SRS Caring for Dependent Parents?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Laserbeak, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Laserbeak

    Laserbeak Remember kids! Be like Billy! BEHAVE YOURSELVES!

    Oct 5, 2001
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    It seems like it's becoming more and more of an issue as parents that are in the Baby Boomer generation start to retire with no retirement to speak of, they have been forced to become dependent on their children for their survival. (i.e. the "Sandwich Generation")

    Minus supporting children (well, I do support my 23-year old brother as well) and being 40+, I've essentially met the criteria for being part of the Sandwich Generation ever since I was 21.

    I currently have two financially dependent parents; one has a full-time job but doesn't pay much (welcome to working for social services), and my dad hasn't had enough of a working history to have any real kind of retirement outside of Social Security. He was recently released from the hospital after being hospitalized for the past month and a half for going into cardiac arrest (third heart attack in almost 20 years) and being in a coma for 3 weeks. He's also a diabetic with kidney failure, and has to be driven to dialysis three times a week at 6 A.M. My mom has had multiple bouts with cancer, and had arm surgery last month and was unable to go to work. My grandfather passed away last week, and while my mom was up in Vancouver for his funeral, and my idiot sister had a road rage moment which led to my mom getting the brunt of the damage on being t-boned at ~40 MPH last Friday, and sending a $45,000 SUV down the toilet that my mom, dad, and I saved for years to get, not to mention the driver that hit us is still in the hospital for severe head trauma.

    Right now, I've found that most people my age are in one of these categories:

    * Have a career and have settled down, no time for anything outside.
    * Have a job and are single parents, no time for anything else.
    * Have a career and are bent on developing it, no time for anything outside.
    * Don't have a career and are trying to get something started, or
    * Have just been owned by the economy and don't have time for anything not related to finding another source of income.

    Of course, with the economy the way it is, it seems everyone's more (understandably) concerned with whether or not they're going to have a job or a place to live in 3 months or less, rather than a satisfying dating life.

    I currently work full-time in my career and am taking 2 classes at the University of Washington at night, but I'm finding it extremely difficult to have my own life, or even experience any of the things that people my age have or are experiencing (outside of money issues). Needless to say, joining clubs or rec sports are pretty much out of the equation until I can finish school. I've never dated or had a relationship, much less a sex life, since I've always had the mentality that the needs of others (e.g. mortgage payments, medical bills, etc.) should be taken care of first, with my own concerns being secondary. My sisters both have their own families and stresses, and they don't really contact me unless they want to speak to my mom or dad. I'm also finding it really difficult to meet or find people my own age that are going through similar situations. Either they haven't gone through it and don't understand, or choose to be ignorant and assume I'm concocting a half-assed lie to make it sound like I don't want to go out and live on my own. Another problem is that, because of the severe gap in life experience, it's like it creates an age gap without an age gap, so it's like people in my own age bracket are way younger than me. :-/

    I guess what I'm asking is that, is there anyone here that currently financially support their parents? If so, what are you doing to get through things? It's kind of shitty to see people my age date, get married, and start families, and me just having to deal with the fact that I'm some kind of statistical anomaly, and have to spend time spoon-feeding people the things I do in an often futile effort to get people to understand. Either that, or it overwhelms them because it's not something they've experienced yet. :-/
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  2. silentIgnatius9

    silentIgnatius9 New Member

    May 30, 2009
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    Luckily, I avoided this situation because my father weathered these storms before my time. He came to this country at around 16/17 years of age (he is currently mid-60s) and had to support his constantly ill parents while learning a new language and orienting himself with the country. His success story is one of immeasurable levels of hard work in the name of survival. That is it. He found jobs. Any jobs and anything to make money. He saved up from odd jobs over the years to start several businesses (most of which eventually died). My father didn't receive any help from his brothers and sisters yet did what was necessary, even though it went against what he wanted. He made his parents happy until an unfortunately non-peaceful end to both their lives by various illnesses. He still found the time to raise a family during those years (he wasn't always around, but we knew why and he earned our undying respect).

    It's harder these days, no doubt, but know you will have to go beyond your own abilities to live. Don't ever care about people not believing you. Those kinds of people will never understand the values of nobility, selflessness, and survival.
  3. Ford4Life

    Ford4Life Guest

    I am in this situation.

    My father passed away 2 years ago, and he was the only breadwinner. My mom hadn't worked since I was born. She is in her late 60's, has advanced diabeties and can no longer drive because of it due to her vision. She also has trouble walking and getting around. When my dad died, he left her with a lot of bills, not much life insurance, and now zero income. She gets social security, but it was based on income earned in the 1970's, so by todays standards it isn't jack shit. It wouldn't even be enough to pay for typicaly monthly household expenses. She uses it to pay for medicare and her prescriptions, other than that she has nothing. So, unless I want her out on the street, I have to support her. It's difficult sometimes, but I don't really have much choice in the matter.

    It has pretty much killed my social life to, I'm 27 years old............try explaining to women why your mother lives with you. That usually ends things right away when they hear that. :(
  4. chica&buddies

    chica&buddies Active Member

    Apr 11, 2001
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    lovely orlando
    i took care of my mom ~4 months before she passed away (2 months ago tomorrow).

    she was diagnosed with lung cancer. i took her to all of her appointments and chemo treatments so my dad could continue to work. :dunno: out of sight, out of mind? sure he was interested in what was going on, but my mother nor my father were very technology/medical savvy. don't get me wrong, i'm no medical nut either, but i do have a science background, and i know how to do research, etc.

    anyways, before my mother passed away, taking care of her was a 24 hour job. she couldn't walk without the aid of a walker, and even with the walker you had to help her or she'd lose her balance. she was very disoriented, etc. :( it was very sad to see.

    :dunno: now my father asks for my help regarding anything paperwork related. most of it's related to my mother's death. thankfully he's still quite capable of taking care of himself on his own, however i do find myself doing his laundry and making him dinner.

    :rofl: i am becoming my father's housewife. :ugh2:

    just out of curiosity, do any of you have siblings? i have a 16 month younger brother. we are both very independent. however, my mom was diagnosed when i was in my home state completing an internship. i had no intentions of staying when my internship was over, but i couldn't bear leaving my mother, regardless if she said i could or not. my brother, on the other hand, didn't want to uproot his life and career. he, too, lived in a different state. don't get me wrong, he would have if my mom would've wanted him too. even if i hadn't been home, i myself would've uprooted my life the very next day to be here for my mom.

    my point? i hate that the burden of helping and/or taking care of parents usually falls on one child and not the others. hell, i can't even discuss things going on with my father to my brother without him getting stressed. he "doesn't want to hear it." :ugh:

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