I'd like to ask you all a question - when our elderly parents can't care for themselves, should they be forced to move into an aged care center, or should their adult children be forced to give up their jobs to care for them?

on one side, our parents were allowed to have their lives. We need to be allowed to have our lives. And its been medically proven - the stress of caring shaves decades off our lives.

on the flip side, our parents were always there for us and made sacrifices.

I personally think that elderly people who can't manage alone should move into care and allow our generation to have our lives just like our parents were allowed to have their lives.

what do you all think

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Yes, our parents gave birth to us and they raised us and loved us and took care of us from the time we were born well into our teens. Many people use this example as their reason to care for their parents in their old age, and that's their choice. No judgement here.

However, our parents, back when they were younger, opted to start a family. They got married and had kids because that's what you do. They were handled a tiny little bundle of joy wrapped in a blanket and this little bundle had no formed personality, no life experiences, and this little bundle was not out of its mind from dementia. The little bundle didn't have leg ulcers from diabetes and when we changed this little bundle's diapers we could roll it over lickety split in order to change the diaper. Until it was time to potty-train. Our elders can't be potty-trained.

Caring for our parents because they cared for us is not an even, accurate comparison in my opinion. If our little bundles got sick we took them to the Dr. If our elderly parent gets sick they refuse to see a Dr. and we worry and fret over what to do. Our little bundles grow like weeds and we take extreme pleasure in seeing them reach important milestones such as the first time they roll over, their first step, their first Christmas. They continue to grow and develop and we take such pride in watching them evolve into an actual person. But with our elderly parents the process is reversed. We see them lose parts of themselves day by day as they decline. It breaks our hearts.

Our parents didn't take care of us out of obligation. They wanted us. They wanted to raise children. They got a lot of joy out of seeing us grow and learn. Caring for elderly parents is the exact opposite of this. More often than not they become a demented husk of a human being who is unable to feed themselves, toilet themselves and maybe verbalize what they need or want. They don't become like babies because babies are beautiful and joyful and positive. Our elderly parents are anything but.

I don't begrudge anyone who wants to care for their elderly parent because that parent raised them. More power to that person. But I've cared for a baby and I've cared for my parents and I'll take caring for a baby over caring for an elderly parent any day.
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I think that we are facing brave new times and the "correct" way to handle this has yet to evolve. Never have we had such a long life expectancy. Never have we had such a large population of elders unable to care for themselves.

This needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. One size does not fit all.

In my view, adult children must continue to be responsible for their own support, now and for their own old age. They must continue to meet their family and social and work obligations. To the extent that they can do that and also participate in their parents' care, they should do so. This assumes a reasonably good relationship has existed -- I don't think that the same applies to dysfunctional, abusive families.

"Participate in their parents' care" can range from seeing to it that paid help is arranged, or a suitable care center is found, all the way to living with the parent and providing hands-on care. This is where the solution has to be customized. In my view, it should not include surrendering jobs or endangering the physical or mental health of the adult child.
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I still think that when our parents can't manage on their own anymore, then and only then, should they be forced into care. I think it is extremely selfish for parents to demand their daughter be their sole carer. Why should the daughter be forced to ruin and shorten her health and life just because her mother is too selfish to accept any help from anyone but her.
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I had a customer come in today who is caregiving for her sick mother. The woman is only about 30 if that. She is the youngest child, works full time. Her father is 55 years old and still working. The daughter takes care of the mother, cooks, grocery shops, and manages the house. Her elder brother will not help out at all. He lords it over her that he is the eldest, yet her father named her as the executor of the their estate. Here she is at this young age, trying to establish a career for her livelihood, set up a possible pension for her own old age, caregiving for her mother, and dealing with a brother who does nothing but complain about what she is doing. This is not the life parents should impose on their children as adults. I understand that things happen, but why is it that one child (usually the female child) has to give up their hope of a marriage if that is wanted, no hope of having what their siblings get. I just don't get it.
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Oh, Bast, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that you've been through this, I'm sorry you were so exploited, I'm sorry that you're suffering poor health as a consequence.

But. There's a but. Your mother was selfish to insist that you care for her, and to refuse help from anyone else. I agree. But how, how, did she force you?

I'm not taking issue with your own particular situation, because you were there and I wasn't and I've no business to comment. I'm thinking about other people reading who feel under the same pressure as you but perhaps haven't yet committed themselves to being full-time caregivers. And the the point I'm making is that there are two sides to this coin. On the one side there's a selfish, manipulative, exploitative person making demands. But on the other there has to be somebody saying "yes" for it to happen.

You can say no. It's not easy, but it can be done. We have to make our own choices, not just comply with someone else's.
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bast1965, tell a therapist who is trained to help you deal with your feelings. Let the therapist help you decide who you should tell what to.
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One of the nurses doing tests on me - she told me to tell my specialist/surgeon about the abuse my parents did to me - that way he will understand and no longer be cross with me for letting things get this bad and then expecting to be fixed up. Also, I had a lot of well-meaning friends telling me not to go to a doctor with my back and leg pains but just to think positively. I wish I never listened to them. I realise now they just wanted me to be available to my elderly mother - to the extent of neglecting my own health.

It is terrible to think that lots of children who are caring for their parents end up dying before their parents. THat is terrible
Helpful Answer (4)

Bast, I'm not sure where you live, but you very much are a survivor and need therapy to heal. Can you find a psychiatrist to guide you, perhaps your back doctor could help you find one? Medication might be a fist step and then some talk therapy. As Jeanne says, you would greatly benefit from some professional guidance right now.
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Your doctor said that your mother had a right to abuse you? He was wrong and should be reported. How were you forced to be her sole caregiver? I guess you were under her control then.

I'm glad that your mother is in a nursing home and I hope you will take care of you which it sounds like you would benefit from talking with a therapist.
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I don't know that terror would cause the neurofibromas or disc herniations, but the latter could be caused by doing too much, I think.

No, under no circumstances would you have to look after your mother, Your health - mental and physical des not allow for that. You have to look after yourself.

I don't know that you can ever put that kind of abuse completely behind you, though I wish you could. What you can do is get therapy to help you make good choices from now on and help you deal with the memories of the past. I would tell your specialist and any other medical person who treats you about the abuse. I am sure it had affected your health in more ways than one.
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