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Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of money

Phoenix

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and "stuff" to my sister & BIL and their kids......

Well, I don't know if I'm reading it all wrong, but am rather "baffled" (let's just say). Long story short, I was supposed to take my niece to Paris this week (thanks again to everyone who responded with all your very helpful suggestions - they will certainly come in handy in the future. I *puffy heart* Paris). Turns out, their parents (my sis & BIL) need some money. I won't go into details of their private life; suffice it to say that they're in a bit of a bind. Granted, they didn't actually ask for the money. My niece emailed me a while ago about their issue and DH and I offered to give them (as in gift, not loan) GBP5,000 which is approx USD8k. They declined initially. I also found out that they'd re-mortgaged their house (which was fully paid off before that); so thought that our 5k pound gift would come in handy/ help them out a bit.

So middle of last week, I said to my niece that we'd use the money that we'd have used for our Paris trip and give it to her parents plus some more. I gave the GBP5k cheque to my niece and insisted that she pass it onto them. A few days passed, nothing, not a word, no email, not a sausage, to even acknowledge their receipt of the cheque. Yesterday, we went out to a family dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday. They still didn't say anything to me and I put it down to the fact that perhaps they didn't want to say anything in front of the other siblings. At the end of the evening, I pulled my sis aside and told her that she must cash the cheque (as I was thinking perhaps they didn't want to cash it/ perhaps they'd just tear it up). She mumbled something like "oh ok, cash the cheque, cash the cheque". I can't even remember if she thanked me or not. I find all that very strange!! Maybe she's embarassed that her younger sister is giving her money/ helping her out. I mean, she needn't be - we're family. But is it wrong of me to expect at least a simple thank you?!

Turning the issue to my dad. My dad is 89 years old, has 9 children (3 of whom live overseas including myself) and tons of grandchildren (some of whom are adults). Yet he's been going to the hospitals all by himself (he's been having some health issues, including some pain in the legs and feet -which I'm actually very worried about incidentally). My niece actually mentioned that she'd take my dad to the hospital and he shouldn't go alone (which I agreed with, but said that only if she didn't mind, which she said she didn't since she's not working and has a car and plenty of free time - so she volunteered basically). Well, this morning I rang and asked her to take him to the hospital on Thursday morning and I *swear* I could sense the reluctance in her voice. I've decided I'm just going to take him there myself since I'm here. But what about when I am back in Singapore? Who's going to take him then? I am rather mad since my mom had the same issues before and when she passed away, we all said that we'd try and do right by my dad, but it looks like history is repeating itself. I'm seriously thinking of coming back here every few months just to make sure he gets the appropriate medical attention.

It's not like I'm expecting a return in favours. This is the sis and the niece (and her sisters - my other nieces) to whom I've given soooo many diamonds (including the ones my mom left me and some of my own), a Rolex watch, a bunch of pearls, gold jewellery, a designer handbag, a bunch to money to spend from time to time etc. I gave them to them because I wanted to. But come on, you can't just keep on taking and not giving, right? I'm not expecting anything to be given to me personally, but I'd hope that they'd want to look out for my dad and NOT because of the presents, but purely out of their love and loyalty and care and concern for my dad. Am I right in my thinking? Am I getting my knickers in a twist for nothing?!
 

tyty333

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

My initial thought is they dont want to accept it but they need it so they are trying to figure out what to do. I think maybe
once they get themselves comfortable with accepting it then you will get a "Thank you". Its a very generous gift but some
people have a problem with accepting other people's help/money (especially from little sis). Pride may be involved. I say dont
get bent out of shape yet. Give it some time. If/when the check gets cashed I would expect to hear something.

Have a great time in Paris (I'm sooo jealous!)
 

April20

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Money is a sensitive issue. Most people don't like to have to ask for it or acknowledge that they needed it. It's admitting a failure and that they needed to be bailed out. I've bailed out some family a couple of times over the past ten years and it's something they *never* talk about after initial thanks, which did eventually come. Give your sister a little time.

Regarding your dad's heath/hospital visits- I think you need to do a family meeting and discuss what kind of care/looking after your father needs and how much support from the family this is going to require. I think you HAVE to put it all out in the open and discuss so that no one feels resentful over what they're doing and what they perceive others are not. Perhaps a schedule could be made of who's responsible for seeing to helping him for say a month at a time. Then if someone's truly not doing their part you can adjust as well as address the issue in a more objective manner. Just my two cents....
 

yennyfire

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

I agree with tyty on the reason you haven't received a "thank you" yet. Pride is a tough nut and I'm sure your sis is struggling with that. It's much easier to be in your position (the one who has $$ to generously give) than hers (the one who is in financial difficulty and receiving a "handout" from little sis).

