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Hi everyone


I'm currently off sick with a real bad case of sinsitis and just as I was resting and the headaches seemed to be decreasing I get calls from the frailcare facility where my mother is at. The dr had just seen my mother and daignosed her with bronchitus and prescribed meds. The pharmacy I am forced to use can only get the meds there tomorrow and according to the sister on duty at the Home she can't wait that long. She told me I should go and fetch the meds myself! So I tell her to use the pharmacy nearest them the one that my mother has an account with. More calls, that pharmacy is refusing to give the meds because I have an outstanding balance with them. I have been paying them R200 a month for last 6 months because I can't pay them anymore and this is what happens. it is illegal to refuse meds if the account is being paid regularly! It's not like is in the thousands! So in order to get my mother the meds today I have been forced to transfer a portion of my grocery money for the month so my mother will get her medication.


Right now, my head is fit to burst, my neck has completely siezed up and I could scream and cry at the same time. What if I didn't have any money at all! What then? Does everything stop because the dutiful daughter can't pay. Would my mother's health be further jeopardised because I couldn't pay? That seem to be the case. I guess I'll be loaning money this month in an effort to get through until next pay day. They don't care about that do they?


I am furious and feeling completely helpless in this situation. I might as well have a noose around my neck. Squeeze the life out of me in order to keep another person a live. Okay... I really need to calm down.



May the best ye've ever seen, Be the warst ye'll ever see. May the moose ne'er lea' yer aumrie Wi' a tear-drap in his e'e. May ye aye keep hail an' hertie,Till ye're auld eneuch tae dee. May ye aye be jist as happy, As we wiss ye noo tae be.

May the best you've ever seen, Be the worst you'll ever see. May the mouse never leave your pantry With a tear-drop in his eye. May you always keep healthy and hearty Until you're old enough to die. May you always be just as happy As we wish you now to be.)

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Hi Skwirl:


Try and take a few deep breaths to keep the anxiety at bay... 


Sometimes I think that if I won the lottery, I would definitely set up some program to assist others in caring for their elderly loved ones. These kinds of emergencies can be so stressful. I feel for you Skwirl!


How is your mother doing? I hope everything is straightened out after all is said and done. Just know that both you and your mother are in my thoughts and prayers...


Hugs, Glenda


I can see how draining financially and otherwise it can be for people to care for a loved one. Although, at least in my state and a couple others, the family member caregiver can get paid by the state for caring for a parent... I have a friend in Arkansas that is taking advantage of this. But this does not apply to Skwirl right now. I hope she can find a cushion somewhere.

Hi Everyone


The deep breathes helped I am feeling a whole lot better today. To be a bit more proactive in this financially draining business I decided to approach my mother's nephew to see if he would pay the increase that the Home sent to me just this week. There is an annual fee increase, and this time my already stretched salary can't meet it. (I didn't receive an increase last year from work, and don't expect one or a end of year bonus for the next three years) I e-mailed him, explained my predicament and I hope he'll be able to help. He is far better off financially than I am, so the increase of the fees should be a small amount to him.


I day dream about just leaving it all behind, the responsiblity, the nagging for money, the constant drain drain drain of my life energies. I know whatever family will notice will completely condemn me and perhaps they will be right but at this moment they have no idea how stretched to the limits I already am, and the thought of having some relative peace is like a prisoner dreaming about returning home.  



Hi Gail


I'm doing a lot better, thank you..

I rented the house when my mom was living with me. She was paid out her pension from work when she was 'dismissed' because of not being able to work as well as she used to. She went through the money so quickly she now has nothing. It wasn't a whole lot to begin with, but if it had been taken care of it might not be so bad right now. The main thing was ma's attitude she reckoned she worked her whole life for that money and so had every right to spend it any way she saw fit (without telling me a thing...) I only saw how dire things were when her credit card was maxed and I was forced to pay it off...

Anyway, she does receive a disability pension from the government and that goes straight to the Home, and I have to contribute more than the pension in order to pay the full fees.

So overall there is nothing else to make this better, and I suppose that is what angers me the most, my mother was also not the least bit worried about her own financial future and she said straight once "I'm there to pay for things - since she took care of me, now I have to pay for her.."  I still asked then  - what happens if something happens to me then?  Her answer? "Then there is your life insurance" Nice.

