Should We be looking after our elderly parents or vice versa???

@mummymo (23707)
March 14, 2007 1:22pm CST
This is gonna make me sound really bad I know but it is something that plays on my mind and I thought I'd find out what all you good people out there thought! My grandma who is almost 83 legally adopted me and raised me from the age of 2. She has always been healthy fit and active until she had a stroke a few years ago - then I was there for her all the time - did everything that she would let me - she is a very independant lady! Anyway she has now fully recovered and is back to being busy as she gets bored if she hasn't enough to do! The problem is that since my back problems started a year ago I find the simplest things really quite painful and my Gran has taken to spending a couple of days a week to do some housework and tidy up around the house - this is what makes me feel guilty - My Gran is almost 83 and I should be looking after her not the other way round! My brothers and sisters tell me to leave her be cos at least she feels useful but I still feel really bad what do you think I should do cos it's never out of my head and I worry about this situation all the time.
14 people like this
55 responses
@raydene (9874)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Ok hon calm down ,lay on the sofa and eat a bonbon! Your 83 year old Gran want's to feel usefully and needed by her baby.It makes her feel young angain and probably gives her reason to continue. There seems to be a problem with folks that give to others...they can not take.You have to learn to allow others to do for you.You know how good it makes you feel to do something nice for someone?Well your Gran wants to feel like that too. So chill and enjoy Gran's love and caring for you.It's good for you and it's great for her. Cheers R
3 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thanks sweetie - you got me in tears there! Struck a nerve , Grans always had a problem with accepting help while being more than happy to give it to anyone who needed it! Maybe I'm more like her than I realised! xxx
3 people like this
@raydene (9874)
• United States
14 Mar 07
yes hon I know you are and I've never laid eyes on ya R
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
That means a lot to me - thank you so much!
2 people like this
• United States
14 Mar 07
Why feel bad, you are probably making her feel young, needed, and happy to help. Age is just a number and she sounds as though she feels a lot younger than her years.
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
She sure does honey - she acts it too - thank you x
1 person likes this
@Kowgirl (3490)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I know it is hard not to feel guilty and no matter what we say you will continue to do so, but just look at your gran and you will see that she is happy that you need her again. My mom who will be 91 next month said that when there is no one who needs you then you begin to feel useless and that makes you feel you have no reason to live and you give up on living. She helps a woman who lives close to her to do housework and laundry. She also cooks for her 3 times a week. If it wasn't for this woman, I think my mom would have already passed away...so let her do what she wants for you and be happy that she is willing and able to do so. You will have the chance later to repay her with your help when she needs it. You are giving her a reason to live. Not only that but she wants and need your companionship.
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thank you so much Knowgirl - I know what you say is so true but there is still that guilty part as you say!! Thing also is you are right in another way cannot imagine her feeling useless - that would make me feel worse so I am going to listen!!! Best wishes!!!
1 person likes this
@weemam (13377)
14 Mar 07
You know my situation pal with my parents both having Alzheimer's aged 88 and 89 , My Mam still wants to help me , she was cleaning out all her kitchen cupboards today , My DIL has started to do down to Mams once a week to help her because as you know I take them out all the time but not able physically to be able to help , well!! would you believe my Mam tidies up before my DIL comes , I have to bit my tongue as I have never in my 64 years fallen out wit Mam , as long as she if fit pall , let her help there is nothing worse than feeling past it , and to help others is a lovely feeling , she does it because she loves you xx
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thanks so much weemam, my dear,dear friend! Tell your lovely hubby haven't seen him for a while and I miss him ( you too!) By the way all of you lovely people owe me a box of tissues! Don't think I've cried so much in a while!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 07
you shouldnt feel bad you did your part when she neded it and im sure she loves to feel needed .as long as she is happy let her be I know if and when she need help you will be there for her once more !
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thank you so much revdauphinee - you are right I will always be there for her - in fact my sister in law once asked when my gran was ill and I was there for her constantly if I ever went home! The short answer was no - not as long as my gran needed me! She taught me about love, kindness and morality and I hope someday to be as good a woman as she is! Now I better stop rambling...
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 07
That is truly love. You shouldn't feel guilty. If someone her age and in her condition wants to help you, don't feel guilty. Maybe it helps her get her mind off of things for awhile. Just tell her how much you appreciate her and do something special for her once in awhile.
