Living far away from Elderly Parents

by Lilly
(New Jersey)

I have my parents who are living in Puerto Rico. My dad is 92 and my mom is 87. I am one of 5 siblings. I have one older sister, older brother and 2 younger brothers. Three including myself are over 50. My youngest brother is 48 and happens to be the son that lives 3 minutes from my parents. My eldest brother who is 64 lives in another town in Puerto Rico which is 2 1/2 hours away from my parents.


I live in New Jersey, my sister who is 65 lives in New York and one of my younger brothers who is 55, lives in New York also but has detached from the family. My older brother is dealing with PTSD and is under medical attention and finds it difficult to deal with my parents. My sister and I both have full time jobs and responsibilities of our own. We go to help my parents at least 4 times a year. My sister is preparing to retire in August and says that when she retires she can spend much more time in Puerto Rico with my parents.

Recently we were in PR for 2 weeks. It was a very stressful time because my father is incapacitated and my mother was overwhelmed caring for him. My father was dealing with a serious infection during the time we were there and my sister (she is a surgical nurse) literally nursed my dad back to a stable condition. We took care of the house and all their needs.

I became very ill during the second week we were there and had to be rushed to ER in PR with chronic bronchitis. I was stabilized and able to fly back to the states only to be hospitalized on the day after arriving back home.

It was very sad and hard leaving my parents because we know that my brother who lives by them does not attend to them as he should. He has been given access to their bank account and I saw how much money he was using. I am very angry because my brother feels that since we are the daughters, we should give up our jobs and go take care of my parents. He is so angry at my sister and I that he is refusing to assist my parents and help them because we are not there.

My mother recently had a heart attack and had to have two stents inserted. My mother is now recuperating from this procedure and caring for my father also because my brother will not stay with them. I have suggested that he get help for them and since there is money in the bank, there should be no problem with paying for the help.

My brother refuses because his mentality is so warped and he just says that we are the daughters and need to be there to care for our parents. I find myself extremely sad and even feeling guilty that I can't be there. Then I have to remind myself that I have been a good daughter and have always done as much as I could under the circumstances.

I am going through a time now that a lot of old feelings that were buried for years, are beginning to surface. I know that my mother is also feeling like we should be there because it looks like my brother has convinced her of that.

Since he is the youngest, my mother had always babied him and spoiled him which is why he is now this arrogant, selfish, ungrateful person. My parents pay for his mortgage and all his bills. He has a part time job, with a wife and 3 children.

I know my parents time is not going to be long term and I feel so helpless, angry, and so sad. I find myself crying and ultimately pulling myself out of the guilt feelings. I feel there is no gender preference when it comes to caring for a parent.

If my parents had chosen to stay living in NY, my sister and I would gladly be taking care of their needs right now. They made the choice to go and retire in their homeland, which I fully understand.

But should my sister and I make a life changing decision to go take care of them solely because that is what my brother says we should do??

I know that I have to "Let Go and Let God" and "Turn it Over" because if I don't, it will take its toll on me.

Being so far from elderly, sick parents is a horrible feeling of despair.

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Trying to Help Out.
by: Tampa

I retired from the military and planned to move back home and assist in my parents well being. After being home for a year, I started making plans to leave again.

Being home during this time, I started feeling as if no one other than half of the siblings even gave a darn about our parents; during family functions, there seemed to always be tension in the air, what used to be a great family outing has now turned into mandatory fun and has really become an irritating burden to plan;

I could no longer breath the same air because of all the drama that some of the others bring to the table. I tried to look at it from all angles and tried to stay for the greater good, but then my health started to take a toll on me....I decided to help from afar...should I feel bad for leaving?

I am the youngest and still have kids to put through school as opposed to the other five where their kids are grown and off on their own......

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Long Term Care Insurance
by: Anonymous

I asked my parents to buy Long Term Care Insurance and they were actually insulted I would suggest such a thing. My Dad took care of my mother until she died, with some assistance from family. It just about killed him.

Now he says he won't move any where but wants family to take care of him. That won't be happening if he stays in his own house far away.

To make sure this doesn't happen to our children my husband and me are buying Long Term Care Insurance.


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Moved in with Mom
by: Doug

I sold my home and moved in with mom. She retired and moved out in the woods. I am single but not retired. I am finding it hard to find work and this has financially destroyed me. My brothers are retired and could care for mom but refuse to do so because they have homes and wives. This should not factor in. They retired on money mom gave them. Now she is poor and I am trying my best to support us.

Parents should think about their old age and what it will mean to the children. Mom should be living in a city where she can get services and whom ever is living with her can work and have a bit of a social life.

This is not all selfish brothers but a lack of caring on the parents part as to the effect this has on the care givers.

Not making excuses for uncaring family members but some of this needs to fall down to the elderly parents. Doug

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