As for your Dad, I agree with you 100%. Family is family and they should WANT to look after him. After all, he took care of them as children. However, you can't really force them to do so, especially if you're not on the same continent all of the time. If it were me, I'd be honest with them and say that you're concerned about his health and would feel better if you knew that someone was accompanying him to the doctor, for a second pair of ears and support, if needed. Beyond that, I'm not sure what you can do. It stinks though.
 

Indylady

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Yes, a thank you on behalf of your sister would have been courteous, and certainly a notice of the receipt of the check is expected.

However, caring for your father and the numerous gifts you have given your sister and nieces are two different issues.

1) You're not giving gifts. You are giving things to your sister/nieces--gold, diamonds, money, designer purses, pearls, a Rolex, with quite a few expectations tied up in those exchanges. Stop giving things away if it gets you bent out of shape. The things you've given your sister/nieces have nothing to do with how they take care of your Dad--but you've brought them up in this post, which is why I do think that you expect a 'return' for the things you've given. On top of that, your sister didn't actually ask for any money, and to pass a check along through their daughter without ever contacting them? Just seems awkward, if not even a little offensive.

2) You swear you could hear the reluctance in your niece's voice when you asked her to take your Dad to the hospital. That's it. Really, you're mad over the reluctance in her voice? Is she supposed to be real excited about it?
 

zoebartlett

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

IndyLady|1306764516|2933645 said:
Yes, a thank you on behalf of your sister would have been courteous, and certainly a notice of the receipt of the check is expected.

However, caring for your father and the numerous gifts you have given your sister and nieces are two different issues.

1) You're not giving gifts. You are giving things to your sister/nieces--gold, diamonds, money, designer purses, pearls, a Rolex, with quite a few expectations tied up in those exchanges. Stop giving things away if it gets you bent out of shape. The things you've given your sister/nieces have nothing to do with how they take care of your Dad--but you've brought them up in this post, which is why I do think that you expect a 'return' for the things you've given. On top of that, your sister didn't actually ask for any money, and to pass a check along through their daughter without ever contacting them? Just seems awkward, if not even a little offensive.

2) You swear you could hear the reluctance in your niece's voice when you asked her to take your Dad to the hospital. That's it. Really, you're mad over the reluctance in her voice? Is she supposed to be real excited about it?
I agree with Indy on this.

Also, when I read your first post initially, I thought it was an odd choice to involve your niece by giving her a check to pass to her parents. No matter how old she is, I think it would have been better to speak to your sister directly.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

IndyLady|1306764516|2933645 said:
Yes, a thank you on behalf of your sister would have been courteous, and certainly a notice of the receipt of the check is expected.

However, caring for your father and the numerous gifts you have given your sister and nieces are two different issues.

1) You're not giving gifts. You are giving things to your sister/nieces--gold, diamonds, money, designer purses, pearls, a Rolex, with quite a few expectations tied up in those exchanges. Stop giving things away if it gets you bent out of shape. The things you've given your sister/nieces have nothing to do with how they take care of your Dad--but you've brought them up in this post, which is why I do think that you expect a 'return' for the things you've given. On top of that, your sister didn't actually ask for any money, and to pass a check along through their daughter without ever contacting them? Just seems awkward, if not even a little offensive.

2) You swear you could hear the reluctance in your niece's voice when you asked her to take your Dad to the hospital. That's it. Really, you're mad over the reluctance in her voice? Is she supposed to be real excited about it?
Thank you for your post, Indy.

I agree that these two are separate issues and perhaps I should've posted two separate threads but they arose at about the same time. I didn't know about the recent spate of health issues that my dad has. I mean he is 89 years old and I certainly expect him not to be in the best of health, but the issue about the pain in his legs and his having to go to the hospital by himself is new to me. I'd just like for someone to look out for him and assist him with his hospital visits.

Perhaps I *am* getting myself worked up about nothing with regard to my sis. I just spoke to DH and he said that she's perhaps too proud, so I'm just going to leave things well alone.

I do want however to correct a misunderstanding on your part/ or maybe my post above wasn't clear. I did contact my sis several times about the cheque (initially I was going to do a bank transfer). I told her before I left SG that I wasn't going to take no for an answer. The day after I arrived, I called her again to tell her that I was going to pass the cheque to my niece, since I was seeing her a few times for lunch and dinner etc and I wasn't to see my sis until last night; plus I thought doing it this way would lessen the chance of my sis turning it down (if I'd given it to her personally).

WRT to my niece, I'd certainly expect her not be reluctant since a) it is her grandfather and b) it was her who'd volunteered to take my dad to the hospital. I am not going to apologise or feel bad about expecting her to do a little favour for her grandfather. That is the case, regardless of whatever I do or not do for her/ for them. So again, perhaps two separate threads would be better.
 

