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Elderly parents

How often do you see your elderly parents?

60 replies

Septemberintherain · 13/11/2022 10:55

Whether they are just elderly or have additional health/care needs, how often do you see them and do you do much to help them out?

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Katyy · 13/11/2022 11:06

Hi. I see my very elderly mum twice a week. She has carers 4 times a day as she is a falls risk due to heart problems. She looks after herself very well mostly, unless she is unwell.
The biggest problem we have is she is very lonely. She would love more visitors.I’m in my sixties, still work part time and look after grandchildren. I find twice a week more than enough. I do her shopping, bills, appointments etc.

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ApolloandDaphne · 13/11/2022 11:08

I see my 82yo DM weekly although this week I am seeing her twice. I love 29 miles from her. I don't really need to help her with anything at the moment. My DB lives close by and probably sees her more and helps her a bit more. My 14yo niece likes to go round and do chores for her gran in exchange for a little pocket money. All in all I think that's enough for the moment but she is very able and independent.

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ApolloandDaphne · 13/11/2022 11:09

I live 20 miles away not 29.

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VerifiedBot2351 · 13/11/2022 11:09

Sadly only a couple of times a year. We are at opposite ends of the country and the cost of hotels for us to visit them is prohibitive. I feel really guilty that I’m not closer to help, but it is how life has panned out.

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rookiemere · 13/11/2022 11:10

I see my 84 and 89 year old DPs around once every 4 weeks. They live an hour away. If there were health issues or they needed support I'd go more often, but thus far they have been pretty independent.

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YellowAndGreenToBeSeen · 13/11/2022 11:16

I visit twice a month and stay 3-4 nights. I’d love to be able to pop in weekly or even a few times a week (they could do with it from a mental health point of view - they are both depressed) but they moved 3 hours away when they retired.

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WhatHaveIFound · 13/11/2022 11:17

I speak to my mum every day and when things aren't manic at work I see my parents every couple of weeks. I know my mum would prefer that I went more often but work has just been so busy this year.

I do all their online purchases and take my disabled dad to his hospital, dentist & doctor's appointments plus I cut his hair too. He has carers twice a day for personal needs.

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countrygirl99 · 13/11/2022 11:18

I'm an hour away and work full time. I go up every 2 weeks to fill mum's pivotell and sort anything that needs sorting, possibly take her out. She has a carer popping in daily just to check she's OK and weekly check the fridge as she forgets how long stuff has been in there and doesn't notice stuff that's rancid or mouldy. Other than that and not knowing what day it is she looks after herself OK and isn't physically frail "just" has dementia.

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Septemberintherain · 13/11/2022 11:55

I live in the same village as my parents. They are both 80, dad is in good health but my mum has Alzheimer’s.
I pop in and see them at least 4/5 times a week and help them out.
DH’s dad lives 2 miles away (DH lost his mum 2 years ago), FIL is in good health. DH sees him once a week and tells me that I see me parents way too much.
Its difficult because they need me and just being around the corner makes me feel guilty if I don’t see them.

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DenholmElliot11 · 13/11/2022 11:59

What do they need you for? Is it something that you could get carers in to do?

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strawberriesarenot · 13/11/2022 12:00

80 miles away every 2 months which I know is not often enough. I don't know how to work full time and run a house and family and get there any more often. This is my first weekend off since August and I should be there but I'm not. They do have cleaner, gardener, family nearer and retired with no family. Feel useless.

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UpendedPineapple · 13/11/2022 12:02

Septemberintherain · 13/11/2022 11:55

I live in the same village as my parents. They are both 80, dad is in good health but my mum has Alzheimer’s.
I pop in and see them at least 4/5 times a week and help them out.
DH’s dad lives 2 miles away (DH lost his mum 2 years ago), FIL is in good health. DH sees him once a week and tells me that I see me parents way too much.
Its difficult because they need me and just being around the corner makes me feel guilty if I don’t see them.

Does it work for you or do you feel it's too much?

I see DM most days and she's in great health at 76 but I enjoy her company. DBs see her once a month ish.

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KangarooKenny · 13/11/2022 12:04

Twice a week.

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Septemberintherain · 13/11/2022 12:10

UpendedPineapple I was going in every day up until about 6 months ago but as I have kids and a job (and some health issues) it was having a very negative impact on my physical and mental health, so I’ve scaled back to 4/5 times a week.
But it’s still quite hard going even though I arranged for mum to have a carer in for one hour, once a week.
I was hoping we could increase her hours but dad won’t have that so it’s still quite hard going. If I miss a day or two (often due to my health issues) dad will be ringing me all the time leaving messages!

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mondaytosunday · 13/11/2022 12:20

See them as much as you want. Both my parents are dead, and my one regret is not talking to them more (we lived in different countries) or, really, listening to them more!

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DarkKarmaIlama · 13/11/2022 12:21

I see my mum all the time. Around 1-2 times a week. I made a conscious decision to never be far away from her at any point in my life.

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UseOfWeapons · 13/11/2022 12:37

I see my parents most days if I’m not working, otherwise, 3 times a week. They are frail, elderly, and have significant health issues, some of which they need support with. I love them, it’s not a hardship, as I know I won’t have them about forever. I don’t want them at the age when they need me most, having to ask for things. I am closeby, so there’s no problem. But the only person or people who should be able to tell me if I’m going too often would be them, or me. You do whatever you want and need to, everyone’s situation is different.💐

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Septemberintherain · 13/11/2022 12:46

Thank you everyone.

