I am starting to realize I am part of "the sandwich generation." Those of us who are still actively raising their own families, and are also taking care of their parents. My mom is almost 66....dad is 61. Neither is in good health. And they are completely co-dependent.
They moved almost 3 years ago to the city that we are (were?) hoping to relocate. Now, when they made this decision, it was with the realization that we weren't living there, and had no idea if or when we ever would. They thought that if they were there to "help" us, it would be good for everyone.
Here we are...3 yrs later....no move for us, and they are there alone. Mom basically never leaves the house unless it is for a doctor's appointment or to go to shopping of some sort. She never adjusted well to the move. Not that she was that active before, but she just watches tv now. Dad is a little better on the social end.
But as I stated, neither is in good health. They take about 30 medications daily between them (and between you and me, I don't think they need half of them....I think a little exercise and better diet would do wonders). If one of them passed away, the other wouldn't be able to survive. Mom needs dad for company. Dad needs mom as a caretaker.
They have hinted about money problems lately. Alot of their sentences contain "we need to watch our finances" or "we have to see about the cost." Dad retired on disability, and between health care, their retirement account taking a huge hit, and poor spending, I think they are realizing that they are in trouble.
I think they bought a house that was out of their comfort range for a limited income. I think they made some foolish purchases (such as the $10,000 collection of art that they love.....my brother and I hate it.....I only say this because some day, he and I have no intention of keeping it). I think they are penny wise, but pound foolish.
When we are there in a few weeks for vacation, I am planning on taking them out for coffee and talking to them. Just us. No G-man. And it has to be public. This will contain the tempers, and they can't just walk away (I will have the car!!). Subject matters to broach are:
1) What is going on with their finances???? Are they simply being cautious, or is there more to this? Knowing my parents, they will jump to the conclusion that I am being nosy. But seriously, if there is something more to this, I think we should know.
2) Power of Attorney. Bro and I feel that one of us (aka, ME) should have a PoA. With their health, someone needs the authority to sign for them, if need be. This is going to be a HUGE fight. They will insist that A) they aren't dying (no, not formally, but they really aren't in good health), B) they can take care of themselves(maybe as a couple, but individually....not so much), and C) that I just want to stick them in a home (old joke that is about to come back around and bite me).
3) What will happen when one of them dies? Mom and discussed a long time ago that if she died first, that I would be responsible for Dad. If Dad died first, Mom will so heartbroken, that Bro and I think that she would probably die shortly after. Ultimately, neither can live alone. They will fight us on this. But really, they can't. Enter.....the PoA. We need to decide and resolve that something needs to be planned. I think they should move in with me, although that will be a huge stress ball on me. But I know they will not live in an assisted living. I know they won't move in with Bro.
This needs to be a candid talk. All the cards on the table. Any advice from those who have been there???