I have been doing a lot of research on old people’s home, but that is for a later post. Today this post is about the fact that we do not have the skills to look after a patient for prolonged periods of time.
Remember the gen that died in the 1970s and 1980s died in their RIPE OLD AGE of 75-80. Rarely did people live beyond 80 and even ages like 85 were more an outlier. This guy in his 70s had 3-4-8 children so the job of looking after was shared between the kids. Sure the division was never fair, but hey at least the denominator had more than one entry. All the kids who looked after them were in their 50s or sometimes in their 60th birthday times.
Cut paste to now. People are surely living past their 90s. Their children are in their 70s and the denominator is ONE – uncles and aunts are not the first to stand up and help. The kid who could have own problems like health, money and grown up kids settled abroad is just not able to handle the older generation’s needs and sometimes demands. Looking after means – physical, financial, emotional, etc. and that is surely not easy.
However the younger gen – the care giving gen has some fancy ideas of how they will look after their parents at home. They then compare the so called ‘ideal taking care’ to what is being done in old age homes and coming out with all kinds of demands and theories. Nothing will work. It is almost impossible to care for a parent / parents without knowing for how long they will have to do it. The older people also find it difficult to stay in their children’s house with an indefinite time frame.
What is the solution especially for a person (parent) with a lot of physical / mental illnesses?
Sad, but there are no easy solutions. From age say 75 for the older spouse they need to be in a place where they are promised care even if they are terminally ill. Trying to go to such a place AFTER being hit by an illness is very expensive – and almost completely unwelcome. One such home that I have seen from close quarters and liked the way they are looking the senior citizens is www.faithfoundations.org.
Reasonably priced they have a unique combination of having a foster care /orphanage which makes a healthy give and take for the kids and the senior citizens – I met a 100+ year old – his son died and his daughter in law could not take care of him alone – the grandchild was in US and thus not able to help physically.
The generation which is now in its 50s and 60s has to plan physically, financially, emotionally to spend a few years – maybe upwards of a decade with strangers (loss of spouse is almost a certainty). An aunt of mine has lost both her children and is now emotionally wrecked and physically alive. Luckily she is fit and has enough money to be able to buy decent old age care help.
We need to make newer friends, seek more social groups, get comfortable in a multi lingual, multi caste, multi…..kinda old age home. We need to go to such a home when we are fit and able to take a decision. Our children will physically not be able to help us even as much as we are able to help our parents. So learning to deal with online transactions – while protecting against fraud, developing hobbies, etc. will be a necessity, not an option. FB is a good place to create interest groups – go make a start today.
The earlier that we admit that we do not have the skill sets to look after dependent seniors in the family, the lesser will be the stress for us and for the people whom we are promising ‘care’.
Trying to create a house with support for changing diapers, feeding, brushing teeth, giving a bath, changing clothes, cooking, doctoral visits – is just impossible for the 53 year old executive, the 64 year old widowed daughter in law, the 70 year old diabetic with arthiritis, …..so guys live your life, invest well and use the money for a decent old age with strangers. Sorry make them your friends.
Making friends is optional. Being friendless is painful.
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