Loves Vintage

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Do you speak with your sister often? I'm wondering if perhaps you don't because you live quite far from her, and it sounds like you've learned of her financial troubles (or what you deem to be her financial troubles) through other family members. Perhaps she is rather insulted by your attempting to give her this gift through her daughter, and even more particularly because she had refused a similar gift from you in the past? I think it would be quite hard to muster up gratitude for an unwanted gift that may be perceived as insulting by the recipient.

I'm sure your heart is in the right place, but maybe your sister doesn't see it that way.

ETA: Just saw your update, so just ignore the above.

With respect to your niece, yes, it would certainly seem odd for her to be reluctant to take her grandfather to the doctor since she initially volunteered to do so. Perhaps you misread her? Did you tell her that you thought she now seemed reluctant, and if so, why was that the case? Maybe you just misread her reluctance, and you are now worrying unnecessarily?
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Zoe|1306765512|2933654 said:
IndyLady|1306764516|2933645 said:
Yes, a thank you on behalf of your sister would have been courteous, and certainly a notice of the receipt of the check is expected.

However, caring for your father and the numerous gifts you have given your sister and nieces are two different issues.

1) You're not giving gifts. You are giving things to your sister/nieces--gold, diamonds, money, designer purses, pearls, a Rolex, with quite a few expectations tied up in those exchanges. Stop giving things away if it gets you bent out of shape. The things you've given your sister/nieces have nothing to do with how they take care of your Dad--but you've brought them up in this post, which is why I do think that you expect a 'return' for the things you've given. On top of that, your sister didn't actually ask for any money, and to pass a check along through their daughter without ever contacting them? Just seems awkward, if not even a little offensive.

2) You swear you could hear the reluctance in your niece's voice when you asked her to take your Dad to the hospital. That's it. Really, you're mad over the reluctance in her voice? Is she supposed to be real excited about it?
I agree with Indy on this.

Also, when I read your first post initially, I thought it was an odd choice to involve your niece by giving her a check to pass to her parents. No matter how old she is, I think it would have been better to speak to your sister directly.
Thank you,Zoe.

Pls see my response to Indy above. I'd like to also point out that my sis & BIL rely on my niece almost exclusive for dealing with "'matters" (let's just say) since their English is not good as my niece's (theirs is good but not fluent and certainly not business English - verbal and written) and my niece is also very resourceful. I'd not pass the cheque to my niece without my sis knowing about it. It'd just be strange.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Loves Vintage|1306766410|2933664 said:
Do you speak with your sister often? I'm wondering if perhaps you don't because you live quite far from her, and it sounds like you've learned of her financial troubles (or what you deem to be her financial troubles) through other family members. Perhaps she is rather insulted by your attempting to give her this gift through her daughter, and even more particularly because she had refused a similar gift from you in the past? I think it would be quite hard to muster up gratitute for an unwanted gift that may be perceived as insulting by the recipient.

I'm sure your heart is in the right place, but maybe your sister doesn't see it that way.
Thank you for your post, Loves Vintage.

That is certainly not the case. We speak regularly and in fact she's the one I'm closest to (amongst 3 sisters). I usually (but not always) stay at her house when I go back to the UK. I've learnt of her financial problem directly from her as well as from my niece. As I said above, they rely almost exclusively on my niece to run around and do things for them.

She's never refused any gift from me in the past. I've always given them with love and she's always gladly accepted them.

I think it's simply the case of her being too proud, particularly after having spoken to DH earlier on (after I posted my OP). After all, it is in our Vietnamese/ Asian culture that the older ones look after the younger ones. But she should know me well enough to know that I do intend it as a well meaning (and small) gesture towards relieving some of their financial stress.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

tyty333|1306760887|2933622 said:
My initial thought is they dont want to accept it but they need it so they are trying to figure out what to do. I think maybe
once they get themselves comfortable with accepting it then you will get a "Thank you". Its a very generous gift but some
people have a problem with accepting other people's help/money (especially from little sis). Pride may be involved. I say dont
get bent out of shape yet. Give it some time. If/when the check gets cashed I would expect to hear something.

Have a great time in Paris (I'm sooo jealous!)
Thank you, Tyty.

Yes, I'm just going to leave it well alone. It must hard enough for my sis having this financial issue. I'm not going to add to her problems.