Gosh Sk, so sorry to hear this.. Are there government homes for your mom and not private where she could stay...are there absolutely no other alternatives?


You have a right to be angry and frustrated... How does hubby feel about what is transpiring?


Sorry I haven't been more active at the boards... have been working diligently to get my art and the installation kits launched and selling...


you can view the work I am doing at : and


will try to respond more frequently.


abrazos y besos



Hi Skwirl and all:


My mother always used to say “live long enough to be a problem to your children”. Her rather sarcastic sense of humor, unfortunately, has been passed on to the next generations. Hopefully your mother was just joking about the life insurance – perhaps a quick repartee???


Sadly, the reality of “living long enough to be a problem” is another story! It is certainly not fair for a parent to expect their children to support them in their elder years! Yet, I suppose, your mother is likely of the era in which women were not encouraged to worry about such things as retirement and long-term care… I imagine she realizes the consequences of lack of planning now and may feel some insecurity. The sad thing is that when age and infirmity hits, the burden falls to those who are closest.


How is your mother feeling now? I hope she is getting better and has a better rest of the year health-wise. It can be so wearing going through a few emergencies like that and, heaven knows, you need a break Skwirl! In addition, it seems like so many services are expensive and the volunteer organizations and other helpful services lag behind the need so it is hard to know where to turn… I remember that every time there were hospital bills incurred in my Dad’s care, it took me many months to sort through them all and get them paid off – the bills came from all directions! It was overwhelming on top of it all!


Keep breathing deeply and rhythmically when the moments allow. It does, surprisingly ease the bumpy ride and helps keep anxiety at bay. We are here to take the bumpy road with you and hope to provide anything we can to make you laugh, help you cry, ease your pain, and send you cyberhugs along the journey. It can be such a roller-coaster ride...


Hugs, Glenda


Last edited by glenderella

Hi Gail, Glenda and Everyone

No problem, you're working on beautiful things and making the world a more beautiful place


Unfortunately Government Homes and worse than Government Hospitals. No resources, no money, no caring people, and most of all, complete apathy. Too many poverty stricken people and utterly not enough of anything for anyone. If you need help at the hospital on a regular basis you queue from 5am (sometimes earlier) and you'll be standing there until 5pm until you are finally attended to.

With Government Homes, there is a *long* waiting list (as in years...) and even when you're in there it's way past awful. I would have to be on hand just to make sure my mother gets regularly washed, it really is that bad. Hygiene is almost non-existent with so many people crammed in one place.


With all of that to consider my next thoughts are hard to repeat, but here goes. Yesterday my thoughts were caught up with the fact that if I were to get pregnant, I would not be able to stretch my salary to look after my mother and a newborn baby. Let alone preparing for school going years. My ' balance sheet' simply says I could not afford to have a child at this juncture.

The next link was if I do get pregnant, though unplanned I would put my child ahead of my mother. That would mean cutting off a large portion of my financial support to her and funnelling my actual resources to my baby. Does that make me a awful person? I don't think so. In having a child my responsibility towards a baby are paramount. Hubby feels the same obviously. We know very well (I've done the sums) that if I didn't have to support my mother we could both get by perfectly well if I worked half day or even did temp work. Having a baby would mean I would simply insist on half day work so that i could be at home to be a mom and not have a nanny raise him/her. I know in a lot of cases that is simply not possible and two-income families are a complete must, but in this case it could be possible to get by relatively well.


Then came the dark thoughts... if I had to cut off a large portion of financial support that would immediately mean my mother falling at the mercy of the government and probably not living very long at all. The facts are as blunt and terrible as it sounds, as my mother is only in her 60's she will most probably live another 20 years. MS doesn't kill you, it just makes it much easier for other things too. Pneumonia etc... in good care my mother was live a long time, in bad care she won't. That's obvious. So, now I have to face a decision I have made, if it comes to choosing my baby's welfare over my mother's, I choose my baby and whatever happens, happens. I did wonder if the rest of the family would go 'up in arms' over it, then decided they probably wouldn't. They also supporting their own families and have turned blind eye towards my financial difficulities many times over all these years, why should they suddenly change tactic now?


