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Supporting elderly parents who were insistent on 'enjoying retirement'

(1000 Posts)
Keeg Tue 02-Apr-19 07:31:44

NC in case I get slaughtered...

When my kids were young we could have really done with GP help, but there were very much (as is most of mumsnet!) of the school off thinking ‘we’re done raising kids’. I coped, I raised children and I knew it was my responsibility... but I’ll admit I had some
Unvoiced resentment. DH and I had similar jobs to them, but a higher level, but we never had been able to access the housing etc they had due to the much higher childcare and housing costs. They’ve lived nearby in great affluence whilst their grandchildren were wearing second hand, a bit overcrowded etc. Obviously not their problem, but on the flip side they had great capacity to help and didn’t chose to exercise it. They probably spent 6k-12k on holidays a year, whereas 1k for us would have meant for example being able to run a car.

They didn’t offer childcare bar very very occasional inconvenient seeings, for example 1-2pm on Saturday, wanting them dropped off and at a time of day with heavy traffic (turning an 8min drive into a 40min) and meaning there was no time to do anything else. I remember an occasion my son had a last minute amazing opportunity and they couldn’t help by watching his sister (I later found out it was because she wanted to go and see a film at the cinema, 15 min walk away and on for months multiple times a day). They retired pre 60 with big lump sums and pensions, very active and able. No issue with health.

I left them to it, never commented, it’s their life. But I’ll admit I was underneath jealous of every friend who seemed to have GP helping. BUT they are now older, they are needing support and I’m not feeling at all warm in rearranging my life to give it. For example dad can’t drive right now, temporary due to an OP, and he wants hospital lifts. I feel like saying ‘get a cab’ because of all the times I wished for help. It’s hugely local, and I being petty? Or have others felt like this. In the long run, although I get on with them, I don’t feel like every offering to let them move in. They didn’t help their parents (who did offer childcare). I guess I feel a bit heartless but a bit ‘you made your bed, now lie in it’. Being nice I think, we’ll they obviously raised me as a child, but then on the other hand I think their expectations were that links stopped at 18. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t feel hugely bonded to them either and more like people not related that get on

woollyheart Mon 08-Apr-19 15:04:06

Everyone is a loser if they end up oscillating between home and A&E. They are certainly getting their fair share of NHS resources but not in a good way. And not to their benefit if their condition could have been treated without resorting to A&E.

PookieDo Mon 08-Apr-19 13:13:28

Sorry I was talking about paying for a NH place or for home care agency staff.

I think that’s quite different to private healthcare.

Going into hospital 14 times and getting paramedics out doesn’t cost the patient anything (the NHS and taxpayer yes) but it is not any way suitable to manage long term needs. If you have appropriate daily care you can avoid admission as someone is there to monitor you every day before you get really poorly, or fall over. Going into hospital as an emergency is horribly stressful and unpredictable - you could end up waiting 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor, it should be last resort not first line of support. No wonder OP’s DM is feeling depressed, whereas paying for a nice well researched NH of your own choice in an area you like that caters to your needs is way way less stressful in reality - but expensive
A lot of patients hold out at home in the hope they will become funded by social care but in the meantime the frail person just suffers needlessly. OP I hope something comes from today that is productive

MontStMichel Mon 08-Apr-19 12:54:10

I'd be reluctant to pay for private medical care. Its all very well for a consultant to come into the private hospital to do your operation; but if there's a complication in the middle of the night, there is no "team" to look after you, like there is in the NHS! From what I hear, private hospitals just have to call an ambulance and send the patient to A & E anyway.

I saw DD have a day case operation on the NHS in a private hospital. She was vomiting so much after she came round, she could not stand - they injected her with an anti-emetic, so they could discharge her at the end of the day. Her bf, a doctor tells us they should not have done that - she was not fit to be discharged!

Alsohuman Mon 08-Apr-19 12:43:47

What’s that got to do with paying for private medical care?

Hearhere Mon 08-Apr-19 12:42:07

Keeping your money intact to pass on to others is ostensibly altruistic, but it also means that you get to use the promise of an inheritance as a way to make everyone dance to your tune

Alsohuman Mon 08-Apr-19 12:32:08

@Hearhere, some people won’t pay for private medical care on principle. Understandable really because all that buys you is a queue jump, a fancy room and better food. Social care is a different ball game.

woollyheart Mon 08-Apr-19 11:57:38

@Disfordarkchocolate has caught the dilemma perfectly. At certain points there are choices and you can find something that works and may even be enjoyable! Once it comes to an emergency, you don't get a choice and have to suffer what is necessary and available. You become a victim whinging about what is being done to you.

Disfordarkchocolate Mon 08-Apr-19 11:49:24

Thinking of you @Japonicaflower2, my worry would be that eventually there will be a crisis and your mother ends up in a home that she had no choice in because it was the only place with a room in an emergency. That's a level of lack of autonomy that must is devastating. As things are she has choices, if you Dad is hospitalised suddenly there will be no choice.

woollyheart Mon 08-Apr-19 11:44:46

Hope it is resolved and your mother gets the care she needs @Japonicaflower2

My mother is in a similar position. Utterly unwilling to spend her money on her own care, because she wants to keep her money intact to pass on to others. But quite happy to have the whole family unable to do or plan anything because we are always responding to illness and hospital emergencies. If I hear 'I don't want to be any trouble' again, I might explode. 😪

Hearhere Mon 08-Apr-19 10:48:48

I see this with my parents they appear to have plenty of money always off on holidays and yet they are very reluctant to pay for any kind of private medical care

PookieDo Mon 08-Apr-19 10:18:44

Sadly it’s quite common for people not to want to spend their money on care. They don’t seem to realise that going into hospital 14 times is an awful experience every time and instead of that you can live out your days in relative comfort - because you can afford it! You can’t take your money with you so why you wouldn’t want to spend it to be comfortable makes NO sense

PookieDo Mon 08-Apr-19 10:16:35

I am sure you are right about NH they cannot continue to let her live in an unsuitable environment with no support but the challenge is the self funding. He sounds more concerned about the money than DM herself

Dungeondragon15 Mon 08-Apr-19 10:14:41

You are quite correct: everyone DOES deserve good treatment from the NHS. The problem is they do not get it.