2 people like this
@mrbranan (1012)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Hurray for your grandmother. At 83 to still be active is great. At that age I think people start feeling useless. Just let her do a little and this will help you and her too. She will benifit from being active and you will benifit from her help. Just think of it like this you are helping her too.
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thanks mrbrannan - it sounds really good put like that!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 07
Family helps family. Those that can do it will help out where they can. Accept her help graciously since your back is out but don't overwork it. She probably feels useful helping you when you need it.
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thank you czechdoll - I wouldn't take advantage - she's the best! Think I just feel she took care of me for years and now it should be her turn to take it easy! Oh well as soon as I have recovered from surgery I'll make it up tto her!
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (30105)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 07
I know you would like to help your gran. However with a bad back it is difficult to do so. Perhaps you could just help her by giving er some company. I guess she loved to chat, right? Your brothers and sisters could help her in different ways like doing houswork and shopping.
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
My partner does take her shopping and my siblings do what they can! Thanks for your understanding and believe me I do - I used to be with her every day and now I call her every day and still see her 3-4 times a week!
1 person likes this
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Stop feeling guilty. Your sibilings are right. After you have your surgery then you will be able to do things with her. If she is happy helping you let her be.
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Thanks Marie - can't wait to get back to doing more WITH her!!! She is amazing lady!
1 person likes this
• Canada
12 Nov 07
Hi Sweets! Honestly I think youer siblings are right, and just let her be. Doing things for you probably helps her feel better about herself, and helps keep her busy! I can understand why you would feel guilty, but please don't hun. She loves you and wants to help! Luv & Hugzz, PurpleTeddyBear.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
22 Dec 07
Thank you Honey! I know you are right but she is so stubborn! I am just back online and have started a discussion about her latest exploit - its a doozy! Hope you are all well and looking forward to Christmas! xxx
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Dec 07
I can be stubborn too at times lol. I am looking forward to Christmas, hope you have a good one! Luv & Hugzz to you!
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 07
Well as far as I am concerned Mo, they are right, it is what your Gran wants to do, it is keeping her fit and she feels she is needed. Believe me that is a great feeling when you have been feeling useless for a while. And I know. When I found out about my Illness and then got bullied out of my Job I certainly felt useless, specially as I knew my Life would have to change. And up until a year ago and even still now at times I feel useless. I should be out there working, but I can't, well it took a long time for Kids and Friends to persuade me that I am not useless at all So you see yout Grandma needs this, she needs it so that she knows she is still needed and that is what keeps her going. So do not feel bad and do not take it away from her Love and Hugs
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
14 Mar 07
Stop making me cry I've ran out of tissues!!! You are anything but useless honey - I know how much you support many, many people! I'm listening to you honey - I'm listening xxx and hugs
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 07
I didn't mean to make you cry I am so sorry Do you want some Tissues I have some here, lol No seriously I just wanted you to know that I know why your Gran is doing it and why you have to let I am so glad you are listening lol or I will have to have a severe word with you. Lol as for me ............
1 person likes this
• India
28 Mar 08
I had read in your other discussion about your father and mother, and I feel bad, not that you would ever need my sympathies! But I don't think you should break off with your grandmother at this stage when she would perhaps need you the most - not physically that she is weak and cannot do her work but emotionally. I find it a bad idea to leave her now. In Indian culture at least, we don't have such a dilemma, since you always stay with your parents unless you are working somewhere else. Also, you stay with your parents at least till you get married, unless you are studying somewhere else - and this is true for 90% of the families.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
28 Mar 08
I would never leave her my friend - I adore her! I just feel bad that she does so much for me when she should be taking it easy! I like the idea of families sticking together sweetheart -thank you so much for sharing! xxxx
@rosema (1145)
• Philippines
22 Dec 07
My Answer is yes, we should be looking after our elderly. who would take care of them, if we leave them. you know they only have a little time here on earth thats why we should take care of therm, you know its really hard to fight consciense if theres something happen to them. atleast if we take care of them we have no regret of them.