Glenda... Ma may have been joking at the time, but it did show me the inner truth - she fully expected and continues to expect me to support her. Whether she was prepared for retirement or not is answered by the results. She intended to work until 65, then take her pension, if her employer didn't care about retirement age she would have just carried on working until the very end I guess. She fully expected to stay with me when things became hairy for her.  When she was diagnosed she was dismissed just like that and the whole world went on its head. She then decided that for next 30 something years I would stay with her and take care of her, or if/when I got married she would come with me. Simple as that. Unfortunately her degeneration of mobility and being not able to do the smallest thing for herself precluded that and I had to seek better help in order to care for her. So whatever plan she did have is completely for nought now.


She still speaks as if she will come home one day... as if being in frailcare is temporary. Somewhere in her mind she is still holding on to the fact that this isn't her 'last stop' and she will leave there and all will somehow be well. Everytime someone in the Home passes away she tells me and looks at me as if "you see?" "this place is for dying people I'm not supposed to be here. "


In this problem I see a vicious cycle, I have not been able to put anything away for my retirement due to salary just not going far enough. I manage to pay for life insurance and my mother's funeral policy. I know that if I didn't get married I would also have to live on government pension when it came down to it. The positive is that since getting married on that side it is slightly better as Hubby has prepared for his retirement, so if we combine that to the government pension we may just be okay....  but overall it doesn't look all that rosy. Which is something else that angers me. I'm now in a bad position because I can't put anything away. I also can't get a much higher salary than I am because I am not qualified. My mother didn't have money for me to study further, or even take a diploma course, I simply had to start working immediately, and now I have 10 years of experience and not much else to my name. So in short being poor has disabled my mother and me and for years to come... how does this cycle stop? I have decided it has to stop with me, I will not burden my children with my care and financies when I'm older. It's not going to happen. I will find a way to stop the selfish craziness and make something better.


Thank you all for listening to all my rants. It really does help me reflect and think. I don't know what I do if I didn't have this forum to come to !!


Hugs to all






All I can truthfully say is that you are not alone... your govt conditions and standards for supplying help to those in need is no different than over 54 million family caregivers in the states and it continues to worsen here as well...Unfortunately, between the govts and ruling families there's more than enough money to go around but they have lost the human concern... the spirit... it's all about greed, control, power.There's nothing more to say except that it is truly an embarrassment.


I think that you are processing this whole process with great care even with the emotional roller coaster that you are on. Your husband is a loving caring support for you and is wise as well. This is a gifted blessing for you. If you can focus on gratitude... focus on all the good things that are happening... when we live in fear and upset, we continue to pull ourselves down.. but when we can find that bit of gratitude, our hearts open.. and the universe does truly provide for times it seems utterly impossible.. but when we shift our thoughts, everything changes for the better...


Richest blessings


Hi Sk...I read your post and can almost feel your anguish. When my sister passed away in january it seems she didn't plan for funeral costs. That left my niece to start calling me, my brothers and my kids, uncle and cousins for money. Some helped, and some were appauled that she could ask all of us to pay for a over $8,000.00 funeral!


 My brother and my nephew were confused at why my sister didn't plan (she and her husband did not manage money well at all). I love my sister, she and I were very close...but I think along with vacations and new things a little planning for the here after should have been tended to first and foremost.Because of my greiving for her I couldn't even think about why such an expensive funeral when there is little or no money!! Now that I have past the greiving stage I am thinking...what the hell! I resented my neice for calling my kids for money and yet they all donated!


 Well, I can tell you that after we buried my sister I took out an insurance policy because I would never want to put that on my kids (even though they all are doing well). I have my life ins. now and feel relieved that I will not have to leave such a burden for them. Antime you have to deal with the state or government the care may be substandard. I will say though, in the state I reside, takes wonderful care of the elderly, the poor and the disabled.


 I am so impressed. I have lived in three states and have never seen the quality of care that is provided in this stae else where. It is truly wonderful. Your choice to provide for your child is natural and it's a tough spot to be in, but if you have no other choice then you deal with your priorities. You may have to just accept the way things are. Your mom is young and it is sad, but you can only do what your resources will allow. Take care.

