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Question
Posted by: Jamie | 2011/11/01

Problem like Helene

I have read the problem and replies to Helene. I feel my life is passing me by.I am a female that takes care of my 70 year old mother.
She lives with me.Her late husband made no provision for her.I am the only child.My entire salary goes towards expenses.My mother does get a pension and it goes to expenses as well.She lost her money through error and negligence and is now reliant on me.There is no money for me to save to go on holiday or anything.I have this untidy hairstyle because I do not have money to get it cut.No man is interested in me because I live with my mother I think.I expect to be a spinster with cats.I see you say put her in a home.It is not easy.Money is a problem.She is the type of person that won''t make friends and that will be sick and always leaning on me even if she does not live with me.I understand Helene.She brought me up in difficult circumstances I almost feel that I owe her.But I have that nagging little voice that says you are missing out on life.I know many people that have used their pensions or do not have any and they have kids.Don''t they think what a burden they will be to their kids one day even if all is hunky dorey now?I make out as if all is fine to her and to the word meanwhile in my heart I am so unhappy.I understand Helene and what you are going through.It is easy for people to say do this and that but hard when you are in the situation.I wish the food issue was the only issue.I have no children and I never want for this reason because there is nothing worse than an old person who never made sure they could look after themselves.I once phoned the CPOA for help and they did not even bother to return the call.Fat chance of getting help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

We might not think of it as abuse, but for a husband to make no provision for his wife ( especally as wives usually outlive their husbands ) IS abuse. Maybe someone said "Put her in a home", but that is not what I said. I pointed out that what may be a difficult but manageable situation can drastically change when the older person becomes seriously medically ill or develops dementia - they would need constant attention, which you could probably not provide without givingnup your job on which you both depend. And because there is a disgraceful lack of proper facilities for such situations, I advised that it's worth starting early to look at what;'s available, just so as to have that choice if it gets to that point.
Where there are more than one child of the family, then all should of course share in the burden. But especially when one is an only child, or the only child left, it is a very sad and often desperate situation, which those who don't experience it don't understand. I wish there were more practical alternatives, and like you, I wish more adults were encouraged to realize that NOT to make adequate provision for their old age is in fact abusive towards their children.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Acorns | 2011/11/01

Haha no problem- if only it were so funny in real life! But Jamie, I think my mother is heading the same way (in terms of not being able to provide for herself). She is TERRIBLE with money despite the efforts of my siblings and myself, is turning 50 next year and has NO savings. Alas. But my mom rocks and I at least have my siblings, but that boyfriend of hers... Cats are too cool, I love them.

Reply to Acorns
Posted by: Jamie | 2011/11/01

Yes Acorns you made me laugh too - thanks I needed that.
It is a sin not to provide for your old age - it becomes everyone else''s problem.My mother gave her money away to somebody to help them and they never paid her back.Of course I am the one now paying in more than monetary terms.It makes me sick.And she will probably live to 90.By then I won''t care coz I will be 70 or so and my cats will be about 15 anyway. LOL

Reply to Jamie
Posted by: Lilly | 2011/11/01

LOL ... Acorns your mail is soooo funny!!!

Reply to Lilly
Posted by: Acorns | 2011/11/01

I know how you guys feel, in a way. When we were small my granny lived with us, she gave my father R60k to build her a granny flat, where she subsequently lived rent, water, telephone (bearing in mind she’ d phone her brother in Cape Town for a few hours daily), electricity, EVERYTHING free for about 5 years. When my parents divorced and we had to sell the house, it didn’ t sell for the asking selling price and she never got her money back. She blamed my father for making her bankrupt. She went to live with family friends (rent paid by my aunt who married rich so they could afford it) and after about 3 years, moved in with us for another 6 years. Also rent and electricity free, but she had her own phone line, paid for her own food, dog food, garden service etc. She got an “ allowance”  from my aunt because they moved overseas but wanted a house and dogs to come back to, so my mother paid them rent to stay in their house. But, we must remember that my granny can’ t actually afford anything because my father made her bankrupt. When the time came for everyone to move out again because the family was coming back, it was again a question of where my granny would live. Because, don’ t forget that my father made her bankrupt. There were major discussions about it and my aunt and granny decided one day that my mother had not done enough for my granny. Sure, living with us for over 10 years rent free is nothing. Some people are just so ungrateful about the sacrifices other people make- my granny is a difficult woman and it was only after everyone moved out again that my mother managed to get a boyfriend, because my granny talks too much. But it’ s all my fathers fault for making her bankrupt… … … 


So we would have loved to put her in a home, but no one would ever have been able to afford it. Except my aunt, but of course why should she spend her money on my granny when it''s all my fathers fault???

Reply to Acorns
Posted by: Acorns | 2011/11/01

I know how you guys feel, in a way. When we were small my granny lived with us, she gave my father R60k to build her a granny flat, where she subsequently lived rent, water, telephone (bearing in mind she’ d phone her brother in Cape Town for a few hours daily), electricity, EVERYTHING free for about 5 years. When my parents divorced and we had to sell the house, it didn’ t sell for the asking selling price and she never got her money back. She blamed my father for making her bankrupt. She went to live with family friends (rent paid by my aunt who married rich so they could afford it) and after about 3 years, moved in with us for another 6 years. Also rent and electricity free, but she had her own phone line, paid for her own food, dog food, garden service etc. She got an “ allowance”  from my aunt because they moved overseas but wanted a house and dogs to come back to, so my mother paid them rent to stay in their house. But, we must remember that my granny can’ t actually afford anything because my father made her bankrupt. When the time came for everyone to move out again because the family was coming back, it was again a question of where my granny would live. Because, don’ t forget that my father made her bankrupt. There were major discussions about it and my aunt and granny decided one day that my mother had not done enough for my granny. Sure, living with us for over 10 years rent free is nothing. Some people are just so ungrateful about the sacrifices other people make- my granny is a difficult woman and it was only after everyone moved out again that my mother managed to get a boyfriend, because my granny talks too much. But it’ s all my fathers fault for making her bankrupt… … … 


So we would have loved to put her in a home, but no one would ever have been able to afford it. Except my aunt, but of course why should she spend her money on my granny when it''s all my fathers fault???

Reply to Acorns
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/11/01

We might not think of it as abuse, but for a husband to make no provision for his wife ( especally as wives usually outlive their husbands ) IS abuse. Maybe someone said "Put her in a home", but that is not what I said. I pointed out that what may be a difficult but manageable situation can drastically change when the older person becomes seriously medically ill or develops dementia - they would need constant attention, which you could probably not provide without givingnup your job on which you both depend. And because there is a disgraceful lack of proper facilities for such situations, I advised that it's worth starting early to look at what;'s available, just so as to have that choice if it gets to that point.
Where there are more than one child of the family, then all should of course share in the burden. But especially when one is an only child, or the only child left, it is a very sad and often desperate situation, which those who don't experience it don't understand. I wish there were more practical alternatives, and like you, I wish more adults were encouraged to realize that NOT to make adequate provision for their old age is in fact abusive towards their children.

Reply to cybershrink

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