Alas, my niece and I are not going to Paris this time after all. I think the money is better spent towards her parents' financial issue. I gave my niece my Rolex watch and Jimmy Choo bag instead. I think she appreciates them more than a trip to Paris (seems to be the case from what she's been telling me/ her reaction when I gave them to her).
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Loves Vintage|1306766410|2933664 said:
With respect to your niece, yes, it would certainly seem odd for her to be reluctant to take her grandfather to the doctor since she initially volunteered to do so. Perhaps you misread her? Did you tell her that you thought she now seemed reluctant, and if so, why was that the case? Maybe you just misread her reluctance, and you are now worrying unnecessarily?
I don't know actually. It's possible that it was a misperception on my part. It's not always easy to decipher emotions over the 'phone. I am seeing her again on Wed (taking her and my dad out again for his actual b'day, **edited by moderator, please do not post personal locations and dates for your own safety**). I'll wait to see what she says then.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

April20|1306762670|2933632 said:
Money is a sensitive issue. Most people don't like to have to ask for it or acknowledge that they needed it. It's admitting a failure and that they needed to be bailed out. I've bailed out some family a couple of times over the past ten years and it's something they *never* talk about after initial thanks, which did eventually come. Give your sister a little time.

Regarding your dad's heath/hospital visits- I think you need to do a family meeting and discuss what kind of care/looking after your father needs and how much support from the family this is going to require. I think you HAVE to put it all out in the open and discuss so that no one feels resentful over what they're doing and what they perceive others are not. Perhaps a schedule could be made of who's responsible for seeing to helping him for say a month at a time. Then if someone's truly not doing their part you can adjust as well as address the issue in a more objective manner. Just my two cents....
Thank you for your post and helpful suggestions, April. They do give me some food for thought. It's a very good idea to call a family meeting. Not sure though how I'm going to do this, primarily because I'm the youngest daughter (second youngest child). It's not in our culture for the younger members of the family to tell the older ones what to do, even if the "telling" only involves getting everyone together and initiates the discussion on what we need to do. I could talk to some of my sisters (actually my sisters are generally better/ more caring towards my dad specifically and the family in general than my brothers - not saying that the latter don't care, just that the sisters are more proactive and do tend to take more actions). I'll see what they say and what their plans are and go from there.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

yennyfire|1306763401|2933635 said:
I agree with tyty on the reason you haven't received a "thank you" yet. Pride is a tough nut and I'm sure your sis is struggling with that. It's much easier to be in your position (the one who has $$ to generously give) than hers (the one who is in financial difficulty and receiving a "handout" from little sis).

As for your Dad, I agree with you 100%. Family is family and they should WANT to look after him. After all, he took care of them as children. However, you can't really force them to do so, especially if you're not on the same continent all of the time. If it were me, I'd be honest with them and say that you're concerned about his health and would feel better if you knew that someone was accompanying him to the doctor, for a second pair of ears and support, if needed. Beyond that, I'm not sure what you can do. It stinks though.
Thank you, Yenny. I agree. I absolutely cannot force them, particularly as I'm the youngest daughter. All I can do is discuss matters openly with them and see what they say. Worse comes to worst, I'll just fly back and take care of my dad.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

I'd be interested in hearing how everyone here on PS cares for their (elderly) parents. Do you and yr siblings all take turn? How do you convince the less caring members (if any) of the family to step up to the plate and do their duty?

Perhaps I should just start a new thread (?).
 

Trekkie

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Phoenix|1306768153|2933679 said:
I'd be interested in hearing how everyone here on PS cares for their (elderly) parents. Do you and yr siblings all take turn? How do you convince the less caring members (if any) of the family to step up to the plate and do their duty?

Perhaps I should just start a new thread (?).
Hi Phoenix

Don't really have much to contribute here, other than to say you're a great sister and daughter!

I would love to see a thread like the one you suggest and look forward to reading the responses.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Trekkie|1306769404|2933703 said:
Phoenix|1306768153|2933679 said:
I'd be interested in hearing how everyone here on PS cares for their (elderly) parents. Do you and yr siblings all take turn? How do you convince the less caring members (if any) of the family to step up to the plate and do their duty?

Perhaps I should just start a new thread (?).
Hi Phoenix

Don't really have much to contribute here, other than to say you're a great sister and daughter!

I would love to see a thread like the one you suggest and look forward to reading the responses.
Awww!! Thank you!! :love:

You've just made me all teary! I just try to do what feels right in my heart, ya'know.
 

Indylady

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Ah, I'm glad to hear that you did contact your sister. Definitely makes the situation different, and I'm also glad you guys are otherwise close as well. Of course, I do not expect you to apologize over asking your niece to take her grandfather to the hospital, what I meant was, tone of voice isn't quite something to be distressed about. She is more likely sound unexcited simply based on the idea that she sees going to the hospital as another chore or errant, and most likely the reluctance isn't aimed towards taking care of her grandfather but towards running an errand. As long as she's taking him to the hospital, without any outright fuss, I'd say she's living up to her responsibility.

