Why is it that in America, the majority fall short of taking care of our ailing and aging parents?
It seems like most people are too busy with their lives to be responsible for our aging parents. Too often we look to nursing homes or elderly community living to see to those golden years of the people who committed to taking care of us in our younger years. In other cultures, they are more apt to take on this task, but here in America, we are convinced that professional care is better. Why is this, when we know they are being detached from the family and become lonely and isolated and sometimes abused?
In practical terms, American life revolves around two points: Individualism and Money. Family culture or tradition comes on the way to "individual" progress (means professional achievement, money and status). So, bother about oldies, sick, or poor. The formality of "caring" can be easily performed by SMS or email note or a "get well" paper or phone message. Caring involves commitment, time, and inclination to do so. The same goes for relations. Therefore, relations and caring become subordinate to other important things that bring money, status, and sense of achievement.
On the issue of relations, also think of the impact of "One Child Policy" of China. The single kid of the first "lone child" will have no uncle or aunt. Imagine a future society of pampered "individual kids" in China with shortage of females in millions. (http://goodpal.hubpages.com/hub/The-Dar … y-of-China)
In the long run, this lifestyle is unsustainable. What is worst is that this culture is spreading across the world following the "world leader". Ultimately, the planet will be a crowd of lonely individuals, assuming it survives for another half century.
I believe you said it yourself we are out living our own lives and chasing every dollar that we can get. Also many by this time have grown children who may not be able to care of their own children so we are left with them. Thus this would cause a "sandwich " family. Three generations under one roof would be difficult with only so much income coming in.
I am an Indian staying in India so I don't consider myself to be worthy of answering this question but still I would like to write a little upon this subject.
I feel that the members of the family must live together as long as possible until an emergency occurs. This arrangement may keep the young members dependent upon the elders for a little longer. The young members will gradually become independent and with it the relationship between the seniors and the young ones becomes very strong due to the togetherness but it won't be possible to develop a strong attachment while staying away from the family from an early age. This strong attachment does not permit the young ones to ignore and neglect their aging parents and seniors of the family. This kind of attachment is a must to make a healthy family.
So sad I know. What is with the people these days? No morals... I am only 20 but i feel I belong in another generation.. an older one where morals and empathy were more abundant in people. It seems like now it is non existent. Dark future we have ahead of us no doubt..
I think there is so much wisdom, love, and desire still emanating from our elders! They still have feelings, dreams, and fantasies just like the young people have! Most people act like they don't and it is so sad.. as if they are inhuman..if I had grandparents I would never treat them this way. I respect and all of our elders. Who else can we learn from? I don't see why people just send them away..
There are two parts to the answer to this one:
First, postmodern western culture has grown increasingly secularist and atomist, diminishing values that do not serve the immediate concrete interests of the individual. That has lead to a number of phenomena, including declining religious commitment, rising rates of divorce, refusal to support children, and refusal to support aging family members.
Second, as the state attempts to institutionalize substitute measures to control the disruptive social impact of those phenomena, the cost of taking care of old people has skyrocketed. The income and other economic assets young working people once devoted to the elderly is being taxed away to support social programs, and many of them literally can no longer afford to provide for their parents.
These broad cultural trends are not carrying us to any good ends, but how do you counter them? They are so much larger than the capabilities of any of us that becomes an open question. My own view is that you have to focus on your own family, or on whomever you consider your closest, intimate circle, and do your best to save it from the destruction toward which society at large is taking us. That means making commitments to values and people that come first, and that in turn puts you into conflict with the state of the society around you. It is not an easy road to take, but I see no other.
We use to care for our parents, but somehow we permitted making money, and lack of time to take control of our life.
I think we started to forget that one day we will be old.
put them in nurseing homes and forget them, don't visit them and yet, we say we love them. Love is what love does.
Most Americans have too many financial responsibilities to take on these tasks. At the end of my father's life he went from hospital to hospital and then finally the nursing home for two full months before he died. I took almost two months off of work to spend as much time as I could with him and I was barely functioning due to shock of the fact that my once strong father was suffering. I was not even a caretaker. I knew that just being there was good for my dad and I and that's why I made the effort. I would do it again.
Although I am now pursing a medical career, I was not in a position to help him. Even after I get my Master's I would still not be able to resolve his issues and those of people in similar situations. That said, most people don't have the training, cannot give up their jobs, cannot pay for babysitters, etc.
I ended up giving up a LOT of pay and suffering for a while financially to spend time with my father that I could never get back. That time was very valuable to me, however in the process I did suffer some ill and unintended effects that many Americans cannot.
This is a difficult choice that most are unable to make in favor of attempting to become caretaker on any level. Also, when the people who are aging refuse to be responsible for creating their medical directives, wills, trusts, etc. this can make a painful stage of life even more so for the relatives and loved ones.
I see and understand your thoughts, however, as a parent, I have given up pay and time to care for my children when they are sick. It is simply a responsibility and a way of life. My children healed faster knowing momma or their father was there!
Yes, as I said I would do it all again because I love my father dearly. I forgot to mention the possibility that some might not take care of parents that abused or abandoned them. Sounds like your kids are in great hands as was I with my dad.
This is a tough question. Some people are forgetful of how they were fed, changed, nursed, and cared for. As children, for those who were lucky enough to have parents that genuinely cared, remember that, and give your parents the same care when their bodies regress. Think to yourself; Do I want to be in a mediocre nursing home left to be forgotten and abused? I feel when people reach adulthood the illusion is created that we can take care of ourselves forever. Our minds as well as our bodies get older. For some, it's the body that goes before the mind. It has to be frustrating to know in your mind that you used to be independant, and now your body won't follow. I have 5 people in my life now that have helped me through thick and thin. I have helped them. Will they be there for me when I can't wipe, eat, bath, walk, read, talk, or even move if that be the case? I will be there for them. In our independence we take a lot for granted. For some seeing a loved one helpless hurts deeply and they can't take seeing the life change. Nursing homes are not always the safest unless you have $$$$ to ensure the care of your parents. My dad passed from cancer at home. My mom took care of him with help from me, hospice and my brother and sister. We all work but found time to see him care for him and love him until the day came when I watched him take his last breath. He saw me take my first. Don't ever forget where you came from.
My mother lived with my sister until she died. I went and lived with my grandmother until she had to be admitted to the hospital just before she died. We don't fall short, you just don't hear about it.
In short, Americans perfer to worship "youth" , "fresh" ," new", over age and wisdom.
Not a policy, that I personally agree with. But it is the bottom line..........
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