What has that got to do with whether or not they were children in the war though? Do you think that those who were born after the war should not get good treatment?

Alsohuman Mon 08-Apr-19 09:57:35

I’ve messaged you @Japonica.

Japonicaflower2 Mon 08-Apr-19 09:30:26

I am convinced a NH is the best option for her, no doubt whatsoever, where everyone will know she's cared for.
I can understand my father's old and worries about her but he's not helping the situation one bit unfortunately.

Japonicaflower2 Mon 08-Apr-19 09:25:42

Yes Pookiedo, I will be there along with my siblings, I just hope they can have a sensible input (they are NC and hate each other, which doesn't help!)
My DF's very likely to go into his head-in-hands-I can't-cope-with-this attitude which he adopts whenever it suits. There's plenty of money I would imagine so finances aren't a problem (plus huge house), which makes his attitude ever more infuriating.
I will 100% support mum as will one sibling, so we will see what transpires.
Can't say I'm looking forward to it.

PookieDo Mon 08-Apr-19 09:19:54

If she is getting to the point of admission 14 times then he has to see how dangerous this is for her. She needs people to help her so that it doesn’t get to this stage, you could explain that people in hospital have much longer recoveries and often lose their mobility very quickly, it also must be scary and depressing for her to be at this level of poor health all the time

whereas in a nursing home or with carers she will have more stability and better life expectancy

CMOTDibbler Mon 08-Apr-19 09:14:00

I hate to say it Japonica, but at this point you have to get tough and ask your dad if he wants your mum in a nursing home, and if not, then he has to accept carers - because thats the choice he has. Lay it right on the line and tell him that if he can't decide then SS will make the decision for him.

Parenting my parents has been bloody hard, but my parents are still at home and though their life isn't quite as I'd like, it is sustainable and scalable.

PookieDo Mon 08-Apr-19 09:09:48

Try to get her in to respite sell it to them as temporary and see how they actually realise that having extra help is the right thing to do

PookieDo Mon 08-Apr-19 09:08:12

Do you go to the CC?
You really need to stand up for your DM in terms of how obstructive your DF is being as actually it’s obvious he is obstructing her needs by refusing to make a decision and turning carers away.
At some point he will lose all option to make a decision because it will be too late she will be too much in need and if he’s constantly obstructive he will be seen as possibly letting her come to harm. If he can’t look after her but won’t let anyone else this is really bad for DM

Japonicaflower2 Mon 08-Apr-19 09:03:01

Case conference for mum today to look at what happens next. DF is saying he's too old to have to make decisions, doesn't want mum in NH, doesn't want 'strangers' in the house, certainly thinks SS should pay for care etc, etc......and off we go again ☹️ Between them they've stopped Carers coming in every bloody time 😡
Mum 'doesn't want to be a nuisance', I think she's completely worn out and she keeps asking for 'a wooden box'. She's a bit vague but not confused, just needs to be warm, fed and cared-for which quite frankly DF struggles to do, even with input and ready meals.
I have a sinking feeling that the case conference won't get anywhere because neither of them will make a decision. I think this is her 14th admission in 4 years, not counting a number of visits from paramedics.
Very sad.

BoffinMum Mon 08-Apr-19 08:54:39

I just want to add that many Baby Boomers benefited from Mortgage Interest Relief At Source (MIRAS) in which your mortgage payments came out of untaxed income. In other words, your house purchase was tax-free. Combined with final salary pension schemes, they accrued assets most of us could never even dream of, without putting in the hours later generations have had to.

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Mon 08-Apr-19 06:42:34

OP I totally agree with you on this. Don't feel bad. They are selfish people and probably too self centred to even understand why you are reacting like this. But no judgement from me. This is what mumsnet says is ok because grandparents are not obliged to help their grandchildren, therefore we don't have to help them surely? My mum did everything possible for me while she was alive and also for my kids. When she got ill I did everything I could, from cleaning her house to taking her to hospital and church etc. My dad, less so...

GirlRaisedInTheSouth Mon 08-Apr-19 06:39:12

All the posters targeting baby boomers are forgetting their was no such thing as having your rent paid by housing benefit, or the interest on your mortgage paid if you could not work.

And YOU are forgetting that you could buy a house for the equivalent of a year’s salary and there was council housing for everyone who needed it!

echt Mon 08-Apr-19 04:42:49

In the end, the OP has posted payback reasons for not supporting her parents. They sound loaded so can cope. I still think she owes them an explanation for stepping back, though.

For all those who say they would step up and support as a natural thing, what would you think when your children don't support you, as is evident from the OP's OP that her parents didn't support theirs. Would you cut them off? Say meh?

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