I can certainly see that you must be stressed over the care of your Dad; starting a new thread on taking care of elderly relatives sounds like a great idea. Its a big responsibility, and one that can be very stressful. My own grandmother was sick for a few years and required a lot of care, though she was absolutely independent for as long as possible. I also understand the concept of family hierarchy--instead of a family meeting, how about talking to your sisters/brothers individually at first to get an idea of their responses? For my grandmother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and I took turns watching over her and accompanying her to the hospital, etc. and we had a nurse that would do consistent home visits. It required lots of communication between all of us, but having a nurse around made it a little easier so that when the others were 'off duty' they could really feel 'off duty' and wouldn't be pestered with questions.
 

Loves Vintage

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Phoenix|1306766740|2933668 said:
Loves Vintage|1306766410|2933664 said:
Do you speak with your sister often? I'm wondering if perhaps you don't because you live quite far from her, and it sounds like you've learned of her financial troubles (or what you deem to be her financial troubles) through other family members. Perhaps she is rather insulted by your attempting to give her this gift through her daughter, and even more particularly because she had refused a similar gift from you in the past? I think it would be quite hard to muster up gratitute for an unwanted gift that may be perceived as insulting by the recipient.

I'm sure your heart is in the right place, but maybe your sister doesn't see it that way.
Thank you for your post, Loves Vintage.

That is certainly not the case. We speak regularly and in fact she's the one I'm closest to (amongst 3 sisters). I usually (but not always) stay at her house when I go back to the UK. I've learnt of her financial problem directly from her as well as from my niece. As I said above, they rely almost exclusively on my niece to run around and do things for them.

She's never refused any gift from me in the past. I've always given them with love and she's always gladly accepted them.

I think it's simply the case of her being too proud, particularly after having spoken to DH earlier on (after I posted my OP). After all, it is in our Vietnamese/ Asian culture that the older ones look after the younger ones. But she should know me well enough to know that I do intend it as a well meaning (and small) gesture towards relieving some of their financial stress.
Thank you for clarifying, Phoenix. I definitely misinterpreted your initial post! I assumed you were not close with this sister and were just sending her money because you perceived she needed help. I am glad to see this is not the case. I hope your niece surprises you with her willingness to help your father with his appointments.
 

JewelFreak

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Phoenix, this is long, but stick with me: April's suggestion of a family meeting is excellent. I understand your cultural unease, but this is a kind of emergency, when getting a result is more important than anything else. Perhaps if you phrase it as asking for their thoughts & advice, it would be easier for them to cooperate. In your culture, taking care of elders is an essential family responsibility, right? I'm sure you won't have to remind them.

Sad truth is that daughters do most of the heavy lifting with aging or ill parents. Not always the case, but probably in the vast majority of them.

Here's what we did: My mother had terminal cancer for a year & a half, accompanied by 2 strokes that inhibited her mobility & speech, and a few other life-threatening incidents. She lived in Denver. I was in Connecticut & my sister in Colorado, but an 8-hr drive away. We did it all. Our 2 brothers, both in the northeast as I was, were completely uninvolved. They cared, but not enough to interrupt their lives & toddle out to Denver. My sister & I alternated going to chemo with her. We each visited frequently otherwise & stayed as long as we could, usually a week at a time. After her 1st stroke, Mom hired a woman to help her for part of the day, getting up & dressed, and helping her go to bed at night, with some shopping & cooking. She tried to be as independent as possible, though. A very close friend lived nearby & spent much time with her, also updating us on things Mom didn't want to tell us. If you can keep in contact with your dad's friends, it can be a big help to know how he is really doing.

Difficult? Yeah. Our husbands were marvelous, generous with our frequent absences & the expense of travel. We both considered it a privilege, however, to help her through the end of her life with the love & dignity she had always given to us. It was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received -- enraged as I was at the time that this should happen to her. Fate is fate.

With so many in your family close by, a schedule for sharing care should be a relatively light burden on each individual. I imagine your presence, if you can manage it a couple times a year, would mean more to them than any funds you could offer -- that, of course, if necessary, is wonderful -- but a little of your being there can go a long way toward easing any potential resentment. (When people are tired, stressed & anxious, emotions come out that they would never think of at other times.)

It is a very rough period. I have SO many friends going through similar stuff now & my heart goes out to all of you. From experience, I can say the only way is to take one step at a time, just trudge on through. If you keep in your mind your father's humanity, the good things he gave you & did, who he is au fond, it becomes a burden of love. You will never regret being there for him.

--- Laurie
 

junebug17

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Phoenix|1306768153|2933679 said:
I'd be interested in hearing how everyone here on PS cares for their (elderly) parents. Do you and yr siblings all take turn? How do you convince the less caring members (if any) of the family to step up to the plate and do their duty?

Perhaps I should just start a new thread (?).


I'd be really interested in hearing about other people's experiences in this area as well - my mother is 86 so my siblings and I are dealing with handling her care right now. I think starting a new thread is a good idea!

