“Punished with elderly parents” off shoot from Obama comment

Great FrontLine episode from PBS on adult children caring for their dependent parents.

“A powerful and intimate journey into the uncharted territory of Americans living longer than ever — and what it means for them, their loved ones and our society.”

I want to compare to quotes…. from ‘punished with babies’

   “the idea that human life, especially one’s child or in this case one’s grandchild can be seen as punishment is extremely disturbing”

   “Would my own parents rather then help me just send me the way to an abortion clinic themselves using their own funds or leave me with the choice of getting an abortion on my own or to the welfare state”

Let’s rephrase it….

   the idea that human life, especially one’s parent or in this case one’s grandparent can be seen as punishment is extremely disturbing

   Would my own children, rather than help me, just abandon me to a nursing home without checking up or leave me to the will of the state not caring about my medical needs?

The point of my original post being ‘punished with babies’ was wondering if my family wouldn’t support me and my child in a time of crisis, the fear of not depending on family or seeing family as a burden (punishment) that it was easier to just get rid of the problem then embracing it the initial difficulty. Just as we fear as children that our parents or other relatives may not be there in a time of need, we can also fear this as we get older and get more dependent.

Taking care of the elderly is hard, whether at home or in a medical facility a younger relative has to be on top of things to care an ensure the well being of the parent/older relative. Let’s face it, at least babies are cuter to change their diapers then one’s 86 year old grandmother. Seeing a parent behaving more like a child, then an adult is difficult to experience. But we do it, because we’re obligated to family. Some families find it much easier to have their elderly relatives living at home in a granny flat. This means that the seniors still keep some of their independence by having their own space, but they’re also extremely close to their family if they ever need anything. Many people tend to build this accommodation themselves because prices can range. To find the Estimated Costs of Building A Granny Flat in San Diego, for example, we could look online or contact the local construction site to ask for some prices.

As the breakdown of the family occurs, children takes sides. In one example of FrontLine one son was caring for both elderly parents, who were divorced from each other.  His own marriage was suffering, since there was no balance of help from other siblings. It’s also one of the major issues of siblings, since much of the caring can easily fall on one child.

People talk about the stresses of children, but really for many families it is the stresses of a parent’s medical care and their well being. Still with a young family, my husband and I are beginning to get into this middle ground of caring for children and sooner rather then later seeing our parents age. One parent is already in need of care, and it’s wasn’t what we ‘planned’.  

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