Why do so many aging parents expect their children to do ALL the caregiving work?
I posted this in the "whine" thread earlier....but I think it might be deserving of it's own thread, for those who want to complain or contemplate the issue, and also to share tips on how they got their parents to accept outside help. This seems to come up a LOT, all over the forum. This is what I wrote (slightly edited):
Why is it that so many aging parents don't see how exhausted and stressed out their caregiver children are? Why can't they see how much work this is? Or do they just not care?
I mean, just reading around in different threads - it's not just dysfunctional families, it's ALL kinds of families.
Like, why DO parents insist that their kids should and must be able to do the work of several paid workers? EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY?
Why do they get so upset and resistant about allowing paid - or even volunteer - help come in to actually HELP their children?
Why do they insist that their kids be totally available to them, sometimes 24 hours a day, without allowing anyone from outside the family to spell them off?
What was all that "I don't want to be a burden" b.s. for, anyway?
My mom was like this even before her mind started going downhill. So it's not just dementia. It started with me driving 350 km every 2-3 weeks because she refused to hire someone to rake the lawn. (But she'd pay my gas and feed me that weekend....which all cost a lot more than hiring someone!)
I am really grateful for home support. I could NOT do this without them. But it was worse than pulling teeth to get my mom to accept even a minimal amount in the beginning. She still gripes about them coming in, even though they are 10x more patient with her than I am.
If it's payback for raising us, well.....it's not like our parents never got babysitters, or put us in daycare, or sent us to summer camp/granny's house so THEY could hold down a job and/or get a break.