Left Behind?

Posted by $ Radio_Randy 4 years, 6 months ago to Ask the Gulch
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No...this is not about the backsides of Liberals.

We frequently hear about adult children who move back in with their parents...either due to the inability to find a job after college, or simply falling on "hard times". Well, where are the stories about the children who are "left behind" when their parents have either gone into nursing homes or simply passed away and that particular "safety net" is no longer there for them?

I know of several situations where adult children are living with their aging parents and the question always in my mind is what happens when those parents are gone? I mean, even if the parents leave their homes and property to their children, that will only hold them for awhile. In fact, many of the situations I am aware of involve adult children who simply won't work and would have nowhere else to go if it weren't for their parents.

Does anyone in The Gulch have a story to relate, about this and, more importantly, has any such story made it into the mainstream media? I know it has to be happening and would just like to have a story to relate to those who are either in such a position, or are considering it.

I realize that this will do little to change the situation, so am only asking for my own curiosity.


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  • Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 6 months ago
    Randy, I know of a few situations such as you describe. What I have observed is that the parents leave everything to the worthless offspring, (ignoring their successful, hardworking children), and this, combined with the disability and other government assistance those adult children manage to collect, they actually get along pretty well.
    Can you detect the contempt I feel for these people? I have several very elderly patients who have an adult child who suddenly appears out of nowhere to "take care of Mom or Dad". The parent tells me how wonderful it is for the child to do this "for them". Then I have to watch as that child decides that Mom or Dad no longer needs good dental care because it's just not worth the cost. After all, it's the child's money now, at least in his mind. I get pretty disgusted, but there's nothing I can do.
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    • Posted by $ 4 years, 6 months ago
      I recall a local story where a recently widowed lady let her son move in with her and, because she was elderly, get power of attorney over her affairs.
      He was such a good son, he sent her to Hawaii for a couple of weeks, for a long overdue vacation.
      When she returned, everything of value in her house had been sold, her bank account was emptied and her son had left town.
      Is this a great country...or what?
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 6 months ago
    Sorry, but I have little sympathy for kids who move back home. You may have a degree in 16th century poetry and find it hard to get a job that suits you. So....? Suck it up. Rent a coldwater flat. Get a job flipping burgers. Go back to school and get degree that's more useful. Go to a trade school. Electrical linemen are making $130K a year. Plumbers. carpenters roofers are employed. The only reason for going back and burdening parents is if one becomes disabled and even then, there are options available. It makes me want to brag about my kids, but I won't since I've done it often enough in these provinces.
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 6 months ago
    Blow off the easy money and then try for the easy reverse mortgage, when that fails (because the parents rented the house, or it was already RM'd) they become homeless. And blame the parents.

    Then again, I've seen some family antics that belong on a soap opera rather in real life - people putting the parents in a nursing home to sell their property so they can take the money and up their standard of living, or hiring a sleazeball lawyer and changing the will or trust of a person going non compos mentis and have them sign it to pocket the money before their imminent demise. Or having a medical PoA on them and then arrange to withhold treatment on a sick or dying parent to maximize what they get post-mortem from the estate...
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  • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 6 months ago
    Good topic, and yes, I do.

    I got a men's hair salon for my haircuts, it's kind of an upper-end ($30-$40) price range, but I like the service, I get a complimentary beer while I wait, they have good sports programs going on the flat screens in the waiting area, and I can book an appointment a month in advance. I've been seeing the same young girl there for about 4 or 5 years now. I think she was about 23 when I had my first appointment with her, and she's probably nearing 27-28 now. She's still single, extremely attractive, but an impressive head on her shoulders.

    At an early visit, I had mentioned my dog, it would have been about 12 at the time, it's now a 17 year old McNab (similar to a border collie), and its not uncommon for a McNab to live to be 25-30 years old. I had made the joke that when I brought him home from the pound when I was about 25, I didn't anticipate it to be a life-changing event that would accompany me into my social security days. She laughed, and shared that she had an older dog as well, we started talking about it a lot. Later, I had mentioned that my dad moved back into town, and my dad is quite the ass-hat, to say the least, he embarrasses the hell out of me. This time he's on marriage #8 with some chick he met on the Internet and moved into her 'development' with her (he sold his horse ranch in Arizona to move into her double-wide in a trailer park). She chuckled, but has kind of shared her story.

