Follow
Share

"Why I want to live long and burden my children" by Cheryl Magness. I only found one discussion of it online, on Disqus, and all very favorable reactions there. I thought it was the most hideous, heinous, deplorable piece of carp I've ever read. Anybody else?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
It is what I told my mother this morning. Personally I am not going to be involved in it. I think the young woman is very nice and would want no part of alienating her. I also know that if I ever needed to go to the store or anything, she would gladly come over and help. I do appreciate her, even if my mother wants to push her away.

Sometimes, too, we need to let other people do things for us. Hope that makes sense.
(5)
Report

The first time one of the "faith based do gooders" get feces, or urine or vomit on them they would run for the hills, that's not what they signed up for.
(0)
Report

JessieBelle,

You or your mother can always contact the church and share that ya'll prefer not to be visited. Why burden the nice young woman who is just trying to be helpful with someone who obviously dreads such visits?
(2)
Report

My mother's church does have a group that ministers to shut-in seniors. From what I've seen, it is often young women with children who go to visit every month. I'm sure many do appreciate it. My mother is not one of them. She dreads the visit from our church lady, who is a very nice person. My mother tries to get out of the visits any way she can. I feel sorry for the young woman who just wants to help out.

Sometimes I hear people say "I'll pray for you." Maybe it would be best if they prayed for God to reveal a way that they could help. :-)
(2)
Report

I think this is an interesting topic of discussion.

I also think that anyone such as the author who purports to make what I suspect are conclusions, for anyone other than herself, could better spend her time offering suggestions to caregivers on how to deal with critical issues instead of addressing the whole issue of whether or not blessings arise from this extremely demanding undertaking.

I'd rather she write on what her church and others can offer to someone not necessarily of their faith, rather than her arbitrary conclusions.

Or perhaps she could create an elder task force that provides companionship to elders not necessarily of her faith, a group of people who reach out to those who are homebound, who might help locate assistance or provide transportation if there's no family around (such as arranging for MOW). That would be far more useful in my biased opinion.

Although I don't know a lot specifically about their mission, I believe from discussions with staffers that the Jewish services provide the latter type of service, as opposed to getting involved in judgmental issues.
(2)
Report

I've not read the article and from seeing the title do not want to.
(2)
Report

Wilile, your philosophy is very realistic! I would agree with it wholeheartedly, adding that you try to anticipate it to the extent possible, just as a precaution.
(0)
Report

It's part of that whole "toss them into life's crucible and they will emerge pure silver" philosophy. It also presupposes that there is a divine plan for our lives and any life lessons we learn were meant to be and are for our benefit. Personally I believe more in a "sh*t happens and you deal with it" kind of philosophy.
(4)
Report

As someone probably considered in the faith based community, I'll have to read this later because y'all have raised my curiosity. Just like in other facets of life, there are various opinions on this from a christian perspective across the board. And certainly a fair share on this forum in the time I've been here.

My hub is an associate pastor at our church. We and our senior pastor's family both have had our share of heavy caregiving in the last several years, them especially. We have very different opinions though. I think in one of my first posts here I mentioned the shock and awe of how much of an undertaking it is to do this. I too thought it would be something I'd want to do actually while they were still well, but learned it isn't. Not that I don't love and care for my parents, but the stress is incredible at times and that's just the truth. Doesn't mean it doesn't have a deeper value spiritually for me because I can say it has taught me some things about myself too.

However, when they suggested we take my parents into my home I said no that's not happening. It's not to say circumstances will not warrant it someday, but that's not something I would run to do. They meant it with love, wasn't snarky or smart, but I told them we both work full time and have other things we have to do. They have their own business and control their time more. We would never have a moments peace if they were here, that's just the reality and hub and I already discussed it. Add this to the fact that hub is working through cancer and don't need that added stress 24/7. I work from home and already get my share of calls during the day, so I would almost have to return to the office to do my work and be a responsible employee.

My employer as well as his has been great about all of this and I also don't want to be a bad witness either by taking advantage of their generosity. I have a whole new respect for caregivers and understand each person has to make the best decision they can for their parents, spouse or whomever is needing the care and balance that with their own lives.
(3)
Report

Since the article was written by someone in the "faith-based community", that puts it in a different perspective. I've met people who believe it's a blessing to do for others, and I understand that. But bringing someone a home cooked meal and doing other chores for someone in a religious group is a far cry from undertaking the legal, physical and emotional responsibility for care of an older person. Nor do I think that anyone should have that decision made or influenced by any individual in any group.

