Post # 1
I’m just curious to hear opinions on this issue.
When your parents are older and you have siblings, say 2, and they all have kids but you and your husband don’t – does it primarily fall on you to become their primary caregiver?
Example – your brother and his wife are both very busy and have 3 kids and tell you they aren’t able to care for their father but you seem to have more time and room to spare so it should automatically be your primary responsibility.
Post # 2
This includes in-law parents as well.
2 of your parents and 2 of your SOs parents.
Post # 3
My husband and I both work in healthcare, so even though we aren’t the children with the most money or space, assuming care of ailing or elderly parents has kind of defaulted to us. Both sets of parents are healthy and independent so far (knock on wood).
Post # 4
I feel that it is everyone’s responsibility because they are everyone’s parents. However, I do feel that if you have less “responsibilities” in your life then you should maybe do more than your share.
For example, before my granny passed in 2011, someone had to stay with her 24/7 for about the last 4 years of her life. My mom and her sister were the main caregivers (sons not so much, which is a different situation to me as well). My mom works a full time job while my aunt has hardly ever worked and definitely not in over 15 years. My aunt was always passing stuff off to my mom that added to my mom’s already heavy load, things that my aunt definitely could have taken care of.
I also think, at least in my family, there are some that feel that they have to take on all the responsibility. My mom has a problem telling anyone no, therefor everyone is always asking her to do everything. I have been told I am the same way. And, even in their young age, I can already tell which of my children will be the same way.
ETA: I don’t feel that it is my place to take care of my in-laws. However, I do feel my Fiance should contribute, even if it is monetarily to hire someone for their care.
I also feel my brother should handle more of the responsibilities for my dad while I should for my mom. However, I am sure all the duties will be left up to me.
Post # 5
If you have the time and resources to care for your ailing parents, it would be nice to help take care of your parents. Sometimes geography is an issue, though, so those living closest to them may have to do the more direct care.
Post # 6
My mom is the exact same way.
She has 6 brothers and sisters and she was primary caregiver to her dad before he passed and now my grandmother. She’s a VP of a company and she works insane hours during the day and basically a night nurse at night and on weekends. I’m very frustrated with my aunts and uncles.
Post # 7
I agree – it’s nice to see when kids actually want
to be involved in the caregiving and then it’s really sad when some kids want zero to do with it and pass it off to siblings.
Post # 8
I understand 100%! My uncles did all they could but my aunt just …. I don’t know. And the thing that killed me was, because she moved out here from GA to be with her EVERYONE always said “Poor her, having to do so much and not ever getting any time”. I was always like WTF? Do you not realize that she is still in GA more than she is in SC?
Post # 9
I’d say it should fall equally on all siblings, regardless if they have their own children or not.
Post # 10
Ideally, the family should split the care, but you can’t generally force people to step up. If you say the sibling who is more established can’t possibly care for them, then how will the person who is less established ever advance their career if they’re taking off work all the time? If you say the person without kids should be primary caretaker, when does that person get to start their own family? I think that reasoning is terrible.
In my family the even split did not happen and I watched my mom do the primary caretaking and it was tremendously hard on her. She got to be closer to them than anyone else toward the end, but she also lost the opportunity to advance her career, was exhausted, and was less involved with her own kids and husband because she had so much to do. I would definitely want to help my folks or my in laws, but the idea of doing it alone is terrifying.
Post # 11
Within my family it’s already been decided that if the time comes that either parent needs someone to care for them, it will be me. My older sister is a worthless lazy untrustworthy POS, my younger brother is career military and may never live in the state, and both my parents trust my medical decision making aligns with their wants and morals. I don’t mind, it’s just something that I’ve always been aware of. My brother has duties set aside for him after my parents pass and we’ve both had discussions with each parent to clearly define whose jobs are what and who has rights when.
Post # 12
It’s everyone’s responsibility. I don’t think it belongs to any one person and children really don’t factor into it. They’re your family. You should take care of them just as you would your children.
Post # 13
It should be everyones responsibility but sometimes (logically) it isn’t.
Our parents are rather independent at the moment, but when it comes time to get care for them and perhaps placing them in a home etc I will most likely be taking most responsibility.
Out of my 4 siblings, I am the most financially secure. I wouldn’t place that burden on my siblings.
Post # 14
I don’t think it’s often a matter of everyone should do everything equally. People usually are able to help in different ways from each other. Ideally, everyone does what works well for them and that covers all the needs, unfortunately it rarely works out that way.
Post # 15
I think it should be a family responsibility. A parent didn’t just raise the one sibling alone. They raised the siblings too.
I dread the day for me to make decisions about my parents. I lost my only sibling (younger brother) in 2000. So everything that will have to be decided is on me. My parents have done so much for me in the past that I would have no problem doing all I could for them. It just comes down to making those choices without my brother by my side and it hurts.
I would probably seek advice from my cousins. They had to make some hard choices after their dad (my dad’s brother) had a stroke and ended up in an assisted living place. But they can’t make the decisions for me.