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Looking after Elderly Parent/s?


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#1 Bwok~Bwok

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

When your parent/s get to an older age or need looking after, are you and your siblings going to take responsibility for them? If so, do you expect financial/care help from other family members e.g. Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousin’s etc

Something came up yesterday that has thrown me a little bit.

Edited by Bwok~Bwok, 18 February 2013 - 12:39 PM.


#2 tenar

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:48 PM


I think the safest approach is not to expect anything at all.  

I know that I personally would care for my elderly parents and pay for their needs if so.  I would not expect my siblings to contribute but would be happy if they did.  

I certainly would not expect more distant relatives (cousins etc) to contribute to their care.

#3 dolcengabbana

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:49 PM

My Parents have made there requests on this subject clear to us all. They are happy to stay home together until they can't and are happy to go to a nursing home/facility low or high care whatever is required at that stage.

They have savings to cover this. However my siblings and I would cover any shortfall if it were required. No assistance outside of immediate family would be expected or asked for.

We do joke though that one of my siblings has to have them as a running joke even Ma and Pa tease them senselessly over it.

#4 9minutes

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

I'm at that stage now - my mum passed away about 18 months ago and my dad is living on his own and although he's still managing, he's only going to get more frail.

My sister is not really involved, so I think the burden is going to fall on me to co-ordinate things.  

Luckily my dad should be in a position to pay for the things he needs (I'm hoping)  If he wasn't, I would see it as a responsibility for my sister and I to share.
I can't see any circumstance where the extended family (his one remaining brother and a number of nieces and nephews) should be expected to support him financially.
I'd certainly appreciate it if they keep in touch and visit occasionally, but that's all.

#5 frizzle

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

There are four of us, me 38 up to sister who is 47. We all keep an eye out for our folks. My dad was left very ill and with a disability last year after a motor vehicle accident and we all rallied, his sisters all took turn sitting with him in hospital. I don't think his brothers did as much. We certainly did not expect financial support from them, but they are good with moral support.

Edited by frizzle, 18 February 2013 - 12:53 PM.


#6 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

Yes. My parents are financially independent though so it won' t be a financial strain. However, all care will be my responsibility ( with DH's help) as my one sibling us barely able to look after himself.  I live locally to my patents as well.

With DH'S parents ( who are already in their 70's) , the burden if care will most likely fall onto his sisters, simply because they live locally to his parents and are single without children. DH will do what he can but will have at least two young children and lives 2000 km away hen it comes to a head.

It always strikes me as unfair that care of elderly parents usually falls on the daughter/s.

#7 BronR

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

If we found ourselves in the situation of having an elderly parent come live with us i would expect them to contribute financially to the household and be responsible financially for their own affairs, health care etc. Currently my parents are fully self funded retirees. If they didn't have enough money to pay their own way so to speak I would expect my siblings to pay equal amounts to their care.

I wouldn't expect any financial help at all from anyone except from other siblings (ie the elderly persons children).

#8 Old Grey Mare

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

This subject has been at the back of my mind for a while now as my parents, both in their eighties, are starting to wear out. I have an older brother and a younger sister, both of whom have careers and live in units with no spare accomodation. We have four bedrooms and two teenagers who will possibly be moving out within the next few years. In addition to this my husband has terminal lung cancer with a probability he will only be with us for 12-18 months at best. Should it become necessary my parent/s will come to live with me and any expenses should be more than covered by the sale of their house. If necessary my brother and sister are more than willing to act as respite cares and financial contributors.

#9 quangle~wangle~quee

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

I don't think it is usual to expect support from anyone other than the children.  Aunts, Uncles etc all have their own immediate family to care for.

Of course it becomes complicated if one sibling is closer or considered by the others to be in a better position to care for the parents (either physically or financially) but that would just be an individual situation for each family and I would imagine that once your parents are reaching that age, that there would be no surprises, ie. the sibling who has always been generous with time and money will continue to be, the one that only thinks of themselves will continue to be that way too.

#10 Carmen02

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

thats what Im afraid of my parents getting old and frail!! They arent in a good money situation, my mum has just put her mum in a nursing home and is having trouble dealing with work and helping settle her mum in and to be honest i dont want anything to do with my brothers so wont be discussing anything with them!

#11 RealityBites

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:08 PM

In our family, it has been the responsibility of the elderly themselves (with own assets, talking through potentialities etc) along with their children. When incapacitated, either mentally or physically, it comes down to the spouse/children. No one else is involved, except for visits etc.

#12 elizabethany

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

I think it is the responsibility of their children, not the extended family.  I am lucky with my parents because they can pay their own way, but I will have to organise everything.  My brother lives in another state, so I can't see him being able to help that much.

#13 Bluemakede

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:10 PM

The care of my parents will most likely fall on me, I have 2 siblings who I know will help, but it wouldn't be financially. My eldest 2 siblings I doubt will help in any capacity at all (the eldest may help with dad, but wouldn't with mum). Financially my parents aren't that well off, and unfortunately most of the money they did have is now gone, so I could definitely see myself being 'out of pocket' on my own so to speak, though at this point it doesn't bother me.

