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.