    She was 14 when she had to start figuring out how to make ends meet. Her mom was a drunk and a drug addict. Tiff took every baby-sitting job she could get, even posting in Craigslist, picked up recycling from every unit in her apartment building to get the CRV refunds, and literally took on the role of paying the rent and buying something to eat with that for 2 years. Her mom was rarely there. When she was, she wanted to borrow money (from her 14 year old daughter that was paying the rent and buying groceries). By the time she was 16, she could legally work and was working 60-hours a week at least. She ultimately had to drop out of high school and get a GED online just to make more time for working. She then went to cosmetology school, not because she loved it, but because she could earn a decent living without much for education. She then figured out pretty quick that as a personable person, and cute, she made a lot more money on tips from guys than from women or kids so gave up the Great Clips thing really quick for a specialized men-only salon. Hey, I get it, she gives me a 15 minute scalp-massage after washing my hair with her cute self above my face, of course I'm going to give her a $10 tip. She's booked-solid for 30-45 days out, all the time. She has never had to turn tricks or anything else that a young girl in her position might have had to do, but it was hard, I'm sure.

    Her mom showed up a couple of years ago again, and she told me a couple of days later when I had my regular appointment, that she actually had to ask her to leave. She kicked her own mother out. She came home, her apartment was a mess, she had been selling Tiff's groceries from the refrigerator door-to-door to people asking if they wanted a good deal on some steaks or whatever, and the living room was filled with heroin smoke.

    I think I might be the closest thing to a father-figure she may have ever had, as I don't get the impression that she has ever told anyone else this stuff, she's very closed-off in a raised-hard kind of way. I think our common love of our dogs, and our common shitty-parents is kind of what opened her up a little. She told me that she wants to find a nice guy, she wants to have a kid of her own, every few months she goes on a vacation somewhere exotic, most recently with a new guy she has (young attorney I think) and they went zip-lining in Costa Rica and before that was a jungle tour of Colombia or something like that. If she has someone, it's a date, otherwise she takes herself.

    Sadly, I told her she made the right choice. The parent/child role is reversed in her case, her mother had never did anything to help her in life, and at this point is just a boat anchor. I had to make the same choices with my father, I put up with his antics for a lunch a couple of times a month, but I just can't get involved in his foolishness, as I know what damage it did to myself and my brother growing up.

    She said she goes to church and is taught to forgive, and I told her that forgiveness and enablement are two different things. Her mom failed her, it doesn't entitle her to ruin her future adult life, or her children's lives. I told her that forgiveness is being at peace with her mom's offenses against her. But it doesn't require her to provide her with free room & board. She may be able to change her mind when her mom grows up, or she may have to hold firm I told her.
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    • Posted by johnpe1 4 years, 6 months ago
      I envy your optimism -- "when her mom grows up."

      I was lucky, Scott ... my folks were good to me
      and my sister. . they took care of us, and when the
      time came we took care of them. . it's sad when
      kids take advantage of parents. . like root says,
      please take care of Tiff. . I wish that she could
      give me my haircuts. -- j

      p.s. my dad was a stoic and always took his job
      as defender and provider very seriously. . when
      mom had cancer and ended up in a nursing home,
      he explained that the wealth he'd accumulated
      would take care of her for x years, one day. . it
      was the only time I saw him cry when I told him
      that I would take care of her until my or her death.
      .
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      • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 6 months ago
        Thanks, I've had to adapt my schedule a little bit staying loyal to her as a customer, I travel a lot for work and I am always a little nervous something might come up and I am in need of a haircut and can't get an appointment. Instead, I kind of think of something I learned in USAF basic training... "When does an Airman need a haircut? A: A good Airman NEVER needs a haircut." Ok, so I took my own advice I learned 25 years ago, I just have a standing / recurring appointment every 6 weeks or so. So I've basically had a 1-hr appointment with the young lady every six weeks for at least 5 years.

        I actually kind of think I'd feel terrible if I had to spend my money on some other provider, if only a single instance. She's a heck of a young lady, quite the role model that the rest of the millennials could stand to mimic.