My partner will also be most likely the main carer for his mother, financially and health wise she is fine at this point. He is the eldest, so it is considered his responsibility, and they come from a country where there are few aged care facilities elders are looked after by family and she's absolutely terrified that she's going to be put in one.

#14 SpunkyMonkey88

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:15 PM

I care for my grandad, who is still currently living in his own home. When it comes to the point he can no longer live there he will come to live with me. He has 4 children, 2 of whom would contribute financially. One would also contribute to care (my mum). I would have no qualms about contributing financially as my Grandad has done a lot for me over the years.

#15 tamjk

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:17 PM

It's a while off for us yet, but DH and I will definitely be caring for his parents when the time comes. They have helped us out so much that I could not contemplate not being the ones caring for them in their twilight years.

Hopefully with my mother we'll be in a situation to do the care for her as well. I can't see my siblings being in any situation to care for her when the time comes. However Mum is more than happy to go into a nursing home if need be so in that aspect she is much easier than MIL who is terrified of going into a nursing home situation. MIL worked in one of the worse nursing homes when she was younger and it has forever coloured her opinion of them.

My father? I hope he has someone lined up to do that stuff because I most certainly am not caring for him in his dotage. I don't speak to him now and it's going to take a lot to get me to forgive him for what he has done.

#16 Frockme

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

I would never want my kids to be burdened with my living costs when I'm older. I'd be devastated to have to ask anyone for financial help. God knows living expenses are high enough now.

I would like to think that my parents are making responsible decisions now so they can get through retirement without seeking financial assistance from us. I know they aren't though.  sad.gif   How we'd pay for anything extra right now is beyond me.

So no, I don't think anyone should EXPECT to be taken care of financially by anyone other than themselves. Care is different. I'd happily care for older rellies (realistically, ie when I'm not working or running the kids around).  original.gif  

Of course there are unexpected exceptions.

#17 Magnus

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

DP and I are planning to move interstate in the next five to ten years as her parents are getting a bit older.

DP will definitely be the one caring for her parents as she is the one who takes time off work now when her parents are ill and require care.

I have said that my mum can move in with us. My mum is still quite young though, and exercises regularly, so I think it'll be a long time before she'll need care. She is not well off financially, but I think we probably will be by then so I don't mind at all paying her expenses.

I don't know that I'd be good at all as a full-time carer, so I'd probably hire someone to help out especially with things like toileting and showering, if necessary, because I'd find it really strange to have to help my own mother go to the toilet. I wouldn't like the role reversal. I'd be happy to do the cleaning and cooking and that kind of stuff, though.

It would be best if we could buy a house with a granny flat or a second storey, because it would be good to have our own space and for her to have her own space to decorate and have her own stuff in. She talks an awful lot, too, so a granny flat would be ideal for when we just needed some time apart.

#18 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

QUOTE (Bwok~Bwok @ 18/02/2013, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When your parent/s get to an older age or need looking after, are you and your siblings going to take responsibility for them? If so, do you expect financial/care help from other family members e.g. Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousin’s etc

Something came up yesterday that has thrown me a little bit.

My father has died, so it's my mum we would have to think about.  She has already told us her preference for a few aged care places.  We have already brought up the topic of downsizing to a place which doesn't have stairs, etc so she has started to think about that.  If Mum couldn't cover the cost, my siblings and I would do so, although I doubt my brother will help much.  My sister lives in the same city as my Mum, so the day-to-day care involvement will fall to her by default.  She knows this and is okay with it (at this stage).  I will help out financially as much as I can, although we think Mum is covered for the eventuality of nursing care.

DH's mother expects that someone will take care of her.  She has stated it emphatically many times that she would rather die than go into a nursing home. I have no idea what will happen with her as her dream is unlikely to happen with any of her children.  She has enough to support herself in nursing care if it is necessary.  I suspect that she would like to stay with us (her first preference, as she seems to have a much more volatile relationship with her daughter), but I think DH would move heaven and earth for that NOT to happen.

We also live interstate, so it makes it very attractive for any of our parents to leave their own home/local neighbourhoods to live with us.

Depends on the family structure if aunts, uncles, cousins get involved.  For some families, this makes sense, for other families, it wouldn't.  

If one of my aunts/uncles didn't have children, I expect I would help them out as they get older.  Thankfully, all my aunts/uncles have plenty of kids to help them out, so that's not an issue for us.

#19 Amy 1976

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

My parents will live in heir own home for as long as they are able. When they are no longer able, they will go into a retirement complex with support available. If they live long enough to need nursing home care, that is what they will do.

I don't expect that any of their four children will have to care for them as such. Of course we'll still spend time together and help when we can but we all work full time and have our own families to care for so it wouldn't be practical to have them live with us. I don't think my parents would like to live with me anyway.

