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Thread: Sandwich generation thread

  1. #31
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I tried to think back on when my parents property went from feeling vibrant and cared for to stagnant to neglected/Mrs. Havisham. I put the turn right around mid to their late 60's. So we decided to stay ahead of it and bit the bullet this month and hired a housekeeper. Granted, we are starting with once a month and it ups our game because of course we start cleaning before they are coming...... We spend the majority of our time outside on our yard. We looked at that and this year (we are in our early 60's) we hired a landscaping company to get it whipped in shape in spring and now we are maintaining. Spring is usually pretty hard on us with clean up and planting. Now we only have planting and then nurturing. We figure we can keep this patched together for at least 10 years and then assess where we are. I so wish my parents had done that.

  2. #32
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    Simplemind, good for you. This year I hired a lawn service. I felt weird the other day working my tail off with a chain saw ( my summer hobby) while the fellow cut grass.

  3. #33
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    Mom was able to get half of her MRI done yesterday - they did the part w/o the contrast. She had 10 mg of valium before the MRI was done, and she was STILL freaking out and had to get out of the tube when the first part was done. We're going to go for another appointment one day next week for the 2nd part, maybe.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    My father and mother were living in a huge house when he passed away unexpectedly. Prior to that, they signed the title to the house over to my brother and I. I didn't realize the consequences when they came to me and told me this is what they decided to do.

    My brother later informed me that he was selling his house and he and his wife and kid we're moving in with mom due to a financial crisis of some sort. My mother has survived ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer. My brother has basically taken her to all her doctors appointments and been primary caregiver although she is quite independent. She is 84 and still drives, cuts grass and gets around.

    I live 100 miles away and visit a couple times a month. We talk on the phone a lot. On the surface things seem under control. But there are signs of problems to come. The house is in need of repairs. The SIL has accused me of accepting "rent" payments from mom when I visit. This is utterly ridiculous. There is a lot of jealousy about my personal financial security as compared to their tenuous life. I have offered to move my mother to her own condo in my retirement community and care for her. She refuses to consider leaving her mansion and the town she grew up in.

    My brothers health is quite bad. This could go a variety of different ways but I know my wife would probably divorce me if I allowed my mother to move in to care for her. They both dislike each other. Time will reveal what tortures I have ahead of me.

  5. #35
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    I would worry about this less if I figured it would happen in my 60s (though true I may not be physically as strong then depending), I think it can instead force one to sacrifice much of their career in the 40s etc. which is actually major earning years (and my bf has such financially struggles - it's because there job sucks basically - that trust me I do need to support myself). But since it is just fear at this point, and not something I can actually change much either way anyway if it came to pass, I can merely do the usual sensible things, focus on my career and save money now etc .. Which isn't sufficient perhaps, but there are not necessarily any rabbits to be pulled out of hats here.

    It's not fair and I don't deserve it because much of the problem comes from a sibling that in the past and currently is basically bankrupting my mom (while I get nothing from her now, pretty much ever, and will end up paying for this in the future probably), which will leave no money for anything anyway. Which is actually the root of my worry, that a sibling is actively right now bankrupting my mom with ever growing credit card debt etc. that I see no means to solve. And this really does bother me a lot, it's all so messed up that I dwell on it. But there is little I can do.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  6. #36
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    it's really rough when siblings aren't on the same page.

    Two years ago when I was first hospitalized, my father fell in the driveway and was in ICU with 3 brain bleeds. We both got discharged and it was a nightmare. I was falling when I stood up, my father was falling and was confused and became combative and my mother decided to take the train to crazy town in the midst of this crisis. I reached a point where I could not hoist my father off the floor one more time. I had been emailing and calling my brother, all with no response. I reached out one more time and begged for help, never responded. We've never spoken about those 5 days of utter hell but I haven't forgiven or forgotten.

    He just started sending $500 a month to "help out" and now he is the Golden Child. Meanwhile, nobody mentions that he owes them over 15k that has borrowed over the years. I love my brother but he has no clue what goes on around here.

  7. #37
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Here to read all of your good advice. My youngest just turned 18 and is going to college this fall. My mom is still in her own home (we live in the same town). My brother and his family are in the same town, too. My mother is becoming more and more dependent upon family to clean up after her, take her to appointments, grocery shop, etc. She is adamant about staying in her own home. The thing, is, however, it's going from just dirty to almost squalor. She in incontinence and spends 22 of 24 hours a day in her lift chair. She hardly ever gets dressed. My husband was there earlier this week and said he saw what he believes to be is a trail of feces from her chair to her bathroom.

