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Old 03-20-2015, 09:54 AM
 
2,014 posts, read 1,254,501 times
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This is the scenario; here I sit on the edge of retirement (days to months) and the plan has always been to relocate. However, concerns about care for the aged parents of my wife are starting to impinge on the plans. I freely admit that these people need a certain level of help which is sometimes difficult because they have always been as independent as hogs on ice though they are more than willing to accept anything you give them and the mother-in-law in particular is very adept at throwing the guilt trip if she doesn't think she is getting her due, they just won't do one damn thing anyone tells them. So very rapidly commuting distance to their house so they can be assisted is becoming a governing factor on what we do. I am very concerned about my wife becoming the servant, or at least one of two servants because her sister is doing a commendable job in assisting but rapidly reaching the end of her rope. My wife is spending a couple weeks at a stretch with them now with increasing frequency. The Mother-in-Laws stated position is that she sees no reason to use home help (she runs off everyone we've tried) when her two daughters can come and live in and take care of anything than they need. Their son lives across the country and shows up occasionally but is typically not a whole lot of help. I have been probably too ready to help them financially in the past when they were in a bind. Being support to the in-law parents has certainly not been my retirement vision. My marriage is decades old and a good one, never expected or received a whole lot from my wife's parents and I am entirely happy with that. To be honest, I'm really, really tempted to relocate far enough away from that commuting to help is a real pain in the backside and then become as obstructive as possible. I really hate the automatic assumption that we're going to do this just because that's what they want. Hope someone has a silver bullet solution but I realize there isn't one, this is more a rant than anything.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,785 posts, read 4,838,667 times
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I get that it's a rant, and I will give a standard rant answer..."I feel your pain".

Sorry, couldn't resist. But I'm asking seriously now, what sort of help do they need that requires your wife to stay with them for weeks? If they need that much help perhaps they should be considering moving to an independent or assisted living facility. It is unrealistic for them to expect that you will spend your retirement without your spouse for weeks at a time, or that their daughters will be willing to just give up all their retirement time to wait on the parents. How does the sister and her spouse (if she has one) feel about the situation? Perhaps there needs to be a coming together to discuss this issue amongst, first the sisters and spouses, and then all involved. The parents need to understand that this is not all about them, they are impacting everyone's lives by their choices.

For us the answer was that when we decided to move cross country in retirement, my MIL was pretty much forced to come with us or be left alone without help. Initially that was living in our home, and then she decided to go to an ILF and eventually we moved her to ALF because she became unable to manage her own meds and was having short term delusory periods.

This is definitely not the answer for everyone, but each family has to figure it out on their own. I would definitely say though that the parents are going to have to understand that the current situation will not continue for much longer if that is how you feel as a couple.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:21 AM
 
16 posts, read 17,864 times
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I can completely empathize with your issue. My husband and I have been caretakers all of our lives. I spent most of my life caring for my alcoholic mother until she stopped all contact with me about a year before her death seven years ago. I was not told of her funeral and when my husband and I attended we were forced to sit away from family.

My sister and brother cooked up a plan to disinherit me and my elderly father went along with the plan. However, he has since fallen out with them and is now calling me several times a week to help him out. But my sister has all financial and medical POA's so any help I can provide is minimal.

My husband plans to retire later this year and we are moving 250 miles away. The guilt is killing me since I have been trained to be the "fixer" in my family. However, my father has done nothing to move on since my mother's death. He wants everyone to be at his beck and call and sees no need to help himself.

We will stay with our plan to relocate. My poor husband has spent the past thirty years dealing with my dysfunctional family and we both need a break.

Best of luck with your decision.

Last edited by lynnmc2066; 03-20-2015 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:24 AM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,702,776 times
Reputation: 41127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer0101 View Post
This is the scenario; here I sit on the edge of retirement (days to months) and the plan has always been to relocate. However, concerns about care for the aged parents of my wife are starting to impinge on the plans. I freely admit that these people need a certain level of help which is sometimes difficult because they have always been as independent as hogs on ice though they are more than willing to accept anything you give them and the mother-in-law in particular is very adept at throwing the guilt trip if she doesn't think she is getting her due, they just won't do one damn thing anyone tells them. So very rapidly commuting distance to their house so they can be assisted is becoming a governing factor on what we do. I am very concerned about my wife becoming the servant, or at least one of two servants because her sister is doing a commendable job in assisting but rapidly reaching the end of her rope. My wife is spending a couple weeks at a stretch with them now with increasing frequency. The Mother-in-Laws stated position is that she sees no reason to use home help (she runs off everyone we've tried) when her two daughters can come and live in and take care of anything than they need. Their son lives across the country and shows up occasionally but is typically not a whole lot of help. I have been probably too ready to help them financially in the past when they were in a bind. Being support to the in-law parents has certainly not been my retirement vision. My marriage is decades old and a good one, never expected or received a whole lot from my wife's parents and I am entirely happy with that. To be honest, I'm really, really tempted to relocate far enough away from that commuting to help is a real pain in the backside and then become as obstructive as possible. I really hate the automatic assumption that we're going to do this just because that's what they want. Hope someone has a silver bullet solution but I realize there isn't one, this is more a rant than anything.
You both need to put your foot down and stop kowtowing to them. If they seriously need that much help, they should be in a retirement community or ALF.

Having children does not make them your slaves, with you expecting them to take care of you in your old age. I for one would never ask my children to take care of me.

