And your parents, too
Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:32 PM
My story: I am the youngest of six, with two deceased older siblings. My parents are in their mid-eighties and recently moved to a "retirement community" that they selected. Well, my Dad selected it, but that's another thread for another time. Anyway, I moved back to the area 12 years ago partly for work and partly to be available should they need me. And they needed me this past winter what with all the snow, and trying to sell their house, and things of that nature. My other siblings are anywhere in the range of not helpful at all ("I'm going to Mexico to do missionary work for the next six months. Bye there!") to sort of helpful ("Well, it's an 80 mile drive one way and my kid just got suspended from high school, but I can get there next week to help out if it's really urgent") to ridiculous about money and posessions ("You got all the good stuff and you should sell it and give me my share.")
Question for my fellow boardizens: Who else is trying to balance the elder independence thing with reasonable care for them? There's stuff they just can't do anymore, such as ski and bike, and it drives them nutters. I don't want to be bossy and horrible and take away all things they enjoy. I also don't want them getting hurt by doing things that are really beyond their physical capabilities.
And, how do you keep from burning out?
And is it possible to not resent the family members who are making other choices right now? Any tips?
Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:48 PM
half the time I feel sooo guilty for living in Ireland while my Dad lives alone in Boston
I went back to Boston for 4 and 1/2 months last year to be with him and will do the same this year
that's my choice, it's what I want to do
my other sibilings contribute the way they see fit, some contributing much more than others
when I was back for the 4 months, I would take weekends away - go to the Cape for a weekend here or there, go up to the mountains or just stay with a friend for a night
one thing I have to keep reminding myself is to be patient with him and that is half the battle
try not to resent your other family members - life is about choices - you made yours, they made theirs
Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:08 AM
Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:56 AM
For years I watched my three older siblings as I took the responsibility to care for my Dad. Understanding they were raising rather large families I guess I justified the lack of their participation, but always had the feeling they were also displaying the attitude that I wasn't married and didn't have a family so I was "free" to do it.
Best tip I can give on resentment is that the only person you will affect letting it get to you is you. It's an emotion that is going to be there and you can't escape it, but you sure can put it very low on the list.
When all is said and done you will come to realize that you have done what you know and feel is right, and when those moments of reflection come, of the more difficult times, you will have the contentment of knowing you had the principle to care for them as they became more dependent, as they cared for you when young and dependent upon them.