Faith in humanity and meaning of life.

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Has anyone here had their ideas of the meaning of life and/or faith in humanity challenged since becoming a caregiver? From siblings who refuse to co-participate in the caring of an aging parent, to personal friends who no longer come around the caregiver, to brothers/sisters/aunts/uncles/etc who have voiced their love of elder for ages but then do not show their face for years upon years while the elder slowly deteriorates and dies?

It is very sad (and disturbing) to be told your whole life that family and friends are what matter at the end of life's journey only to discover that so many of these people abandon you at the end.

It's as if family/friends can only be family/friends when it's easy but then they bail on you when life gets real.

Fair weather family and friends it seems.

Random thoughts. Would appreciate any experience or insight. Do we just tell ourselves that family and friends are important because it makes us feel better but in the end you really can't count on anyone but yourself (and maybe a compassionate caregiver if you are lucky)?


It is a sad thing that there are really so few people that can really be depended on. I think it has a lot to do with the population size and loss of community. Everyone is so mobile. People in the US seem so alone. They drive alone. They walk alone. Being alone is not so unusual these days. Funny that the more people there are, the more alone we become. If we find someone we can depend on, we are truly fortunate. If we have a close family, we are indeed blessed. One thing we can do is try to be that person who can be depended on. It is a huge way of making a difference to at least one person.
When my friend (single no sibs ) developed Lou Gehrig's disease, an entire cadre of 'friends' ran for the hills! That is the negative. On the bright side (the one that restores your faith in humanity) some friends really stepped up to the plate. And newly develpoed relationships blossomed into reliable helpful friends. The 'patient's family was so totally useless it was hard to believe. 6 months before she died, my friend called the cousins and told them her time was getting shorter and she would love to see them. They suggested she come to their place ---- 3 hours from where she lived with out barreir free design! BUT they all showed up for the funeral and when the executor invited them to see if there was anythng they wanted in the apt, they cleared it out. My thoughts? Focus on the positive and forget the rest. It will only drive you crazy.
Thanks jessiebelle and geewiz. Both of your comments give me something to think about. It's just hard to be the witness of such events on behalf of my mother, as well as the personal friendships lost since I became a caregiver.

Becoming a caregiver has had profound effects of how I now view the world around me. It has made me think about the bigger picture and what is truly real and honest in this life.

Does anyone have thoughts on if we as a people have become more self-absorbed and less considerate of elders as generations have passed? Or are we simply in this day and age more aware of reality and apt to vocalize our challenges with the situation around us?
Another thought about this, as we live longer, our care givers are themselves older. With a senior in his/her 90s, the 'kids' are in their late 60s and 70s. The caregiving is hard on them and this is the time they expected to be free. When the person in need of caregiving (back when) was in their 70s, the children were in their 50s and the (then) stay at home Mom took on the care giving role. It is a whole new world out there today! Our children aren't leaving home as early and our parents need help, hence 'the sandwich generation'. Solutions take on many forms. Adult day care. Assisted living (which is a relatively new concept!). In home care givers/companion, etc. I firmly believe the person in need of care should be the main contributor to the costs of caregiving. AND I feel that those providing care in their home should be comfortable paying (out of the person's assets) for respite care, companions, aides etc. Sadly, our parents are familiar with all of the new services and translate everything into an old fashioned nursing home image. It may be worthwhile for all of us to begin to introduce concepts earlier in the game before our parents need any help.
people blow. i do the work. when my aunt edna crappies off i have another victim in mind. her SIL, also named edna rader. i freaking love helping elders . so few people actually listen to their concerns. i love riding kids on a trike. theyre so impressionable that they will literally never forget a trike ride as long as they live but ive found my calling funning around with elders. their intelligent and appreciative.. theyve paid their dues, they deserve any loving gestures they can get. i have time for them. most females my age turn and run from me. dumasses dont realize im running them off cause they dont have the intellect that i insist on.. im not in a frame of mind to compromise..
oh my, im on the david allen coe music again. i aint gonna be fit to be around for a week..
im the only mf in the whole dam world who could make linda lovelace gag. lolol...
Not only do some family members abandon others at the end of life, some like my MIL are downright mean and might as well not even be there when a new life begins. My MIL was so full of cruel drama surrounding the birth of our first child that we made sure she was not nearby when our second child was born. This should not be, but it is an example of humanity at its worse at a time when most family members are there to be supportive.

I've seen my late mother's brother not want to visit my mother in the nursing home because he would find that depression, but instead sent his wife to visit. I also saw my aunt who visited my mother when she broke her hip not come to visit, but she did show up for the funeral.

Over the years, I've seen the human condition at its best and at its worst. I've come to the conclusion that we come into this world alone, to some degree live alone and we die alone. Best of all, God is with us for everyone else will let us down at some point at some time. I have little faith in people, but much faith in God and what God's grace can do in people's lives. I guess this makes me a pessimistic realest about people, but an optimist about God's saving work in the lives of those who say yes to him.

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