How not to treat the person looking after your parents

A Family That Should Be Ashamed By The Treatment Of It's Own

Unfortunately last year my maternal nanan/grandmother died & since then my mum's quality of life has gone downhill… let me explain.

About 5 years ago my maternal grandparents were at a stage in their life when it wasn't really possible for them to live in their two-storey house by themselves any more. My mum and dad took the decision to put their live's on hold and move in with them. They gave up the flat that they rented, moved in with them and they began a new life in the conservatory and the small bedroom they now had.

This meant that my grandparents could carry on living in the house they moved into when they arrived in Barnsley over 50 years ago and they had both physical and emotional support.

It has to be said that it wasn't easy for my parents to give up their existing lives; put everything on hold and become full time carers. They now had many extra responsibilities and my grandparents could only be left on their own for very little (if any) time by themselves such was the support that they needed.

Quote about inheritence
So true!

After a period of time of being really bad my grandad/grandfather died on the 15th November, 2012, leaving my mum; dad and nanan. Things were ok for a while and then came the news that my mum and dad were splitting up after my dad admitted that he had been having an affair. This left just my mum and nanan but unfortunately this didn’t last long and my nanan died shortly after on the 20th June last year (2015).

What seems like as soon as my nanan passed the hassle began for my Mum over my nanan (and grandad)'s will. This stated that my mum could live in the house that was now her home for as long as she wanted rent free. A few of my mum's siblings have pressured my mum into selling the house as soon as possible no matter the price it brings. It has to be said that this pressure was applied in a passive-aggressive way and with no thought for my mum's feelings; financial situation or health and although many of the family are in the building trade there has been very little work done; even though only a small amount of work would increase the property value.

The situation has now gotten so bad that my mum just wants to get rid of the house and the stress is causing several ongoing health issues to get worse.

The pressure applied by several people to sell the house has changed my perception of them quite a bit. It was my parents and nobody else who offered to move in with them. If it had been up to a few others then my nanan and grandad would have had no support or had to live in a nursing home. It was my parents who moved and and the stress of putting their own lives on hold ultimately cost them their marriage. Despite this my mum has stayed strong and is being repaid by her own family with a total lack of gratitude for the sacrifices she has made.

I personally feel that the members of the family should be ashamed of how they have treated one who gave such a personal sacrifice to care for the major figure-heads of the family empire “for something as common as money” (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005).

Let me be clear: My family and I are not blameless in all of this! Although my mum knows that if ever she needs us we will be there for her, we don't spend anywhere near as much time with my mum as we should do. My wife and I work at least 60 hours each per week (including work at night at home and work at weekends) and by the time weekend comes we are shattered and we just want to spend time relaxing at home chilling out with our son. Most weeks we have very good intentions of visiting my mum but these never come to fruition for a variety of reasons. We have also been living on our own for many years and have learned to be very independent (as one is supposed to be when one has had a career in the army).

We were however all prepared to offer my mum a place in our home if things came to the worst (I am not sure if we actually did or not): we had the housing arrangements all sorted and everything but mum wants to go back to being independent so there you go.

As always I would really like your thoughts: Do you agree with me that people should be ashamed or can you see an alternative viewpoint?

16 thoughts on “How not to treat the person looking after your parents

  1. Sadly, this happens in most families, post bereavement where money or property is involved.

    I am mortified to think that “family” treat their own in such a way just to get their hands on a bit of money and for no matter how much the house sells for? This just doesn’t make sense. Is there another factor as to why the house should be sold immediately?

    In a time of bereavement, belongings and money are the last thing that should be an issue. Family should be uniting to remember the lives of those who have passed.

    Was a will left? If so then this should be respected by all involved as the final wish of the dearly departed. This should not abused for personal gain.

    The money the sale of house would bring, was earnt by your nanan and grandad – that was THEIR home that THEY built their life in. If they chose to let their daughter (who sacrificed the freedom and environment of her own life to care for them) live in the house rent free for as long as she chose to, then this is what should happen. It has nothing to do with anyone else, unless of course, they too, sacrificed their life to live with them and care for your nanan and granddad on a 24/7 needs basis? Which it seems, from your post, they didn’t.

    From the sounds of it your mother has not received the support she has needed from her family as a whole. She has had a tremendous amount of grief with the breakdown of a marriage and losing both parents. Family should be providing the support she truly needs; being forced to leave her home and potentially be homeless, could have a detrimental effect on your mother’s health and wellbeing. I can’t understand why her family would be pressurising her to sell HER home.

    Who knows what the future might bring. Your mother might, in a few years down the line, decide the house is too big to live in by herself, depending on her own needs. This could have been dealt with then, in an amicable way (and they may have even made a higher profit on the property). This rush is doing nobody any favours and could potentially destroy relationships within a family unit.

    If this is the case, I hope they realise and are prepared for when the money eventually runs out, as it will, that broken family ties aren’t as easily mended. Nobody wants to be old, poor and lonely.

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Thanks very much for your detailed and heart-felt. Yes: the will stated that my mum could live in the house as long as she wanted and only then could the house be sold and the proceeds split. That’s why certain people are putting pressure on for a sale. It is really sad and will obviously split the family down the middle. All we can do is stand by my mum (we SHOULD be going up there later (or this weekend)) 🙂

  2. It’s horrible that it’s had to come to this! Everyone knew what nanan’s wishes were and she would be turning in her ‘grave’ to know that not only are her final wishes not being met but the family is practically torn in two:/. I partially expected it from some but others have seriously ruined my opinion of them and I hope they know how disappointment there parents would have been if they’d been here to see ! X

  3. Love my mum she doesn’t need all stress it gunna end up putting her in hospital. And jay nan n grandad are still here watching over us xx

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