        I often think that the causes of the 180 degree turns we see between generations, tends to be a reflection of this type of thing on a macro scale. For example, the WWII generation basically built America when they came back, they built the Interstate system, water & sewer networks, the electrical grid, 10s of thousands of schools, sky scrapers, etc. The Baby Boomers came along and all that stuff was there and they probably assumed that stuff just auto-magically happens, so as a political force, they turned towards (being honest) taking care of themselves. They ramped up social security benefits, disability, unemployment, etc. They also spent much of their youth and young adulthood 'discovering themselves' and 'commonly' it turned not being as good of parents as they had. Gen X consequently grew up with a fiercely independent tone - we were latchkey kids in droves, we figured out how to take care of ourselves at an early age and as a social group, we are animately against welfare / social security / social services / etc.. mostly because we won't get any of it (like we didn't get any help as kids) and we feel like we're just going to get stuck with a big bill for it. Because of the bad examples of the Woodstock crowd we were raised by, to be honest - divorce, kids out of wedlock, etc., while it certainly happens, I think it is a much smaller number for us than our parents. I know a lot of boomers that have had 4, 5, or 6 marriages - my dad is on #8. I don't think I know anyone my age that has had more than 1 divorce, and even that seems rare. We became 'providers' not takers... probably to a fault because we tended to 'over-provide' for our kids, and we made the 'everyone gets a trophy' generation, we came up with the stupid concepts of 'play dates', etc. Can you imagine our parents doing stuff like that when we were kids? Hardly.

        Unfortunately, we don't 'reap what we sow', we tend to raise the opposite of what we are.
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    • Posted by $ root1657 4 years, 6 months ago
      The place I go doesn't have beer, but is otherwise very similar. Is yours in San Diego? For a beer, I might jump ship...

      Also, you let that young lady know, people who've never even met her are proud of her.
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      • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 6 months ago
        Nope, it's in Roseville, but she reminds me a lot of myself, without the drug abuse issues she has had to contend with. My dad left when I was 10 and my brother was 3, and I pretty much raised my brother while my mom worked 3 jobs. Dad was barely around, I maybe saw him 3 or 4 times a year and he lived 5 miles away. During one of his recent bipolar moments, he moved back to our hometown in northern Minnesota, bought a fixer-upper house with a 100 foot driveway for his 2-wheel drive pickup to contend with in an area that gets 5 feet of snow, and for 10 months bitched and moaned about the cold, how hard it was to mow the grass or shovel the snow at his age, but he has a 9-year old grandson (my brother's son) literally 5 miles away that would have loved to help grandpa mow the yard for $5 or an ice cream or something. Instead, he only saw my brother and his family twice the entire year he spent there before fire-selling the house and taking off again.

        Unfortunately, maturity (or lack thereof) doesn't stop the biological process from working, but there isn't any reason why we (as adult children) really need to subsidize their poor decisions either.

        And thanks, I would probably never tell her that I shared her story, its something that came out slowly over the last 5 years in bits and pieces. To be honest, she could butcher the hell out of my haircut and I would stay a loyal customer to her. But I do let her know she's not alone, that many have been in similar circumstances and turn out ok.
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 4 years, 6 months ago
    One of my best childhood buddies seemed to acquire agoraphobia after his mother died when we were teenagers. She was a single mother and he just lived with her. Apparently, she set him up with a massive annuity (perhaps seeing a problem) and he's managed to live in the same condo for 35 more years so far. The place is a pig sty too.