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StopStartStop · 13/11/2022 12:51

Dad is 90. Relatively healthy, relatively sound in mind, doesn't leave the house. I think lockdown convinced him that younger people could do the running around while he lay on the sofa watching television.

I call in twice a day, deal with washing up, housework, usually heating his supper, take him cups of tea. I do all his shopping and his thinking - he can't make a shopping list. He makes his own breakfast (egg and toast) and lunch (more toast, with cheese or jam).

Sorry I didn't get to your thread sooner.

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rookiemere · 13/11/2022 12:52

This thread has prompted me to wonder why I don't feel guilty about visiting more often than once a month.

I think the answer is that's how often DM visited her DPs when they lived a similar distance away. Then my DPs moved over to Scotland to be closer to me, so she saw them even less often. DFs DPs lived in another continent and passed away at a fairly young age.

But what I'd say OP is if it's impacting your health, you're doing too much. I'd start being a bit blunt with your DF - they need to accept extra home help, or your long term ability to support them will suffer.

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Septemberintherain · 13/11/2022 13:20

Thank you again.
Its such a dilemma at times and I often feel a little conflicted on my thoughts about this.
I hate drip feed threads so will add a more for co text but I am a bit nervous too as I had once posted something similar on AIBU and got absolutely roasted, people telling me these are my parents and they raised me and gave me their time and now it’s my time to give back.
I don’t begrudge seeing my parents at all (especially my mum as she was such a lovely mother to my sister and I), but there are some niggles which do bug me a little.
My dad has always been a little bit of a PIA, way before mum developed dementia.
He does seem quite happy for my sister and I to go in and help as much as possible, I think, because we are women. My sister works full time and goes in once a week to clean for them (she has her own cleaning business) and then visits again on a Sunday. As the eldest and a part time worker (I am a PA to a disabled person), I think my dad just naturally expects me to be on hand at all times.
And I am happy to help care for mum, to change and wash their bed sheets, to take on all mums paperwork and hospital/doctors appointments and liaise with the doctors and specialists (she has other health issues), to wash her hair (Although I’ve now arranged for a hairdresser to come once a week), to cut her nails, arrange her medications etc.
I do it all because I love her and she needs me because me dad would not do these things. He cooks for them both and is with her 24/7 so it’s hard for him.

But dad sits on hundreds of thousands of pounds (mostly all mums personal inheritance) and often refuses any outside help, mainly due to the cost of it (he resents spending money).
I arranged for a carer to come in, to start with an hour a week, with the hope of increasing her hours as mums needs started, to help take the pressure off my sister and I but at £22 per hour dad thinks this is a lot of money and just keeps to the one hour per week which is obviously not enough, she just does some colouring in with mum which is not what I was hoping for.
I love them dearly but it’s all quite frustrating and harder when my dh is constantly telling me I do too much, I feel stretched between my parents and my husband.
I do also wonder if it’s mainly women who end up helping elderly parents.
I don’ t have male siblings but I wonder how many help their parents on a very regular basis? My dh has a brother and her sees his dad less than DH.

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MintJulia · 13/11/2022 13:26

I saw my DM about once a month. I have siblings who also visited her. My parents had retired to somewhere 75 miles away so they weren't just around the corner.

And to be fair, one year when we were trying to organise Christmas, I asked DM what she would like to do and she said 'I wish you'd all go away and leave me in peace so I can watch my soaps." 😧

Every family is different, with different personalities and different circumstances so it's no-one's business but yours really. It sounds like they have the finances to arrange any help they need and it isn't fair to expect you to wear yourself to a crisp. Look after you first.

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EmotionalBlackmail · 13/11/2022 14:45

Every family and situation is different. So you can't really compare.

I see my Mum (late-70s, few health scares in last couple of years) about 3-4 times per year. It's been more than that this year which wasn't what I wanted. I speak to her once a week. I get moaned at a lot for this but we are 2-3 hours away, I have a demanding full-time job and a child. My DH and child come first and I'm not prepared to give up weekends with them to run around after mum. I had a childhood like that, and I'm not doing the same thing to my DD.

My brother rings her much less often and sees her about the same amount (lives further away from her) but can't put a foot wrong!

It's her choice. She moved to her current home a while ago and chose to live near her friends. She could have moved closer to my brother. She wouldn't have been able to afford to live nearer to me. There is definitely underlying assumptions about daughter vs, son roles!

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MereDintofPandiculation · 13/11/2022 20:00

Does your mother get attendance allowance? If not, then it would be worth applying for, and using to pay for help specifically for your mother. Your father could not justifiably object

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cptartapp · 13/11/2022 20:07

They're sitting on hundreds of thousands of pounds and have you running round after them?! Really? They're happy for you to do that?!
That's what we save for all our lives isn't it? To buy in help and care as needed when older and let our busy adult DC enjoy the prime of their lives?
I would think far less of your dad tbh. Your DH is right. This will build resentment and only get worse, especially when one is left alone.
Worrying.

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