How can I put mom away when God says to "Honor thy Mother and thy Father"? - AgingCare.com

How can I put mom away when God says to "Honor thy Mother and thy Father"?

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I live in a mult-generational home where several of us take care of mom. She is 90 years old but appears 10 years younger than she really is. Professionals tell me all of the time to place her in either assisted living or a nursing home. How can I do this when her final wish has always been to die at home. Isn't that what most people want? I am sure that is the consensus is you ask anyone where they want to live when they turn 80 and up. I can understand if a parent has debilitating Dementia/Alzheimer's disease but that is not the issue with my mother. Yes, she can be very demanding...I think elderly people aren't aware that they are being ornery and just believe it is natural that a daughter or son would want to wait on them. We have grown up in a society that believes the elderly are no longer productive members of our society and therefore useless; but have we ever stopped to think of the wisdom these oldsters have accumulated throughout their lives. I watch my mother with my 4 year old grand child and it is amazing how gentle and patient mom is with this child. Additionally, my grand child treats her as her playmate as my mother plays dolls with her endlessly and tells her nursery rhymes and songs while they play together. Sure, it's a lot of work and daughters/sons/grandchildren, etc. who take care of their parents do not really have lives of their own. But if families really work together without losing their peace of mind, it can be done. Again, I am not talking about a parent who is severely ill has to be lifted onto a hoyer lift to get out of bed or has no control over bowels has severe enough incontinence to be diapered. Or someone who is bed ridden by a debilitating disease and no longer can reason or hold a conversation. These are exceptions where I can definitely understand the need of a nursing home to intervene. But if the parent can still walk, feed himself/herself, carry on a conversation, add richness to the life a child then why shorten this person's life by throwing them away. I know my opinion is in opposition to so many negative responses on this website, but try to remember, God is giving us a gift, to have more time with our loved one and I have to consider it in this context in order to keep doing my job of taking care of her. I know I won't regret it when she is gone.

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First, you're making an invalid assumption, i.e., that "putting [your] mother away" is not equivalent to "honoring" her.

Second, I interpret honoring someone as including respect and support. It seems that your extended family are providing support. There's no indication, however, of any details, but for purposes of response I'm going to assume that that support is with love and care by family members.

Third, it's not unusual for "professionals" (and in fact, who ARE these "professionals" - medical ones?) to recommend facility placement. It's easy for them in their professions to believe that multiple medical personnel in a facility can provide more appropriate care than a family. And that's true in many cases.

Fourth, your mother may reach a state in which she needs more medical support than can be provided by the family. What do you feel would be best for her at that point? That's a decision that needs to be made by whoever may be her primary caregiver, medically and legally, and in your case the other participating family members.

HOWEVER, that decision needs to be guided by the medical needs as identified by medical professionals.

Fifth, if your mother at some point needs more care than can be provided in the extended family environment, your obligation in honoring her would I think be best met by providing the care she needs at that time. To deprive her of that would in fact be dishonoring her.

So your interpretation of the religious commandment really turns on how you view "honor" which in the case of an elderly person can evolve and change as the person slides into older age and perhaps more complicated medical problems.
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What on earth is your purpose here, BodegaBayCA65? It sounds like you are getting to care for your mother the way you want to. Good. Is you post just to criticize those of us who "put away" our parents in care centers? What an ugly term! You "put away" the holiday decorations you won't need again until next year. We placed our mother where she would get the care she needs. We certainly never thought of it as putting her away.

Are you here to brag that you are honoring your mother better than those of us who have parents in care centers? If so, please go get your strokes somewhere else. Giving you a medal is not our purpose here.
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Ah, reading your past plans to move out, and complaints that no family would help, and how nothing you do is good enough for mother while your brother is the golden child, I can think of another reason for your post at this time.

Are you trying to justify you lack of action in resolving your own problems by saying, in effect, "God makes me do"?

You don't need to justify it, at least not to us. You can make any decisions you want to about your life, including not being employed and instead devoting your life to the care of your mother. If that satisfies you, I am glad for you. Probably most of us are glad for you, if you are happy with your own decisions.

But please, try to express your happiness without sounding like a criticism of everyone else.

If you really want some advice or actual discussion, try again, by posing an question we can respond to, without feeling we need to defend ourselves first.
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I agree with GA, to honour does not necessarily mean you must always obey or sacrifice everything for them, rather you should respectfully consider their needs and opinions when making choices that involve them.

Another assumption you seem to be making is that all long term care/assistive living residents are wallowing in misery and despair. Not true! I think assistive living can be the ideal environment for some people, providing entertainment, companionship with peers and medical oversight all in one package. Long term care can be more problematic as those residents are often suffering from advanced dementia or severe physical disability. Often when our loved ones reach that stage the family can no longer provide appropriate care, it doesn't mean they are being abandoned, just that the role of daily caregiver/companion has changed to one of management and support.
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If a medical professional told me (and they did) that mom should no longer live in her isolated suburban house alone, I would ask them why (not good for her cognitive skills, fall danger, needs more socialization).

If I was told by a medical professional (and I was) that mom needed supervision and medical monitoring 24 hours a day and hand over hand assistance with ADLS, I would ask why (dementia, aphasia, chf, limited mobility). And then I would make a plan for that LEVEL of care. If someone tells you that your dependent parent NEEDS something, you honor them by getting it for them. What it looks like depends very much on the elder's financial situation, the family's housing and work situations and temperments. I don't think that in home or in facility care are either of them inherently better or worse. I grew up with a grandparent her living in our already cramped home.
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Wasn't finished. She took no joy, it seemed in seeing us grow up and she drained my mom's attention and energy.

And just for the record, I find the term "put away" enormously offensive.
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I'm not sure not why you used the phrase, Put mom away. That sounds negative and isn't very accurate if you are referring to placement in a long term care facility. As much as they may be criticized, long care facilities have come a long way and offer much more than ever before in care and activities.

I can't imagine any doctor who would recommend placing a senior who has no health issues, no mobility issues and no mental impairment in a long term care facility, when they are already living in a home with family. I don't get that. What would be the reason?

Are you saying you just don't want the senior in your home, but you acquiesce out of of guilt due to a Bible verse? Maybe I'm just not following it.

To me, it's great that the seniors live with family as long as they are content and physically able. If they aren't, then other options must be explored. It's not out of some disrespect or meanness, but necessity. We honor our parents with our attitude and conduct everyday. And when we place them in a safe environment where they can get the care they need, that's also honoring them, IMO.
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Bodega - I read your first post as a thinly veiled diatribe against those of us who would place our parents in assisted living or nursing homes rather than taking care of them at home as you and your family do. Your second post confirmed that. We're not all Christians here, we don't all agree or presume to know what God (if one exists) thinks about parent care, and we don't need your judgmental language or your moral censure.
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Glo, I'm glad that you've been able to re-brand your former unhappy state with your life, with your abusive son and demented mother, into a multi generational household in which your mom takes joy in watching her grandchild grow. That's good news for you. I hope you remain at peace in this situation.
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Carla, well said. I first thought of the post as seeking justification for doing what the OP wanted to do in the first place, while using a religious dictum as that justification.

Now that Glad has pointed out this is really GloNorth, I understand Bodega Bay's position and realize that further "advice" is a waste of time.
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