February 18, 2008 7:05pm CST
I know that this is a bit controversial and that each person sees it in their own way, but another discussion led me to think about this. ANother discussion and a radio talk show I heard last week. Long time ago there were no doubts. Families stayed together and it was not rare to see 2 or 3 generations living in the same house. Not even a small thought was given to senior homes even when they existed. Adults would take care of their elderly parents as they had taken care of them when they were small. THinking about something else was .. well unthinkable:) Sure life was different then. Many women stayed home to take care of their own children and time was not as limited as it is now. Having mother, father or in laws living with the family was readily accepted and actually the norm rather than the opposite. Ok so now women work outside the home. There is less time and people as a group/ society has been changing modifying rules, ideas and unspoken laws. I understand that. I understand for example that it is very difficult for the working family to take care of a parent that needs constant care, medical attention. Not only it is impossible to do, but leaving a job to take care of that parent will cut on the family income needed. But not all elderly parents need that constant care or medical attention. Some just need to be there, for various reasons. Because it's hard to live alone specially when you get older, because it's financially difficult, or just because. What's the point of this discussion? I guess it started with that talk show I mentioned above. People were discussion this same subject. And a big majority seemed to feel that elderly parents had no space in the family home. I've heard many reasons. SOme because - Oh my God! - the parents acted like little children. Because they weren't liked. Because all the did was sleep, eat and watch tv. Most people I heard were talking about these issues as if to seek validation that they didn't have to have those old parents living with them. Those people interfere with their own lives. Because it takes away their privacy. Because they can be irritating. BEcause they keep saying the same things over and over. Wait a second? IF memory doesn't fail ,that is exactly what they did to us as we grew up. Let's see.... they spent nights awake because we were sick or had a nightmare. They cooked for us, gave s a bath and changed our diapers. Some even cut on their own food to make sure that we had the best food and were not hungry. THey answered all our questions and sat down playing tea parties when they would prefer to have an adult conversation, read a book or watch a tv show.They missed on parties and get togethers because they couldn't find a babysitter for that specific day. They forgot what a vacation was because at first we were too small, and then they needed to save for our education. They listened to us saying the same thing over and over again and they smiled while listening, to encourage us to put our thoughts in words. Later they listened to our problems and what bothered us, and felt the same pain we did when we had been wronged. They didn't even flinch when our conversation was so immature that they would certainly have a few words of choice to stop the babbling. DOn't we owe them the same? This is just a question. It doesn't even mean that I agree we do or that we don't. But I'm interested in knowing what faded our memory so much that we don't remember that. People talk about senior homes as if they're the answer to all, and although there are a few that I would actually consider, most of them are not what they're cracked to be. I know. I've visited them, and I eve had hubby's grandmother in 3 of them. THe smiles and courtesy until they get our signature on the line often disappear before the ink is dry. THings are not what they appear to be and the care in many of those places is just a small bit above unacceptable. Yes, of course, the more money there is to go into the place, the better the care is, but for the majority of people those high end ones is not an option. And I believe a proper study of these centers should be done before someone deciding on sending a loved one to live there. OK there are exceptions. SO, sure, not all the parents were model parents. Sure there are people that are justified in feeling that they don't really owe nothing to parents that abused them, or just plain weren't there. And I can understand that. Ok with an elderly parent that needs constant medical supervision, the best thing to do is to have him/her in a place where help is available at immediatly. But other than that.... I'll stick with doing my part of what they did to me. Heck I will even have my in laws with us - even though they have been less than the best people in the world to me. But, that's me. What are your feelings about this? Would you have them with you? Or decide against it? If you decide against it what is your reasoning?
