Democrat vs Republican views on nursing homes to care for elderly. What do you believe is “right” for the system?

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I know lots of people on both sides of the fence – Republican and Democrat. In general, Republicans say they don’t like to take from the system while Democrats say they contribute to the system via taxes, so there should be social supports in place.

I was recently out at dinner with two close friends who both have aging parents with varying stages of dementia, one a loyal Democrat, the other a staunch Republican. They are both very vocal about their political opinion. Their views on placement of the elderly in nursing homes caught me off guard.

The Republican had placed her mother in a government funded nursing home well over 10 years ago. This friend is not married. Her children are grown. She had the time to take care of her mother if she had chosen, but decided that was not a role she wanted to take on. She goes and visits her mother from time to time in the NH.

The Democrat friend has been caring for her aging mother for many years, even letting her mother move in to her spare bedroom. This friend quit her full time career, and now works a small part time job so that most of her days are available to care for her mother. I asked what her long term solution was with her mother and she replied that she did not feel it was society’s obligation to pay for her mother’s care. Her mother is young, so she has estimated that if her mother lives another 10 to 15 years, that could be well over 1 million dollars spent on nursing home care funded by the government.

This conversation threw me for a loop. I would have expected the responses to come from the opposite person. It got me wondering…what do other people think is the right thing to do? Does a person's morals sway the decision one way or the other, regardless of of their political affiliation?

And just for the record…I am not a Republican or a Democrat.


I pay my taxes and take no money from the government. My MIL lives with me and I am sole caregiver. I am a Republican.
Up until 4 mths ago I worked part-time and payed my taxes. My husband works full time and pays his taxes and has been financially supporting my Mom for 12 years. Now I am mom's fulltime caregiver no taxes paid.

We are Democrats...
Sahk, have you considered the possibility that the person in the nursing home has assets and is paying her way?
We have enough problems to discuss in this forum without adding politics.
Political views have nothing to do with how people interact with their families. Expecting that you could predict your friend's behavior with regard to their impaired parents based on the party they vote for was pretty silly.

We have a lot of health care issues in this country. The solutions can't be Democratic or Republican. I firmly believe that we could make great strides in improving health care if nobody cared which party got the credit.
Let's keep politics out of this. I am a conservative and my sisters and I take turns caring for mom & dad in their home. We all believe that keeping them at home for as long as possible is the best thing for them, and the right thing to do. If the time comes that they need nursing home care, we will spend all of their assets, if that's what it takes. We do not believe that people should distribute their estates to their kids and then expect the taxpayers to pay for their nursing home care. As for the political question, two of us are very conservative and two are left-wing Dems. I don't think this is a political question. It has more to do with how you are raised and your value system.
I think it's funny that "morals" always come into question with Democrats vs. Republicans - as if Republicans have "better" morals than Dems, which is of course absurd. There are plenty of sins to go around, with both parties committing their fair share. Not once was i ever taught that I shouldn't steal/lie/cheat, etc. when I was growing up because we were was because those things were wrong. How you care for your family has more to do with family dynamics than what political party you belong to, and the "right thing to do" for one family can be impossible for another...there's no "right" or "wrong" about do what is best, and the best that you can.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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