Our week-long series on caring for elderly parents and relatives touched a chord in our readers, as many responded with heartfelt testimonials about their own experiences and others expressed admiration at the love and courage of caregivers. Here is a sample of some of the responses:
It's not the money, but the emotional toll it takes on a person. My mom died when I was 30 leaving me to care for her dad and my dad both. I took on all the bills, all the grocery shopping, all the cleaning, all the dr visits and hospitalization. I live 2 hours away and was making the drive daily. My grandfather has since passed but dad is still here and declining. Recently I had to force him to stop driving as he is legally blind. I am too young for this. But here I am. They raised me, fed me, clothed me, and put me first, now it is my turn. But it is hard, I have kids of my own, and a job. At the end of the day I collaspe, exhausted. I love my family, but I am tired, and there is no relief ever.Home health, nursing homes, assisted living, none of these options are affordable for folks like us.I'm rambling, sorry this story just struck a nerve..Its good to know I am not the only one out there taking care of my parent, and not resentful about it.. just sooo tired.
eldude1277 wrote: Ive seen this play out with my mother. First with her own Mother and now her dad having a stroke. This is a VERY hard experience to go through. It effects marriages, money, retirements, bickering between siblings and responsibility, etc. Personally, I think culturally and legally we need to change a few things to make it easier to care for people. My sister and I have already worked out what we are going to do when they get to that age and stage in life. But folks, quality of life is much more important than the number of years of life you clock.And also, if your parents are being soley cared for by your brother or sister. Word of advice, get off your butts and do something EVERYDAY for your parents.