Many times when I’m meeting with clients or families, as they tell me their stories I can see in their eyes that they feel like they are the only ones going through this particular issue. I listen to them, and when I say “you are not alone. I see this quite frequently.” their spirits lift, they lighten and very often will gasp and say “really?!”
I assure them that they and their families are not the only ones going through this, and then we dive in an try to tackle the issue or get them to the resources they need.
If you are the child of an aging parent going through any of these situations or feelings, you can know that you are not alone:
- You are the only sibling bearing the burden of caring for aging parents while the other siblings do little or nothing (except maybe call and criticize your decisions),
- You are the far-away sibling who feels left out of the care-taking of an aging parent and have concerns about the care-giving sibling,
- You are upset because your parents didn’t name you first in their health care proxy, durable power of attorney or other documents,
- You are upset because your parents named you first on all their estate documents,
- You are upset because your parents gave one of your siblings money throughout their life and didn’t “even it out” in the Will,
- You are upset because your parents helped you financially throughout their life and then “evened it out” in the Will,
- You think that your parents’ house should be neater, bigger, smaller, closer to you, farther away from you, or other than is,
- You feel like you are having the same issues with your siblings you were having when you were 5 years old.
Likewise if you are the aging parent of grown children you maybe see some of your situation here:
- You feel like your children are trying to move you here or there in order to make their life easier,
- Your children appear at your door to “clean” your house and throw away your things without asking your permission,
- Your children seem to have forgotten that you are a capable adult, and still the parent,
- Your children aren’t getting along and it’s breaking your heart,
- You don’t trust your children enough to appoint them in your documents to help you,
- You helped one child financially through out their life and want to “even it out” in the Will but are worried you’ll hurt them,
- You helped one child financially through out their life and don’t want to “even it out” in the Will, but are afraid your other children will be angry,
- You feeling guilty trying to decide which child to name first as your health care proxy, executor or agent in your power of attorney,
- You feel like you are having the same issues with your children you had when they were 5 years old.
Sometimes when I’m having a particularly hard time with things, I think “people had these same feelings and emotions and situations 300 years ago, and somehow humanity has survived.” Whatever it is you feel as your or your parents age, know that you are not alone.