I don't have much to add with regard to your sister - I agree with PP's that she probably feels embarrassed/awkward about the whole thing -although she most certainly should have acknowledged the check and said a simple "thank you". I have a feeling she'll eventually talk to you about it. This family stuff can be upsetting sometimes, can't it?

I can certainly relate to your concern about your dad, I'm dealing with the same thing. I understand that you're worried about what's going to happen when you're not there to take him to his medical appointments, since your niece is already sounding hesitant about helping out. If you start another thread, I'll go into more detail about my situation, but I think a family meeting to address your concerns is in order - basically to force other family members to face the situation and (hopefully) deal with it.
 

marymm

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4,197
Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Although I do think your heart is in the right place, in this instance I am hearing some dissonance. You posted that you spoke with your sis about giving her this money, and she refused, and then you said you would not take no for an answer. You also posted that in the past you have given your sis money or gifts and she accepted gladly. If you pushed a check on her in this instance, despite her plain refusal, I'm not sure your expectation of acknowledgement or gratitude is reasonable?

In terms of elder care, well, my parents lived with my husband and I for the last four years of my father's life - he had dementia later diagnosed as Alzheimers, as well as heart trouble. I have six siblings - my parents tried living with two of my other sibs, but they were unable to deal with my father's dementia, insisting on take personal affront to his words and actions (which were admittedly demented and not rational - hello, we already knew he had dementia) and having high drama about what he said or what he did or didn't do. Once my parents moved in with me, all was well. For whatever reason, I was able to cope with them both much better than any of my sibs, and in fact in his last days my father only recognized me (and my mom) - he called all my sibs by my name - which hurt their feelings but, you know what, it is something I treasure (not that he didn't know their names, but that he remembered mine). Being able to do this for him (and my mom) is both the hardest and the best thing I have ever done.

You can't force people to act in a way that is against their nature. And, however much they wish they could step up to the plate in a difficult situation, like a parent's illness or aging-related limitations, some people just cannot do it. To this day I have deep in my heart some bitterness that my sibs could not be there for my dad in any meaningful way... but I truly do believe it was not thoughtlessness or lack of love but instead their inability to face up to the new reality, to the new dynamic in the parent/child relationship where the child has now to care for the parent but with love and respect -- they could only deal with my father if they treated him as a child and of course, he could see/feel the lack of respect. I will say that several of my sibs have told me they have a lot of regret about how things went down with my dad; they carry around a lot of guilt.

If you were to have a family meeting, it would be wonderful if everyone could agree on a lead person to coordinate your father's care, but also set up a kind of tree so that different responsibilities could be farmed out as appropriate - one person could mostly run him to his medical appointments, one person could take the lead on overseeing his household needs (grocery shopping, housecleaning & maintenance), one person might be circulate regular emails as to your dad's status and changing needs so everyone is kept current... It is a big responsibility, and quite draining. It may be no one can or will commit to care-taking. There are options like professional elder care agencies but your father may have some resistance to this.

I wish you luck with your dad's situation - it is very hard, and bound to get more difficult. It really is a time to put aside egos and past history and personal issues so that your father's needs are met in the best way possible and he continues to feel respected and valued.
 

minmin001

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2,047
Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Well least they declined your help the first time. My mother's brother just can't wait to suck every penny out of her.
As for taking care of your father, I mean come on...where are the other 8? That's their father too! I don't like to give money to people as help since over time they think it's what you suppose to do instead of being grateful about it and probably wants more and more (which is the case with my uncle's family when my mother starts to help them with money) They turned nasty after she decided it's time to stop since they think it's wrong of her for not give them her hard earned money. After my grandparents sold their house, my mom said they can all split her share of money since she is oversea and she would like them to help take care of my grandparents since she is so far away. Of course they were all happy and say no problem at the time, but of course after they took the money my grandparents complain about nobody in China is willing to take care of them and want to move to here instead...
This is so normal in China it makes me sick.
 

VRBeauty

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10,270
Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

You've received excellent input re your father's care. I don't have any direct experience to offer here, but have watched my BFF assume the care of her parents over the past three years, after her dad suffered a serious stroke. She coordinated with two brothers who each live several hundred miles away. While she were in the thick of helping her parents transition to assisted living, sell the home they'd lived in for 40 years, prepare trusts and wills etc.... she put her administrative skills to use and held regular conference calls. (The calls were also necessary, BTW, to corral a brother who was trying to work the situation to his advantage.) That's one option available to you even when you return home. BTW I'd suggest that when you be up-front about the question of expenses when you have those meetings, especially since at least one branch of the family is struggling financially. If everyone can pitch in without compensation, great. If one person is in a good position to put in the time but could use help with paying for gas, or could use a small stipend, discuss that. Try to get out of the realm of assumptions and expectations, and into the realm of agreements.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Hello again, PS'ers. I've just finished having dinner with my dad. I'll try and respond to each and every one of your very thoughtful posts.

