My feed

to access all these features

Elderly parents

WWYD. Stay at arms length and ignore or try and intervene?

2 replies

itchyandscratchy26 · 20/05/2013 20:22

Sorry this is a it long and complex....
My parents moved to live near me and DH approx 12 months ago. They have NO other family or friends here and we did try and talk to them before the move about how they would feel about this. They seem to hate the sight of each other and I have always feared that they were hoping a move near me would magically fix all these issues! They have left behind many friends and family, but had started to isolate themselves there too, before the move. In retrospect this was probably because my dad was getting more unwell and grumpier, not wanting to socialise.
I should point out that they have been extremely generous towards me (only child) and my DH, helping us with half of our house deposit when we moved to a larger place approx 3-4 months ago.
I have twins on the way in 2 weeks time, after a long battle with infertility and IVF so I've had my hands full and it's going to get very full on!
When my parents sold their place where I grew up, they sold for approx 185K, but only came away with around 80k (ish) as they had never paid off all the capital. It is my suspicion that my dad has always had large credit card debts over the years but has been very very secretive about this. He and my mum have had separate bank accounts for the last 15 years or so and any discussion about money is impossible as he shuts down. It would appear that dad's half of the equity has disappeared into the ether, and my mum had the other 40k or so, along with her own savings of another 12k. The original idea was that they were going to move into our old house paying a very reduced rent, when they moved up near us. As it happened, we hadn't yet found a new place so DPs ended up renting privately at a huge cost of around £750 per month as my mum would not consider downsizing from a 3 bed house to a flat/2 bed. They also tied themselves into a year long tenancy. Dad has around £1000 per month from state and private pensions, and mum has around another £800 per month from her pensions and savings interest. They should be well off on this would it not be for the expensive rent.
Since they moved, my father has been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and is getting less and less mobile due to bony leg pain. Turns out he has pain and blood in his urine for past 12 months but ignored it. My mum is leaving him to pay the whole of the rent, council tax and bills, and I found out by accident the other day ( dad had asked me to find an email for him) that he has been borrowing money again from payday loan companies with large APRs and paying only the minimum payments.
Meanwhile, my mum is merrily buying stuff in Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston etc. I am not sure if she is aware of his loans and ignoring them, or if she is past caring.
We have had to rent our old place out in the short term for 6months as parents had tied themselves into a private rental agreement. The plan is still for them to move into our old place in Sept/Oct to pay a reduced/peppercorn rent to us.
Anyway, coming to the point. Neither of them has made any effort to socialise in their new area or to meet new people. In fairness to my dad it's hard for him due to his illness. They both continue to hate the sight of each other and my mum seems to be filling a big void with shopping trips, while my dad is using payday loans to bridge the money gap. Maybe he has taken the view that his life is likely shortened now to 2-3 years or so, and he doesn't have any assets now for loan companies to chase after he is gone.
I'm hoping things may be better after the twins are born and if they move into our old place, at least they won't be paying such expensive rent then. Also, the kids will provide and interest and distraction for them.
I have tried to see my parents 2-3 x per week since they moved, and we have tried to include them in social events with DH's parents and siblings, but half the time my DPs have declined.
How much should I involve myself with this, or should I let them sort out their own differences and rub along as they have done for the last 20 years or so? I am very aware that all my focus is going to be on the twins in the near future.
Any advice?

OP posts:
pippop1 · 20/05/2013 20:40

I think they need to make some friends and go out to some activities. This will give them something to do and they don't have to go together and they might even spend less money.

Do you have any friends who have local parents of a similar age? What do they do (clubs, daytime classes, church groups)? Perhaps you can arrange for them to take your parents along to somewhere with them?

You are not going to have much time in the next few years to worry about their social/financial problems?

PenelopePortrait · 20/05/2013 20:45

I would say that none of this is your business really. Should you let them sort out their own differences? Er yes. I'm sorry but I'm not really getting why you need to get involved at all. Just get on with your own life and family. You aren't in charge of them - just yourself and your DC's (until they are old enough to be in charge of theirselves)

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.