My mom is 94. She and my dad (90) have functioned as in interdependent unit, compensating for each other for many years.
This week he went into the hospital unexpectedly with cardiac and kidney failure. Looks like he won't be coming home soon, if at all. They own their own home and manage to live within a modest budget.
Mom cannot be self-sufficient with Dad's illness and being away from the house. Dad did the laundry, shopped, errands, etc for her because Mom over the past years has relied upon him always complaining about her broken hip ... a high maintenance, fiesty individual.
As an only child who lives 400 miles away with no local support system for her or him, I am frozen and in a state of anxiety and panic about what to do. When I learned he was taken into the hospital I came right back home, but I have a job to get back to. Being 55 makes taking time off work dicey with the economy and a lack of sympathy at work with FMLA. And FMLA is a short-term answer to an ongoing problem. I feel like I am losing it and am frozen. There is no family to participate in problem-solving, care giving, etc.
Has anyone faced a similar dilemma. They are not well-off; live off of social security and meager savings, but expectations exceed the financial reality. Any solutions or insights would be appreciated.