You know what?! I've come to the conclusion that the Vietnamese are such a proud people, too proud for our own good, really!
 

April20

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Phoenix|1306768153|2933679 said:
I'd be interested in hearing how everyone here on PS cares for their (elderly) parents. Do you and yr siblings all take turn? How do you convince the less caring members (if any) of the family to step up to the plate and do their duty?

Perhaps I should just start a new thread (?).
Phoenix, my DH's grandmother is 85 and lives with her youngest child and her husband. They're only 3.5 years older than my DH- his dad is the oldest. Grandma is going increasingly downhill- she's more fragile and her memory is starting to go. My aunt absolutely wants Grandma to live with them and care for her and up until recently, it's been no burden at all. But as of late, it's become more demanding and she had to call a family meeting of sorts and ask each of the other siblings (there are four kids total) to host Grandma for one weekend a month to give them a break. It's been working thus far. Unfortunately, Grandma took a fall on Saturday and broke her wrist and is banged up. They're more and more realizing that they just cannot leave her home alone AT ALL any more and another family meeting to discuss what Grandma's needs are and sharing the load is in order.

Long story short, any family caring for elderly ones really needs to have open communication to discuss what they can support and what is in the best interest of the parent.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

IndyLady|1306770355|2933724 said:
Ah, I'm glad to hear that you did contact your sister. Definitely makes the situation different, and I'm also glad you guys are otherwise close as well. Of course, I do not expect you to apologize over asking your niece to take her grandfather to the hospital, what I meant was, tone of voice isn't quite something to be distressed about. She is more likely sound unexcited simply based on the idea that she sees going to the hospital as another chore or errant, and most likely the reluctance isn't aimed towards taking care of her grandfather but towards running an errand. As long as she's taking him to the hospital, without any outright fuss, I'd say she's living up to her responsibility.

I can certainly see that you must be stressed over the care of your Dad; starting a new thread on taking care of elderly relatives sounds like a great idea. Its a big responsibility, and one that can be very stressful. My own grandmother was sick for a few years and required a lot of care, though she was absolutely independent for as long as possible. I also understand the concept of family hierarchy--instead of a family meeting, how about talking to your sisters/brothers individually at first to get an idea of their responses? For my grandmother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and I took turns watching over her and accompanying her to the hospital, etc. and we had a nurse that would do consistent home visits. It required lots of communication between all of us, but having a nurse around made it a little easier so that when the others were 'off duty' they could really feel 'off duty' and wouldn't be pestered with questions.
Thank you, Indy, for chiming in again.

I'm just really worried about my dad. He's very independent too, and proud (damn it, that "proud" attitude of the Vietnamese, quite impractical at times!). I think it's a great idea to speak to my brothers and sisters (at least some of them - those who care enough) on an individual basis. I also like the idea of having a nurse and DH and I don't have children, so luckily we're in the position of being able to help. More importantly, I'm not quite sure how my dad would feel about having a nurse round-the-clock or at least one on frequent enough home visits. We shall see, but it's for sure a great idea.

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate it.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Loves Vintage|1306771746|2933741 said:
[
Thank you for clarifying, Phoenix. I definitely misinterpreted your initial post! I assumed you were not close with this sister and were just sending her money because you perceived she needed help. I am glad to see this is not the case. I hope your niece surprises you with her willingness to help your father with his appointments.
Thank you for chiming in again, Loves Vintage.

I really hope that my niece will step up to the plate. I mean she's not a bad kid (ok, not a kid, she's 40 yrs old). I hope she will come through. Mind you, her parents do put a lot of responsibily on her shoulders; so hopefully, she will find some time for her grandfather.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

marymm|1306776729|2933793 said:
Although I do think your heart is in the right place, in this instance I am hearing some dissonance. You posted that you spoke with your sis about giving her this money, and she refused, and then you said you would not take no for an answer. You also posted that in the past you have given your sis money or gifts and she accepted gladly. If you pushed a check on her in this instance, despite her plain refusal, I'm not sure your expectation of acknowledgement or gratitude is reasonable?

In terms of elder care, well, my parents lived with my husband and I for the last four years of my father's life - he had dementia later diagnosed as Alzheimers, as well as heart trouble. I have six siblings - my parents tried living with two of my other sibs, but they were unable to deal with my father's dementia, insisting on take personal affront to his words and actions (which were admittedly demented and not rational - hello, we already knew he had dementia) and having high drama about what he said or what he did or didn't do. Once my parents moved in with me, all was well. For whatever reason, I was able to cope with them both much better than any of my sibs, and in fact in his last days my father only recognized me (and my mom) - he called all my sibs by my name - which hurt their feelings but, you know what, it is something I treasure (not that he didn't know their names, but that he remembered mine). Being able to do this for him (and my mom) is both the hardest and the best thing I have ever done.

