Things are tight for both me and my parents. None of us have alot of money and helping them is really hard for me. They are in their mid 70’s – I have helped them out for a couple of years. How long is long enough to help them out? Why should I be expected to help them out?
You help them out to the best of your ability for as long as they are alive. Why you ask? Because it is the right thing to do!
This may indeed by a hard time for you, but I bet that your mental and physical health is better than your parents. You have the advantage of being younger and most likely more able. If you think your life is rough – just think about their lives – I guarantee you that their lives are harder than yours.
Have you ever broken a major bone or been sick for an extended period? If you have, then you will remember and appreciate what others did for you.
-We just need help.
-The needs of others are more important than our own needs.
-Life is harder than we ever planned.
Although you may not like the idea, think about getting another job to bring in more money. Can you offset some of their expenses by doing tasks that saves them money? For example: Could you cook more meals for them, clear their home, etc? Can you reduce your own expenses to be able to give them more?
Families need to come together in times of need. As a society today, we need to have a more “old fashion” approach to respecting, caring and helping our elders. We need to create and maintain circles of support for our weakest family members.
Try and get creative to help them that will not be a complete strain on your budget. You too will get old or sick one day – you will need others to help you. Now is your turn to help them.
Message from Mary Bart: I was my parents’ principal caregiver for ten years. I have first-hand experience in helping aging parents, dealing with family dynamics, protecting parents from elder abuse and working with public and private organizations. Do you have a question for me? Please email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
An important note: I love answering your questions, but I also encourage you to seek professional legal, financial, or medical assistance. Mary.
Updated: July 9, 2013