@mummymo (23707)
17 Jan 08
i agree with what you are saying sweety but the reason I asked is that I am not as well or mobile at the moment and my grandmother has looked after me a lot! I do feel guilty about this but my siblings tell me not to be - that it makes my Gran feel good to be useful - what do you think? xx
@wotfpatty (2066)
• United States
5 Aug 07
That is actually quite a beautiful story. I think people should be there for who needs them and that is how it is with you and your grandmother. She raised you and then you were there when she desperately needed you. Now she is there for you. Someday, she will need you again. That is what love and family are all about. Please don't stop her from helping. Elderly people need a sense of purpose. I saw my father slide downhill and die last year from lack of any purpose in his life (He was 78). Let her help you and make sure she knows you appreciate it. Maybe do something special for her now and then. When the time comes, the tables will turn and I know you will be there for her. Your story actually is one of real love and it touched me. You're not selfish at all. You're actually probably helping your grandmother to feel needed and useful - and that keeps people alive and vital. Good luck to you and your grandmother.
@mummymo (23707)
5 Aug 07
Welcome to mylot wotfpatty and thank you for such a beautiful response! I am so sorry about your loss - I know how hard that is and pray that you are coping well. It is true that feeling useful and needed does help her a lot and I would hate to try and take that away from her! Thank you so much for your heartfelt words my friend - it really helped me to view this from your perspective! xxx
@livewyre (2455)
30 Jul 07
There is a propensity amongst ladies of her generation to support their family selflessly. I know so many old ladies like that who are totally selfless in their role as Mother, Grandma, Aunty or friend. You have a treasure there, and you know it - what a perfect scenario. You are never going to take advantage of her and she enjoys helping you out. There is nothing more frustrating for this particular species of angel than NOT being able to add a little value to your life.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
30 Jul 07
What a fantastic way of looking at the situation honey - it makes me feel a whole heap better - thank you for being so understanding and reassuring! xxx
@xmichx (109)
• Philippines
22 Jul 07
I believe that you should stop worrying about your granny and start thinking of ways to be healthy again so that you can help her and do the things you want to do with her. I know right now you feel useless but that's what it is you can't do anything about it right now just try your best and get well soon. It is us children who should be taking care of our elderly parents but when we can't like the situation you are in right now it is the vice versa.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
23 Jul 07
Thank you sweety - I was talking to my sister about this the other day ansds she has made it clear that I couldn't and shouldn't stop my gran from doing this - it is keeping her going and she wants to do it! I am making every effort to do as the dr ordered - which is basically do nothing tiol I get another mri scan! Thank you for the great advice - it is appreciated! xxx
• Philippines
21 Jul 07
Here in my country, we take care of our elderly most of the time. Its our way of thanking and showing them gratitude becoz they care of us when we were young. Personally, when mother becomes too old, I will take care of her becoz she didnt just take care of me. She took good care of my kids also. There could never be anyone like her that is why I could not imagine her spending her days in an institution where she will have to spend the rest of her life lonely and missing her grandchildren so much.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
22 Jul 07
I think that is what I admire most about your culture sweets - our elderly deserve to be well looked after, loved and cared for but too many people just don't want to do this! I know there are some fantastic places for the older generation to live , make friends and have a social life and company but I would hate my Grandmother to feel she had to live somewhere like that - if it is possible I would look after her just as she did for me and my children! xxx
• United States
20 Jul 07
The women who were born back in a day are very head strong. You should just let her do as she pleases as long as it's not taking it's toll on her. She'd be very upset with you if you didn't let her help you. I'm sure you'll be able to return the favor somehow when you feel better. I know it's a huge guilt trip, but you'd feel even worse if you upset her. Good luck!
@mummymo (23707)
20 Jul 07
You know what she would feel really bad if I refused to let her help - she has taken all these little jobs on as her own - and I would feel a lot more guilty! I have stopped her a couple of times as she has looked very tired but I have done it subtly by telling her I just needed her company and could she just sit and talk but she doesn't let me do that 2 days in a row! She is a very strong willed and strong hearted woman - I wish I could be half the mother she has been! xx
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
19 Jul 07
You should be so happy that she is recovered, mummymo. Old people should be encouraged to be productive for as long as they can. Don't feel guilty because she wants to help you out. She loves you. Until her last illness my mom cooked things for me all the time, just because she wanted to. It's just in some folks nature to want to stay busy. There is nothing wrong with that.
@mummymo (23707)
20 Jul 07
You are right my friend and so is your name - you are very wise! If my gran didn't feel useful or that she could help I think that she might fade away and that is the last thing I want, we are so lucky that she recovered so well from the stroke and I thank God every day that I still have her! xxxx