I remember when my grandmother (Dads mother) became frail, my Dad arranged for her to move into a nursing home rather than have her live with us so I doubt he'd expect more from his own children.

#20 haras1972

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

My mum is caring for two sisters, one who never married or had children, and one who is widowed and has two sons.

They are still living independently, but its looking like arrangements will have to be made, as their medical needs are becoming more and more complex.

My mum calls on them daily, ferries to and from appointments, takes them to information sessions about diet etc, takes them to hydrotherapy etc - honestly my mum is awesome, but by god, the rage I feel at my two cousins for just ignoring their mothers situation....

Anyway.. my dad is becoming increasingly frail - I'm the only daughter, and I live closest to my parents, and I can definitely see the difference between my brothers and I and our differing levels of concern and worry for my parents.

There are also wildly different financial situations between us children too, so honestly, I don't know what would happen if my parents health went pear shaped - dad's nearly 80, and his only wish is a quick and painless dignified death... seeing FIL in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and his beautiful mind dying in front of us, I wish for the same for us all.

#21 LifesGood

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

We are in this situation now, it's just a matter of how long until my parents need our help. DHs mum is widowed and about to move to a retirement village (self funded). DH is one of five and they all chip in to help in practical ways.

We are building an extension on our house partly to cater for my parents to move in with us. Dad will eventually have to go into a nursing home when his dementia progresses to a point where we can't keep him/us safe at home.

My brother already has his FIL living with them (they built him a granny flat) so I don't expect him to contribute. My parents siblings are not in a position to help either, they each have their own burdens. DH and I will manage things.

Financially I hope my parents can contribute to the cost of living but they are in a precarious position, so we will see. Probably most of their money will be needed for nursing home care. I know they will do what they can. When they die they will leave half of whatever they have to us and half to my brother and that is fine.

I can't imagine leaving them to fend for themselves, it just isn't our way at all. On the other hand I don't expect our children to care for us in our old age, hopefully we can set ourselves up in a way that it won't be necessary for them to.

#22 mad madam mim

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

I will not have my parents live with me ever, I will help out don't get me wrong, and I am sure between the three of us something would be worked out, but I would not become their carer at any stage.

#23 Maple Leaf

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

My parents have made sure to not be a financial burden on me (I'm an only child) as they have their own savings and contingency plans, so I won't have to worry about that side of things.

I expect that DH and I will be the only ones helping them out in every other way though as they live in Aus now and we are the only family here. original.gif


#24 Lady Lovely Locks

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

With my grandparents, on my father's side grandpa lives with one son, and the siblings each pitch in to make the mortgage repayments and also for the nurse that visits, and on Mums side Oma lives in a Dutch retirement home, which is something she and Opa had planed 10+ years before they moved in, attached to the retirement home is a hospice for when she becomes unable to care for herself, I believe that the apartment was payed for and if she goes to the hospice payment for care derives from the sale of the apartment they were living in.

#25 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

My Dad died at the age of 57 in November - massive, sudden and completely unexpected heart attack that killed him instantly.

He's left behind my mother who has been ill for years and who I thought would go first. Dad was fit, healthy and independent - completely the opposite of my mother.

Due to life insurance issues, Mum has no income or money expected to be paid out and as such, has had to put my parents house on the market. She has begin the process of moving in with my husband and I into our 2 bedroom unit. The day my Dad died I knew with complete certainty that this was the way life would head and said to DH right then and there that we could kiss our lives goodbye.

If things work out, the best we can hope is that Mum gets a widows pension from Centrelink. She has been rejected for Disability because even though she has a lung disease that has her on oxygen and means no office seems to want to have her work there, they still deem her suitable for work and won't give her a Disability pension. Some days her blood oxygen levels are so low that she can't move without nausea and feeling terrible - which results in another hospital stay but she's not "sick enough" to need a pension. We find out in 12 more weeks if she will get the widows pention. Right now we're just hoping the house sells so she has some money coming in as right now, she's bleeding us dry.

I have days where I really feel bad for her and other days where I am so angry that my parents were so financially irresponsible that they didn't have any real plans in place if they passed away early. I spend my time alternating between hating my mother and feeling like any minute my poor DH who has been lumped in this situation will pack up and leave. He's been amazing so far but I can't shake the feeling that he won't put up with this forever.

My sister is as financially irresponsible as my mother (I have to bite my tongue every time my mother says she doesn't know where my sister gets her sillyness from) so I know she won't be offering any assistance. She also has a baby so because DH and I don't, it is assumed that Mum should be our burden. My sister's only input so far has been to crack the sh*ts when the life insurance payout was declined because she wanted some money to pay off her debts.

I had no intentions of being the one to support my elderly parents but life had other plans. Never feel it's not your place to ask what your parents have in place for when they are older because it DOES concern you as their child. I should have stepped up years ago and checked what my parents were doing because now it's not their issues, it's become mine.






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