    My brother tried to hire a housekeeper, but mom kicked her out. It's time to have the "come to Jesus" meeting with her. Either she allows a housekeeper in (and perhaps some other help) or it's time to move. It's too much for the family to maintain her home (housework, yard work, etc.) and our own. She sees herself as independent in some weird way. I'm going to have to tell her that no one wants to come visit her anymore because of her home. Prayers and good thoughts accepted.

    (I slipped on the steps in my own home Saturday and broke my leg, so I'm learning patience and some empathy for her mobility issues, however, that means I can't clean her house even a little bit for a couple of months. She still needs to quit being so damn stubborn, though).
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  8. #38
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    Becky: I am so sorry that you broke your leg and then have all this stuff with your Mom on top of it. I was lucky that my Mom planned ahead for her and my Dad. WE are doing the same for our kids.

  9. #39
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    Good luck with the come to Jesus meeting! I'm so sorry you broke your leg.

    I lucked into my parents getting help. I got a cleaning lady twice a month when the kids were young and I had pretty bad depression and was working full time. It felt like after working and cooking and cleaning there was none of me left for the kids. Cost me $60 a month, best thing I ever did. She is incredibly helpful and kind, easy going personality, you can't help but like her. So when my parents were struggling with my dad doing everything and failing, I gently pushed my housekeeper on them and they accepted it. It was touch and go for a while because I was raised with their values- be independent and work hard, healthy, they would NEVER have hired help no matter how much money they had. They ended up loving her so much, she is truly a family friend, as well as her husband.

    It worked out so well, that when it was time to hire an aide for showering for my mom that we approached the cleaning lady. She said yes and even though she doesn't have special training, she does a great job. As my dad has deteriorated quite rapidly over the past two years, I've gotten everything hired out, the lawn, snow removal, etc. He has a low cardiac ejection fraction and when he needed an implantable defibrillator, they told him he could drop dead any day. For some reason that was the first time what a doctor said about his prognosis clicked and from that point on he accepted help without giving me a hard time. He had to fail a lot though before he got to that point- falling multiple times while cutting the grass, chest pain while snow blowing, etc. I think sometimes they have to fail to see that they are fallible and need help. I cannot tell you how many times the words "if you fall and break a hip, it's all over, you go to a nursing home," have left my lips.

  10. #40
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freshstart
    it's really rough when siblings aren't on the same page.
    There were a few years I had some really choice thoughts about my sister for vanishing. But I came to realize that she was paying a price for being absent from the day-to-day crises -- and that she'd have to pay it when there was no longer any negotiating it (i.e., when my mom and/or brother passed on without her presence). Fortunately for me, things improved and eventually my sister came around and now it's kind of like she never left. (Though I know she did.)

    Quote Originally Posted by beckyliz
    Either she allows a housekeeper in (and perhaps some other help) or it's time to move. [snip] She sees herself as independent in some weird way. I'm going to have to tell her that no one wants to come visit her anymore because of her home.
    Prayers, indeed. That whole "independence" thing is a tough nut to crack.

    Most of us (and especially you right now, beckyliz, with your broken leg) understand that we're no longer as capable physically or mentally as we used to be. Time does not improve that. I think we adjust by sliding the measurement scale. Sometimes we move it; sometimes others do it for us. I know people not much older than I who no longer drive at night. Or on the highway. But they still drive. They're still "independent". Until they can no longer drive at all. Handing over those keys seems like a death sentence. Because, until then, you could choose to drive. If you had to.

    My mom fought using a walker, tooth and nail, until she was helped to realize that it enabled her to remain more independent than just doddering around no more than 50 feet at a time before resting. "Independent" got scaled back to include the assistive device.

    beckyliz, I suspect your mother considers herself "independent" because she still lives on her own and she probably has downgraded the importance of keeping the house really clean -- or feels she's keeping up with it as best she can. DW and I have had issues with that with both of our mothers (no fathers alive). Mine didn't realize that all the folks coming in to help my brother are mandated reporters and the place looked ... unclean and overstuffed and that that would affect his ability to stay in the house (which she wants). She's become surprisingly good about decluttering and has finally accepted some help in cleaning things like ceiling fans that she'll never reach again. DW's mother has adjusted by making her life smaller but it's finally become small enough that she realizes she needs some help. Even then, however, it's minimized: "I don't need much help. I can load the dishwasher. I just need someone to unload it."

    Quote Originally Posted by freshstart
    I cannot tell you how many times the words "if you fall and break a hip, it's all over, you go to a nursing home," have left my lips.
    Whatever we have to do, eh? Sometimes people need to see the choice very clearly. And I cannot tell you the number of friends I have who've had to issue ultimata like those to people they care about, whether it was about moving out of a farmstead or to getting a home health aide or moving to assisted living. Tough conversations. But we have to have them.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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