Go, move, and be happy. These are your golden years.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Maryland
282 posts, read 306,027 times
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Very tough decision, that only you and your spouse can make.
The position/feelings of the elder's two daughters is a major factor, IMO.
The statement, "My wife is spending a couple weeks at a stretch with them now with increasing frequency", would concern me and could either be her true desire to help, or just plain being taken advantage of.

Life throws everybody curve balls that can change the best of plans.
Consider a balance so that everybody doesn't suffer.
If you and your wife move several states away, she may feel bad that travelling for daily/weekly help is no longer practical.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:54 AM
 
2,014 posts, read 1,254,501 times
Reputation: 1921
You people are magic!

To clarify, we already live states away and the wife flies in. My wife is intellectually very aware of what's going on but emotionally she defaults to a state of denial. The mother-in-law conditioned her children to believe she was lord high Emperor and must be obeyed. They all know that but they are still impacted. The sister and her husband feel pretty much the same way, and the husband is getting into a situation where he will requires more support himself.

Moving these people to something like an assisted living facility will require a winch truck and guard dogs. They just don't come any more stubborn.

It has really helped to kind of lay all this out in writing. Looks to me like someone is just going to have to bite the bullet and be the bad guy and I am the obvious choice. I'm thinking we have a meeting of children and spouses and then tell them they follow our 'suggestions' or they are on their own. I will have to be the one in all probability because it is just to hard for girls to do it though I'm proud to say my wife has been real direct with them lately on quite a few things.

My Sister and I had to drag my Dad resisting all the way but I did it and it was the right thing to do, hardest thing I ever did as well. So, pushing the in-laws shouldn't be quite as bad.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
You both need to put your foot down and stop kowtowing to them. If they seriously need that much help, they should be in a retirement community or ALF.

Having children does not make them your slaves, with you expecting them to take care of you in your old age. I for one would never ask my children to take care of me.

Go, move, and be happy. These are your golden years.
I so agree. My backstory is that the stress of caretaking impossible elderly relatives broke up my decades-long marriage due to constant disagreements about their situations (we are now back together again). I won't go into the details, but it came at the "change of life" stage for me while still working.

The irony is that we moved back here from the Midwest partly to be support to those aging relatives particularly my mother. If I had had even an inkling of what was to come in terms of her demands and tantrums I never would have moved my family back here. She did not have a lot of means, which was OK, however her attitude toward her grown kids and our husbands *sucked.* I would have moved heaven and earth for her if she had been a kind, loving person. I suffered a second life-threatening thrombosis during this time.

Elders who obstinately insist on "aging in place" thinking they're "independent" is a major life theme with me. Fine if they can hire out the jobs and assistance. But if not, even if they're "nice" folks the burden of caretaking their homes and their health, driving them to doctors (and waiting!) as they age, shopping for them, etc etc needs to be done on our terms, not theirs, and we need to have their respect. If it's not on our terms, then some of us can easily fail ourselves: our retirement goals and dreams, and our mental and physical condition.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:32 AM
 
381 posts, read 352,636 times
Reputation: 1984
Yes. You will need to call the sisters and brother together. Unite. The aging parents will have to face reality. My husband and I moved back to his home area to help take care of his parents. Eventually the stress tore up his sister's marriage (they are now together again) and I turned white headed over night. This went on for 9 years. Horrible! We were driving 75 miles each way once or twice a week. The parents had to go into assisted living when we caretakers hit the brick wall. Move. Start looking in your retirement location for a suitable arrangements for them. When they realize they will have to move or have the county/city elder care step in, they will come round.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:40 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnmc2066 View Post
I can completely empathize with your issue. My husband and I have been caretakers all of our lives. I spent most of my life caring for my alcoholic mother until she stopped all contact with me about a year before her death seven years ago. I was not told of her funeral and when my husband and I attended we were forced to sit away from family.

My sister and brother cooked up a plan to disinherit me and my elderly father went along with the plan. However, he has since fallen out with them and is now calling me several times a week to help him out. But my sister has all financial and medical POA's so any help I can provide is minimal.

My husband plans to retire later this year and we are moving 250 miles away. The guilt is killing me since I have been trained to be the "fixer" in my family. However, my father has done nothing to move on since my mother's death. He wants everyone to be at his beck and call and sees no need to help himself.

We will stay with our plan to relocate. My poor husband has spent the past thirty years dealing with my dysfunctional family and we both need a break.
Best of luck to you and your husband following your plans and doing so care- and guilt-free!

While it may sound awful, in a sense I was "lucky" that both of my parents passed away 20 years before I retired. During my first year of retirement my wife, already retired, was heavily involved in managing her mother's affairs and seeing to her in-home care as she was an alcoholic and in significant physical decline. She finally passed away three months before we had planned to move to another state. Interestingly enough, she ultimately cut my wife, her only child, out of her will because, "You have Curmudgeon to take care of you." Laughable at best. We'd been married only 12 years and my wife had been the sole support for herself and her two daughters for 18 years before we married. She was a very independent lady.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:14 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,470,896 times
Reputation: 31111
We went through this twice, when we moved here and later moved my mother-in-law up here, then when we were set to retire and move again but she was in assisted living with no other family in the area. We are still working, and though she passed last summer now we are both happy with our jobs and planning to go another 5-6 years. probably just in time for my parents to be needing us more.
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