Ask an expert
Question

01 Nov 2011

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.
Answer 223 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

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.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.