You can't force people to act in a way that is against their nature. And, however much they wish they could step up to the plate in a difficult situation, like a parent's illness or aging-related limitations, some people just cannot do it. To this day I have deep in my heart some bitterness that my sibs could not be there for my dad in any meaningful way... but I truly do believe it was not thoughtlessness or lack of love but instead their inability to face up to the new reality, to the new dynamic in the parent/child relationship where the child has now to care for the parent but with love and respect -- they could only deal with my father if they treated him as a child and of course, he could see/feel the lack of respect. I will say that several of my sibs have told me they have a lot of regret about how things went down with my dad; they carry around a lot of guilt.

If you were to have a family meeting, it would be wonderful if everyone could agree on a lead person to coordinate your father's care, but also set up a kind of tree so that different responsibilities could be farmed out as appropriate - one person could mostly run him to his medical appointments, one person could take the lead on overseeing his household needs (grocery shopping, housecleaning & maintenance), one person might be circulate regular emails as to your dad's status and changing needs so everyone is kept current... It is a big responsibility, and quite draining. It may be no one can or will commit to care-taking. There are options like professional elder care agencies but your father may have some resistance to this.

I wish you luck with your dad's situation - it is very hard, and bound to get more difficult. It really is a time to put aside egos and past history and personal issues so that your father's needs are met in the best way possible and he continues to feel respected and valued.
Thank you, marymm. Your post certainly made me pause and think. Maybe I was a bit overbearing. I'm trying to think really hard about it. Ya' know, I really do think that it's all (or mostly) to do with our Vietnamese "pride". Just to illustrate, I remember when I was in Vietnam just before we left and we were *starving* (we hadn't eaten like for 2 whole days). I was just a kid but I can still remember it very vividly, as if it was just yesterday. My aunt, with whom we were staying, realising that we were a bunch of starving children, gave us some fried rice. I remember taking the bowl from her and crying, crying really hard, like sobbing uncontrollably; I wanted sooooo *badly* to refuse the rice but I was just sooooo hungry I had no choice but to take the bowl of rice from her. I ate it but all the while I was just crying, sobbing hysterically!! I swore to myself that that was the last time I was going to take a handout from anyone.

So anyway, I am trying to think if I forced myself upon my sister's situation too far. I don't think so, at least I hope not. You know, it's funny (not in hilarious) cos my sister has been living in the UK for some 30 years and I only lived there for 16 years (the last 15 years I've been living in Asia) though I'm married to an American. You'd think that she'd be much more Westernised than I am, but maybe not. Let me see....I think it's a Vietnamese custom (or virtue, not sure what you'd call it) to refuse help, or to not appear to be needy or dependent on anyone else. However, whenever I gave my sister presents, I seem to remember her putting up a fight/ her protesting, but in the end, she always accepted them, which I'm really glad about. We shall see whether or not she cashes the cheque. If she doesn't, then maybe I owe her an apology. Mind you, she's already put up her house for a re-mortgage so I really hope that she doesn't refuse this really minute gift from me who really really care about her.

Thank you for sharing about your parents/ father. It is wonderful that you and yr DH (God bless him, he's a treasure; most spouses I know do not like their in-laws. I love mine and vice versa - I guess we're lucky) were able to take care of your father. You are right, not everyone can feel a sense of responsibility and you certainly cannot make them, though like you I am sure that those that don't care enough will end up carrying some kind of guilt. Ah well...

I know my dad will put up a HUGE fight if we were to put him in a nursing home or some similar kind of assisted care facility. I'd like, and hope that, between all of us 9 children and our spouses and his grandchildren, we'll be able to come up with some solution that would allow my dad to live the rest of his life in comfort and dignity (you're right, yet again, he does want to feel valued and respected, I'm sure). To be absolutely fair, one of my sisters regularly buys groceries and pops by every week or so to make sure my dad is fully stocked up.

It seems that between us we'll have to come up with some arrangements to make sure that not only is my dad's food intake/needs/ wants taken care of, but his medical needs are attended to and PROMPTLY.

Thank you for your good luck wish too. I shall keep you updated of developments.
 

tyty333

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22,076
Re: Another family (potential) "issue" - gave a bunch of mon

Hi Pheonix,
I'm sorry...I missed the part about using the Paris money to give to your sister instead. Your neice may be feeling a little upset/hurt
about that. Even if she understands that the money is going to better use it would still be dissapointing not to get to go to
Paris. I hope you get to do something else fun instead.

tyty
 
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