Women and daughter caregivers - changing roles from a changing time?

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I've been thinking a lot about the posts here and the frequent expectation that women, single or married, might compromise their careers to provide caregiving for elderly parents.

1. I've also been thinking how much women's roles have changed since WWII, and again in the late 70's and more so now that women have so many more opportunities. I wonder if during the Great Depression anyone would have anticipated that we might have a woman president or that women would be generals in the armed services.

We're caring for people who were raised during the Great Depression, WWII, and eras before women had the career potentials they have now. In some cases, women didn't anticipate marrying, moving away, moving abroad, or leaving their childhood areas.

I've been wondering how much these social changes have

(a) contributed, or enabled, the emotional conflict we women feel when our elders expect us to compromise our careers for caregiving;

(b) these changes could be viewed as enabling women to leverage their potential now to use new resources available to continue careers as well as caregive; and

(c) how men feel about these changes (broad question, yes).

2. On a related subject, I recall reading an interesting novel on Asian traditions which also addressed women being selected by their spouses with the intention that the wives would eventually have to care for the husband's elderly parents. How different that must be to the view we Western women have! And I'm wondering also how this will change now that Asian countries are becoming economic powerhouses and women are flocking to workplaces.

Thoughts, anyone? And for the record, I am totally in support of everyone having more career opportunities - but I don't think the social support network has caught up.

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It's me! A snafu of the digital type took me out for awhile. The goods folks at the site fixed it. Talk at y'all later.
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Windyridge seems to have deleted his account. All his posts are gone.
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Unfortunately, I KNOW I'm having senior moments, especially after I garden and come plodding back into the house and grab my wonderfully scented herbal muscle salve. I do remember his posts; maybe the wind blew him away?
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Yikes, I must be having a major senior moment here.... I am almost positive that Windy had some postings here on this subject, pretty good ones, too.... now this is scaring me, did I imagine those? Guess I will go sit next to Rod Sterling.
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I also find it interesting that when no daughters are in the family, the daughter-in-law becomes or expected to become the default designated caregiver in many cases. My husband and his brother have both had blind spots when oh do we have a plan comes up with narcissistic parents. Example the Parkinson's patient-mom- will not be able to manage a prostate cancer surgery patient-dad in a 2 story dwelling by herself when rehab is involved. Dysfunctional dynamics drive it too. We both work. His job pays more now but it was different prior to the autistic son I stayed home with years ago. Now son is almost out of high school. The parents moved to our state, but neither son has comprehensive list of doctors, meds, bank info, etc. I am still not Julie the cruise director (freq flyer nod!!) and not their care manager. Husband will get help from me research etc but not hands-on. He has no clue what elder caregiving requires. His family never did it for anyone at home. Other family members did, daughters, but not husband's mom or dad. My family did when I was growing up and after I moved out. Hark! Not my circus, not my monkeys (more other posters great quotes).
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Hey GA, Ya know what they say, "Your not getting old, the music just sucks "

And yes 60 is more like old codger training, but believe me I can no longer perform the amazing feats of strength and daring do that I could 10 years ago.

Wife says my old codger training is going well.....She says I'm a natural .....
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Windy, you must have posted while I was writing. No apologies necessary; I enjoy seeing how conversations wind and twist and bring in new thoughts and concepts.
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Just stepping in here for a moment to respond to these last few comments.

I do think that as we age vanity and to a lesser extent appearance become less important, just as I wrote either here or elsewhere that putting up with people with whom we don't want to affiliate is also less important. I'm generally referring to people at work who aren't particularly pleasant or cooperative, as well as strangers here and there, especially the ones with religious cards in their hands who think it's their right to try to convert anyone who walks by them.

I don't at all understand the obsession by some with plastic surgery, which in some cases is harmful to their health. I suspect there are some self image issues involved as well as possible other self esteem issues as well.

As to personal vanity, now that I'm more aware of the chemicals in cosmetics, such as lead in some lipsticks, I've stopped using them for safety and health reasons. It isn't worth ingesting lead to have red lips.

It's a bit unsettling to see physical aging changes, so workouts become more important. I'm still working on that part. That's going to be a lifelong project!

One thing I find really offensive is the approach that gyms have toward older people who want to join. Gyms, especially ones like Powerhouse, are NOT geared toward older people, not that I would want to join that one anyway. I've found only a few that do recognize that older people need to work out, but their indemnification policies are so onerous that I would never consider joining.

And the background "music" - it's not soothing, it's not restful, it's not even pleasant. To me it's just loud racket, not music.

I think a great gym would be run by a hospital (such as the ones affiliated with Providence Hospital and the DMC locally) with background music from the 30's or 40's for days or times when older folks would be working out.

One locally is affiliated with a different hospital and was so aggressive about self protection that signing an indemnification agreement was required before even getting a tour. I tried a few different times but their policy was cast in concrete.

For those who haven't been through this, the gym ownership/management want to be held harmless for anything that might occur while the client is working out or using their facilities. It's understandable in some sense, but they are responsible for maintenance of their equipment, and if the equipment is defective, they should be held responsible.

There was a Michigan case a few years ago in which a woman was injured while working out on equipment that hadn't been maintained properly. She sued the gym, but because she had signed an indemnification agreement, the court held the gym wasn't liable. So she lives with her injury caused by poor maintenance by the gym.

As to the 600 pound life, I've seen it but found it just so depressing and sad that it was too upsetting. FF is right - there typically are enabling family dynamics, and I'm sure there are a lot of self esteem and emotional issues as well.

What I find uncomfortable about these and the hoarder programs are that these people are being exploited because of physical and/or mental problems. They need help, not to be on some distorted version of an alleged reality show. (So-called reality shows are a whole 'nother story).

I'd like to see some psychological analyses of people who put themselves at risk for any variety of diseases as well as malnutrition just to get their hour or less of fame. I guess 15 minutes doesn't cut it any more - it has to be longer than that.

On the other hand, I'm sure they're not appearing for free, so maybe they are getting something out of it.

Windy, "old codger" at your age? Didn't you post somewhere that you're ONLY 60? You're a young'un in my book.
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My apologies to garden artist for taking her thoughtful topic the in this tawdry direction......
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Windy, I am glued to the "My 600 pound life" series and marvel at how some of the patients lose half of their body weight, while others still struggle just losing a couple of pound. One thing I had noticed it isn't just the patient's weight issue, but just about everyone else in the family... son weighs 750 lbs, and there is his mother weighing 450 lbs, and sister getting just as heavy, etc... and these are young people, too. Because as we get older, losing weigh becomes much more difficult.

I can see where some of the patients eventually want to give up... I have felt that way even though I have been thin all my life, the weight has shifted to areas I don't want, and I can't get rid of it, so why bother... [sigh].
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