really maintain friendships. The she says that she only wants to be with us, even to the exclusion of my other siblings. :(

She has two weeks off from work and she expects me and DD to entertain her. She's asked several times what we're planning and when can she come over. She's known she was going to have these couple of weeks off for months.

I think it's important to keep the same routine with her here; Sunday dinners and special occasions. When I didn't have those boundaries, her critical nature interfered with my ability to maintain healthy friendships. I'm not willing to compromise that again.

There will come a time when she is with us on a full time basis. I'm not shirking my duties, but she needs to learn to be responsible to entertain herself and be independent while she still can.

:( Too bad you can't force her to do that. I think you are doing what you can by deciding what you can do, then doing that, and not holding your breath for your mom to wildly approve the limits you place on her. :rolleyes:

DH's role with his mom is similar though less intense. When you deal with needy people, the barometer for success cannot be "what will make them happy/satisfied." They can never be satisfied by anything beyond a capitulation that will make your whole family unhappy. So you have to go by your internal principles of what is right, and have your success be acting from a principled standpoint.

Yes, our parents care for us when we are young and--assuming they weren't abusive or abandoning, which is a whole different can of worms--we have a duty to care for their needs as they get older. BUT, we don't have a duty to provide for their every want, just as they did not have a parental duty to give us every damn thing we wanted and demanded when we were little. The thing is, your mother "needs" you right now in the same way that a three year old "needs" a cookie before dinner. You are seeing her regularly, you are planning to "feed her dinner" so to speak--but that's not good enough, she wants what she wants RIGHT NOW. And you do not have an obligation to meet "needs" that aren't really needs. Parents make thoughtful judgments based on their best knowledge and principles about what their children need and want, and they give them all of what they NEED plus SOME of what they want. And spend the first several years in a struggle to instill in the child the concept of distinguishing "needs" from "wants."

Lucy when you were little, I bet your mom told you a million times that no you can't have a cookie before dinner, no you can't have those designer jeans, no you can't go to the party at the house with the parents out of town, and many other "nos." You'd probably be an insufferable adult if you had not learned that the world does not revolve around you. Of course aging is different, you can't really expect to "teach" your mother that the world does not revolve around her, either. But I do think you are justified in setting limits that preserve your sanity and your family's happiness.

LucyVanPelt August 13th, 2014 03:25 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Thanks, HHH. That child analogy is exactly how I understand this situation! And thanks for the support.

snafu April 19th, 2015 05:38 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I recently told my DM there is no way I'd let her live in a nursing home.

She's on oxygen and I don't trust a home to be diligent training staff about it (she's been in a few rehab places that weren't).

Due to a transplant she has a compromised immune system. There's too many people in close quarters in a nursing home.


DM has been under the weather & has been staying with me ... we've not killed each other yet ;) (she should be going home soonish)

Cremebrulee April 27th, 2015 05:33 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I cared for my foster mom, it was difficult towards the end...she was always such an independent person, that it was so hard for her to ask for anything....
In the end, she became very angry, and extremely dependent...I never set boundaries...I guess b/c she was always there for me, since I'd been five years old....she never set boundaries for me, and I was ok with things the way they were...what used to bother me, were her children, and how little time they spent with her....she was a peculiar woman, in a nice way, however, sometimes we got on each others nerves....but there was no way I'd allow them to put her in a nursing home....I wasn't married, nor was there anyone special in my life, but even if there had been, they would have had to understand my need to take care of her. I owed her my life...even though, I know she wouldn't have felt that way, I just needed to take care of her and was glad I was there for her, do not regret one moment of it.

brookeggarcia August 11th, 2015 03:24 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I was not able to manage my mom's anger and anxiety so had sought the help of <snip> a home care service in Toronto to take care of her. She is suffering from cerebral palsy and showing intense anger for small things. Sometimes, nannies are a great relief to us, they will manage all the things in a professional manner without any trouble.

LucyVanPelt August 11th, 2015 05:51 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I'm sorry, Brookeggarcia; we do not permit advertising here.

I'm also sorry that you've had to put your DM in a home, but I am so impressed that despite her CP, she was so independent for so long.

snafu October 18th, 2015 12:54 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I think my DM is starting to come around to the idea she may need to move closer/in with me & DH


She's very independent but has limited mobility


I'm trying to sell her on the benefit that we could do things when she felt like it, rather than having to plan things in detail (I have to pick her up, she has to rent medical equipment, etc...;)

KayKay October 18th, 2015 02:20 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Are there any homes she could lie in close to you, snafu? Maybe you can make appointments with a couple of them and let her tour them the next time she visits?

