"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?
Sometimes, too, we need to let other people do things for us. Hope that makes sense.
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?
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. :-)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.