I'm asking for a friend... my Mom.
My Grandmother passed away suddenly a few months ago. We were shocked that this happened because it was a total fluke when she was having a cardiac cath. We never thought she would be the first to pass away as my Grandfather has been in failing health for years. She was his primary caregiver and did such an excellent job. Sometimes I worry that she is watching us from the sky and just shaking our head because we didn't put out the right rolls for dinner or something.
Anyway, my Grandparents have 3 kids. My Mom, an aunt and an uncle. Uncle lives in a few states away and isn't around except for maybe 3-4 x/year. My mother has emotional issues all on her own complicated by an extremely codependent relationship with my brother who is currently in jail but suffers from severe Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia (not sure on the those dx's as he keeps stuff under wraps). This unhealthy relationship has gotten a little bit better now that he is locked up and they don't have access to one another all the time. Factoring in my Grandmother's sudden death... she is a basket case, cries at the drop of a hat and took a long, much needed leave from work because of the stress. This leaves my Aunt (a saint IMO) to care for my Grandpa most of the time, she has not been back to work since my Grandma passed away but wants to so she can get going with her retirement from her company. She sleeps at my Grandpas at night during the week, watches him, cooks, helps him w/ tasks, etc. The weekends are divided up between us grand kids, my Mom/her husband although there are weekends where my Aunt stays with him too.
The issue is that my Aunt and Uncle are putting in the majority of the work, physical, emotional, its taken a toll on their marriage. I feel for them. They are currently selling their home and once it all goes through they plan on moving into my Grandpa's house, living for free, and not paying utilities. Recently it was mentioned that they want to be compensated (not a ton, but something) for the care they are giving. I can appreciate that feeling. Caring for an elderly person is fucking work.... doing so ontop of regular work has to be ridiculously hard. A reason why they don't want to /have to pay rent is because they have a second vacation home that they have a mortgage on and.... I don't know... that is their reason. I don't think it is fair to expect a free roof over their heads, pay no utilities and be compensated. Although, I know my opinion here does not (and shouldn't) matter to them. Am I a dick?
A few months before my Grandma died we had a conversation about them possibly selling their home . They have a HUGE yard and the upkeep was too much for her to keep up with. They told us that when one of them passes, the other would sell the house and downsize. Now that she is gone, I brought up selling the house but I guess my Grandpa doesn't want to. That sounds pretty standard. He has lived there for 35 years but it is a large piece of property. My aunt and her husband are obviously against selling because then they won't have a home to live in for free. Trying to figure out who is going to care for him on what days and who will live where has caused a ton of fighting amongst them. Is this normal? Has anyone else gone through these issues? Are children of aged parents paid to care for them? Where do you draw the line financially?