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 08
This is a good topic to bring up. I have grandparents that are still alive and my in-laws are not much younger than them. My one grandmother decided to go to an adult living center where they monitor her, but she has her own apartment and comes and goes as she wishes. If something happens to her, they will move her from the 1 bedroom apartment to a single room (like a hospital room, but much nicer) where they will take care of her. This is what she choose to do. She said she didn't want to become a burden on her children, although my mom was willing to take her in. My other grandmother lives with my uncle. Orginally he moved back in with her and now it's kind of the other way around. That way she is not lonely. She finally decided to give up driving this year (thank goodness - she's 87). He can take her to her appointments, etc. She too has lived with my uncle for so many years, that it was no big deal. But she feels the same way as my other grandmother. My grandfather and grandmother (step) still live by themselves in their own house. He just turned 90. I would take any of them in, if they wanted it. But they are all so very independent. Because they all deserve it. I know it would be hard, especially with my own parents, for them to move in with us. But they have done so much for me and my sister I would have no problem with them moving in. My kids and them would be able to get to know them better and have memories of them when they are gone.
19 Feb 08
I would have my mom with us in a flash even though I know that there would be some things that we would have to work out and compromise. However she too is very independent and prefers to live in her own home. Too bad it's so far away. I am sure that most of our parents would prefer to live in their own homes given a choice. It can't be easy for them to decide to move in with us either. Some make the choice of going to a senior center and like in the case of your grandmother it can be a good choice specially if the person has no special needs and can pay for the privilege. But those are usually quite expensive and not everyone has access to them. As the income lowers the quality of those facilities lowers as well, which is a pity. But regardless of my mom's choice, my home will always be open to her in case she changes her mind. The same with my in laws, although with them there would be much more compromising needed LOL On the other hand hubby's aunt knows a lady that has been living with her son for the last 3 years. SHe has no special needs and she actually - according to the son - helps around the house a bit and helped to take care of their kids. But now the kids don't need a babysitter anymore and they changed their mind about having her there. They're pushing to get her into a senior's home even though she has trouble living with strangers. SO they talked to the other son who is ready to welcome her to their home if - IF - she gives him her savings so they can sell the old house and buy a new one. If those were my choices I would prefer to use my savings for an apartment for myself S*rew the son's , but she never lived alone and always had plenty of family around she's the kind of old lady that is not that independent.
• United States
19 Feb 08
My mother and I dont exactly live well together, we never have. However my mother has stated emphatically that she will never go to a nursing home, and I would not make her. It would be a terribly difficult situation as she is stubborn and used to living alone, but I would sacrifice for her or my husbands father and step mom, just as they have done for us. Children seem to forget that they too were embarassing at one time in their lives, saying things inappropriately, rudeness, going on themselves, bad eating habits as well as sleeping habits. I think if you absolutely can not care for your parents and you need to place them in a home, then you shouldnt be judged. Not everyone is capable of caring for an elderly parent it is very hard to see them in the condition they may be in. I would definately do my best to do so though
19 Feb 08
I don't think I have the right to judge anybody but personally I will do the same as you. It doesn't mean that it is the right solution for everyone and I personally know of cases in which it won't work. But I also feel that nowadays many people make decisions on impulse, without thinking about them in perspective. As I said it's a bit controversial and I do hope that people don't think I am judging them for doing it or not, I"m just interested in knowing how people here in my stand on this issue. Change happens all the time and what people thought was the norm at one time does not necessarily stay the norm later. I might be a bit biased regarding senior homes because I have seen how deceptive things can be. But I still understand that there are cases where it is the only solution specially when medical reasons are the problem. I just hope that people really look into each possibility and do their homework, because what is looks is not always what it is.
• United Kingdom
20 Feb 08
Yes I would have them with me as you say they had to put up with all that while they where looking after us so of course I would I would not palm them of to someone else to look after I would not feel right So you have to change your Life style so what they are the People that have given you Life and taken care of you My Children where upset because I moved away but I noticed that they started living their lifes round me and I did not want that as I am still able to every thing myself but because I am disabled they where worried something would happen if not one of them was there I know if I get really bad which I hope I never will my Children would not let me down no matter what I think that People who have the attitude 'No Way' are very selfish and ungrateful But in the same breath I do have to say that it also depends on the relationship that they have with their Parents I was done wrong yes i was but my Mum apologized 20 years ago to me for it I know I will never get my Childhood back but she is my Mum and has made up for it in the last 20 years But some can never get over it which to is understandable specially if the Parents are still nasty with them so I can not blame those for not wanting to have them with them, but if they had a normal and loving relationship with their Parents I see no reason why not and they also need to remember one Day that will be them and their Children will act the same