How has caregiving changed your views of life and aging?
Well... I was considering having children until I started caring for my father because I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I was a "late baby" (my brother who committed suicide was even younger... 10 years), so my father was 47 when I was born. I'm absolutely TERRIFIED to reproduce at the age of 38 now for the fear that I will get sick and have kids that resent caring for me.
Then I think I wouldn't be a good mother because I get so frustrated with my father when he doesn't sleep (babies keep you up at night as well), or I snap at him for ...whatever.
Finally, I think about putting a contingency plan together for aging. The short time I had Dad at the Independent Living (IL) facility, I would listen to the elderly parents that put THEMSELVES in the facility so their children could enjoy their freedom--so they wouldn't be a burden to their children. I admit I was a bit jealous. Why can't my Dad do that?
Then I have "angry compassion_ so to speak. Isn't it interesting that if an animal gets to the point where they can't function, they're put down, yet humans can literally suffer for YEARS (patient and caregiver) existing as a fraction of the person they once were.
I get it... it must be horrible to exist without being unable to hear well, see well, move around, remember anything, and be in pain most of the time, but should the caregivers suffer?
NOTE: I'm not advocating euthanizing humans... just making an observation.
...and to top it off, I want to SCREAM the truth at by standers that "commend" me for taking care of Dad. There's nothing commendable about it. I detest it most of the time and feel guilty for feeling that way every day.
....random venting I guess