None of your siblings live near her?

snafu October 24th, 2015 03:53 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
kaykay - one sib lives in your area, the other lives 2 states away from DM .... and neither have much to do with DM anymore


(older sis doesn't really have much contact with her oldest kid either)

LucyVanPelt October 24th, 2015 05:43 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I have 2 concerns about moving DM into the house.

1) The contact will be constant. There will be no breaks for either one of us. No space anymore to have have a conversation or a fight or a making-up with my DH or my children without DM hearing it and probably thinking she has a right to comment or interfere in it.

2) The risk of depression turning to resentment for DM at losing her own familiar place and her things.

For those 2 reasons, I would only move DM if absolutely necessary, and will try to move her to a place nearby, other than my home, where I can still keep an eye on her.

Mrs X October 24th, 2015 09:23 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I don't know what the housing market is like where you are, i do know it is picking up in some places in the US. Would it be worthwhile looking at selling both your current houses so you can buy something that would suit semi-independent living for someone of limited mobility?

Alternative is a seniors-care home closer to you?

snafu October 25th, 2015 06:46 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Mom has done some research.

Where we live, if she went to assisted living her $ would run out in about 5 yrs - then either her children would need to pay or she'd still have to move in - and not have the $ to support herself/pay for her medications.

I should see if I could find senior apartments near by that would work for mom

snafu January 13th, 2019 06:31 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt (Post 71955)
I am still struggling with this!

There will come a time when she is with us on a full time basis. I'm not shirking my duties, but she needs to learn to be responsible to entertain herself and be independent while she still can.

Lucy....are you still thinking your mom will need to live with you?

LucyVanPelt January 14th, 2019 03:46 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I am not planning on her living with us. Right now, she's still totally independent.

When she can't be independent, I hope to place her in a senior community so she's not isolated, and not totally dependent on me.

snafu January 14th, 2019 07:00 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
My 2

Start looking now to see what's available, wait lists (worse than daycare), if they have a graduated care continuum, etc

LucyVanPelt January 15th, 2019 04:07 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Thanks, snafu! I'm careful not to plan too far ahead. My hope is that my mom can remain in her own apartment after she's not able to work anymore, and we'll pay the rent while we look for what she needs then.

And we'll play the lottery! We are totally surrounded by for-profit assisted living facilities and senior communities. There's no wait-list for those who have money! :D

LucyVanPelt January 25th, 2019 01:37 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
This is one of the things that totally peeves me!

We are having a graduation party of YDS. I haven't sent out invitations, yet, because it was too early and I was waiting on YDS to tell me what date works best for him.

I explained that to DM that last month. When we settled on the date, I gave it to her. She acted like it was an insult to her, and said she should put her card in the mail. I told her to wait for the party.

Last week she complained that she hadn't gotten her invitation. I DIDN'T SEND THEM YET!

DM sent YDS his graduation card in the mail.

She is so irritating with her demand for attention. That's why she won't live with me.

KayKay January 25th, 2019 07:01 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
Well at least she waits for an invitation! My kids have a grandmother who comes whether she's invited or not! :D

LucyVanPelt January 26th, 2019 05:17 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
^^ TRUE!!!^^

Even thought this is probably a reminder that she hasn't been invited since Christmas, she is still waiting for an invitation. :D

snafu March 10th, 2019 06:14 PM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
😐

Mom had it in her head that I lied to her about DH washing some of her adaptive dishes while she was gone. Even when DH verified he'd washed them, she insisted (to me) they hadn't been.

My take on this is that it's a repeat of her pattern when I was a kid..... When she felt unwell, nothing I did was right.

Also, she has two recliners....a lift one in her room (that she doesn't use), and one in the living room. I suggested we swap them as she's have issues getting out of her chair in the living room....she refused. That's fine, her choice .... I was going to try again later.

DH made the same suggestion a few hours later & She immediately thought it was a good idea ..... Chairs have been swapped.

LucyVanPelt March 11th, 2019 04:40 AM

Re: Caring for Aging Parents
 
I'm sorry, snafu. Unfortunately, aging often brings out the bad traits more. I'm glad your DH is there to help you. She's less likely to behave badly with him.


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