Hi everyone


Thank you so much Gail for your kind words, I think you are calmest person and can calm others around you!


I finally got a reply from my mother's nephew, it was a one liner with not even a 'sorry' or a 'regards' but just that they are also under financial pressure and can't assist me. As if he was replying to some business e-mail of not being interested in a certain product. I had a flash of anger and then decided it's no use berating him, he has excused himself from this, so be it. He has to live with himself in the end.

I replied that if it comes to it and I can no longer get the money together for my mother, I will then have to turn to government hospitals etc, because I will simply have no choice.In that way everyone is on the same page about the steps I may have to take  - he'll talk to his sister, who will tell the entire world...


Indeed onelifetolive I will NEVER burden my children like that. I know how it feels so I couldn't get that past my heart. I also have my life ins, which covers my funeral expenses, and since getting married I will be rewording my Will (again), I already made hubby beneficiary of everything but also stipulated he 'had to' make provision for my mother. That part is changing, it will be up to his discretion if he can provide something for my mother. His first priority would be any future children and himself. My mother's nephew was stated as one of the trustees if we were both to die, and that is going right out the window. I am now certain he would not be that concerned for my mother's welfare.


So, lesson learnt, plans made and course adjusted.


We have a public holiday in SA tomorrow so I intend to stay the whole day in bed!


I hope everyone also gets some down time, and perhaps have a drink, anything nice that you like and congratulate ourselves for surviving, for doing well, for learning...


Hugs to everyone!!




Hi Skwirl and All:


For some reason I have been having a hard time getting this to post. I am just getting back to the boards after going to a long seminar... It is time for me to take control of some things!


I can certainly understand your challenges Skwirl. I am sorry that your mother's nephew could not help you out. I have been there with my own siblings... I think you have the right attitude about it. At least you did reach out to ask for help and sometimes that is all one can do.


You are so right about Gail! She has helped me through many a rocky time along with all the others here... Whatever you do, keep positive and upbeat about it all whenever possible. It is so easy to fear the future when maybe things really do work out as they should - and perhaps - even better than expected. Keep the faith dear heart!


Just know that I am rooting for you to do what is best for you at the same time. Do not adopt a lot of guilt and pain over the decisions you make. I think many of us know how agonizing it can be in your position. Remember to find time to pamper yourself a little bit...


Hugs, Glenda

Hi Glenda


Not adopting guilt for decisions.... yes, I've been rehashing the same thoughts so much now, its just mush in my head

I went ahead and got my retirement anuity off the ground, and my 'financial advisor' he's pretty much just a broker, but he also gives advice, picks on the fact my medical aid premiums are sorta high, (paid by hubby) and our mobile phone expense should come down too...

I kept my cool while in the meeting with him, but later on I was really annoyed. So spending half to over half of my salary on my mother's stuff is perfectly okay, but my cellphone is not acceptable! He then continued on with the adjustments I wanted to make to the Joint Will, which annoyed me further. Why don't I just give everything I own to my mother, leave myself destitute and the broker will have nothing to say then, as he would have disappeared due to not being able to get any kind of commission on me.  - I'm writing this a fat grin on my face because instead of being annoyed it's actually kinda funny now....


I didn't follow his advice and continued with my own plans. He is just an advisor after all. We will be changing how we connect to the internet, so that will reduce some expense (had decided that before seeing the broker...) and hubby reckons I shouldn't change the medical aid because if I lose my job then at least I'm still covered under his plan. The Will though sits and stares at me... I know what I want to do, and I also know that if anyone else reads it they will be 'surprised' (including the broker). So I've left it on ice for the moment while I continue to sort through the mush....


I hope everyone is doing okay, and having just a bit of time to themselves.




Boy Sk, it really sounds like you are thinking much more clearly now and without the guilt which can mess things up. Good for you and as you say, he is just an advisor and the final decision making is in your hands. Amazing about the cell phone! Isn't it something how cutting back a little here and there can add up? I know, I have to stay on it myself to keep the costs down since I am a single woman. proud of you! Stay strong!



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