I've seen firsthand how much a particular "faith-based" group has contributed. Although there have been some helpful people, it's not a full-time job for them, and some of them are just nosy meddlers. In one situation someone had the audacity to give me "advice" on when to stop treatment for my father, telling me that he was old enough, had lived long enough, and I shouldn't "be dragging him all around town" to address medical conditions. That was hardly the situation, but it was none of his meddling business anyway. (Maybe it was because he had already decided on an antique that he wanted from my father's possessions.) Unbelievable!

I also don't believe that one person can make that decision or recommendation for others. Each of us has our own capabilities, strengths, weaknesses and limitations, and it's for us to decide how best to blend those factors into caring for our elders, and ourselves. It's not a community or church decision.

Knowing more about the background of the author, I know I would never bother to read anything she wrote. And actually, it sounds very much like one woman's perspective, rationalizing and justifying self sacrifice in return for blessings. That has to be an individual decision.

I do know of someone who believed and implemented this, caring for her husband with Alzheimers for over a decade, the last 3 years of which he was unable to communicate, literally in a coma, and bedridden. Only she can determine if this was a blessing to her. I can't believe it was to her husband.

I'll be a Klingon like Jessie, although I really don't want to adopt their diet. Yuck.
(5)
Report

Ah, I want to be a Klingon elder woman. "It's a good day to die." Of course, in the future I might change to "Give me drugs."
(2)
Report

I don't think there are any easy answers about how to take care of our elders. One of the things that makes it so difficult is the huge profit motive of the elder care facilities and healthcare facilities, in general. IMO, it is like everything works together to make sure that everything that every family has ends up in the hands of a few by the time someone dies now. And of course, there is Medicaid and Medicare that helps to drain the public coffers.

Maybe Emanuel had the right idea for us to make decisions for ourselves as individuals. If I'm old and not in the best health, do I really want to take more pills to live longer? I know that very few people ever want to die today, so when we get to that point we may do whatever it takes to keep going one more day. We can always die later. Just not today.
(0)
Report

Well, the author seems to be a well-respected speaker and writer of the faith-based community. It is very twisted IMO, but that's what we're up against, at least in the extreme. The gist is: It's a blessing to have these burdens because they force you to be unselfish and to sacrifice for love.

What terrifies me is the idea that this type of twisted logic could be used to foist even more eldercare responsibilities off on adult children and provide even less government help, or as an excuse for seniors to take even less responsibility for their own care needs in old age.

Jessie - I agree it's disrespectful to the elder, now that you mention it. I was taken by how disrespectful it is to the writer's children. It's basically saying to her kids that even at the age of 60 or 70, you will still be so lacking in moral sensibilities that you will need to sacrifice your comfort and happiness for my benefit in order to become better people. Sheesh!!!
(1)
Report

It is an article that compares the blessing of the sacrifices made for children to those made for aging adults in the home. It is an article about how the increasing dependency of aging adults is a wonderful burden. Then the author talks about all the resentment and bad feeling like a learning experience to be appreciated. I thought it disrespectful to the elder in a way and a salve to cover the resentful feelings of the author. A bit twisted.

Maybe it's better to think about how scary it is to be old and alone, like being turned out into the world in a fragile state.
(3)
Report

That good huh?
(1)
Report

Oh. Well that's five minutes I'll never get back.
(3)
Report

I would have guessed from the title that it was meant to elicit a ho-ho-jolly-funny sort of reaction; and we do need to guard against sense of humour failures. But I'll go and look it up and come back to you.
(0)
Report

I probably won't read it either.
(0)
Report

Just based on the title, I honestly wouldn't consider it worthwhile reading. Perhaps the title is meant to be humorous in an odd sort of way, but if it's not, I would prefer not to spend more time on depressing and not helpful reading, especially since you write that it's hideous, etc.

Inbetween novels I'm reading one of the Chicken Soup collections this one on the "Unsinkable Soul". It's the second time reading this, and it inspires me, makes me want to think more creatively and find a better way to managing caregiving.

The article sounds like a whining, depressing, self pitying expression of one person who's unknown to me, and not something in which I would find merit reading.

Perhaps the question is why something like this is even published, but then magazines, newspapers, and certain websites haven't demonstrated quality or sensitivity in some of the garbage they post. Maybe they've adopted the political style of scorched earth and attack modes.
(1)
Report

I guess that is a way to look at it. Personally I get more the feeling that he thinking is like a form of denial of the internal pain she is feeling. But who am I to say, because I don't know her?
(0)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.