    The coming wave will be all of these children with autism after their parents die. I have set up a living trust for my son and will do everything I can to leave him with enough (which is a hell of a lot). But, a vast majority of these kids-turned-adult (hundreds of thousands of them) will be absorbed into a system that doesn't want them, can't afford them and can't take care of them. This epidemic will hammer America...
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    • Posted by $ root1657 4 years, 6 months ago
      The autistic can do well... they will have trouble dealing with the loss, but otherwise love routine. That particular 'weakness' of thier condition can be turned into a super power. If you can find a job they can do, and get them in the habit of going to work, paying every bill that comes as soon as it comes, eating the right food, and taking regular baths, those patterns will be nearly impossible to break later. The trick might be finding a job that is long term stable, and a boss who understands that they may never take a day off, because if you are supposed to go to work on Tuesday, then you go to work on Tuesday, even if the boss declared a company holiday.
      Knew a guy with fairly pronounced autism that worked as an electronics assembler. Wore velcro shoes, and mom packed him a healthy lunch so he wouldnt get the crap from the machines, but his work was swift and beautiful. Meticulous repitition and an ingrained need to do the job right! when they had to cut back, he was a key driver in making it a performance based cut rather than a seniority based cut. That guy wasnt going anywhere, and it wasnt cause he was 'special', it was cause the guy was churning out high quality work, never caused trouble, and never skipped work on the first day of hunting season. If the doors were unlocked, he was at work. Far as I know, he's still there... I just hope someone steps in to pack his lunch when his mama can't.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 6 months ago
    You know, I know it must happen but in my experience and with people I have observed...people in this situation that did work for a living and experienced adversity seem to make it through by taking many pt jobs, crappy jobs or move somewhere else to get a job.
    But I am sure that those that were not accustomed to working or could not work ended up on the street...and perhaps, those on both sides of this equation had friends to rely upon.
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 6 months ago
    Three situations where the adult child was kicked out by creditors for not having enough money to pay the inheritance or property taxes. Not old enough for social security Theevictor was the government.

    A couple of times where the house came with a life insurance policy. One a term policy had lapsed and two for three I guess were never upgraded and $10,000 wasn't enough for modern times

    One at least where the house was willed to a charity. They evicted the adult child.

    The
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 4 years, 6 months ago
    My brother moved back in with my mom after college. He lived in probably the most upscale neighborhood in the SF bay area, when fishing on the weekdays, laid around with his girlfriend...One day I said, "Who's the dummy here? You or me!?" He laughed. We both did. Finally, one day, my mom said, "I'm selling the house. You have to go." I think he was about 30. He's doing fine, now. Not an over achiever, at all.
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 4 years, 6 months ago
    Had just such a situation here in Weddington NC about 10 years ago. I found out about it because I was driving through town and saw smoke. A house was on fire...a 3,000 sq foot house in a very upscale neighborhood. It seems a 45 year old "Left behind" guys mother had died. He had failed at life several years ago and had moved back in with her. She died and left him everything....well the house still had a mortgage and dumbass didn't keep up the payments after momma died...I guess her social security paid the mortgage. The bank moved to repossess, the sheriff was dispatched, Nitwit barricaded himself in the house, cracked off a few rounds form an SKS rifle..[I found it later in the rubble] and sometime after the house caught fire and burned him up with it. I don't know if he shot himself or not....SWAT was certainly not in evidence when I drove by and the house was smoking. It burned flat to the ground, and the neighbors all related to the newspaper that while they were sad anyone was dead....they weren't unhappy that he was no longer in the neighborhood as the guy was an eratic pain in the ass.
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  • Posted by Domminigan 4 years, 6 months ago
    I know several of the situations of the adult children/elder parents enough to comment on and relate. The first two and fifth are sponges, or at least close enough to it while the third and fourth actually took care of their parents. The first two are still current while the last three have fully ran their course and the parents have passed.
    1. Mid 40's child. Complete lack of desire for responsibility on the child's part. Moved away to live with someone else, then moved back years later. Adult child has varying little to no income and supported by the elder parents continuing to work years after they wanted to retire.
    2. Adult children are the Grandson (40ish), Granddaughter (late 20's) and her live in.
    He's too careless and irresponsible (self admitted) with bills to live by himself, so he pays his Grandmother (late 70's) who also works. The Granddaughter and her live in are complete sponges, neither works anywhere for long, and neither contributes.
    3. Adult Grandson was raised by and then lived with his Grandmother until she passed. He supported her and increasingly assisted financially.
    4. Adult Son moved back home after exiting the military, then took care of his mother and disabled brother until her passing, then found an assisted community setting for his brother and continues to the present to both assist in care and support his brother.
    5. Adult Daughter never left her parents house. Retained the entire estate after their passing, having previously alienated her sisters.

    I am not sure why 3 and 4 are so drastically different than the others. But the differences were there from the beginning. Unlike the others; they always held productive jobs and ended up nearly fully financially supporting their parents in the end.
    The fifth one always worked but never contributed.
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    • Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 6 months ago
      You are right. To be complete,I'm should say that I have a few very elderly patients whose child is managing their affairs and who makes sure his parent gets the best of care. Interestingly, though, that child never lives with the parent.
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