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s/o do you expect your children to care for you in old age?


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Don't be too quick to jump to the conclusion that this is merely selfishness. Older people do better in their own environment. They die quickly when moved to nursing homes, generally speaking.

 

Well, maybe they have actually considered the operation and realize that the quality of life would be no better afterward. Some do.

 

In my experience, these people are the more typical ones, not the "cater to me" crowd.

 

I'm sorry. God bless you for doing that. You did something to be proud of, and you did your best. If you could not have continued, then everyone would have understood that.

Considering its my family I'm well aware that it is selfishness to not consider how you're affecting someone else. I had one family member who was in excellent health for being 93ish, but couldn't walk around without help. She needed someone with her 24/7 just to watch her. And she refused to move to her daughter's house 20 minutes away because she didn't want to leave her house. I had another family member who refused to take care of her diabetes and when she needed to have her legs amputated she refused for so long she ended up dying from an infection from the gangrene. I'm not going to drop everything and take care of you with no thought as to how it affects me and my family. So yes, in my experience, I see lots of selfishness in old people.

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Nope, I did post that. I DO see needing a break btwn raising kids and taking care of someone again 24/7.

 

However, as I also stated, my disability makes caring for an elder impossible.

 

My preference for a break was simply one of the reasons I listed.

 

So, if you weren't disabled then you would be happy to take in an elder (assuming they weren't toxic, which I have gathered many of your elders are)?

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I don't see that she said she would shame adult children or tell them that their spouse was not of good moral character. Just that she would not support a marriage if the engaged was of poor moral character.

 

Thank you.

 

To take it a step further, in case I wasn't clear with what I initially wrote...I meant to say:

 

I would not support a marriage if the potential spouse and my son couldn't be bothered to have discussions about values BEFORE they got married. So that the values are clarified, and so they can BOTH be sure that they share fundamental values.

 

I would assume any potential spouse would be someone of reasonable moral character or my son wouldn't bother to present her for marriage at all. And I would hope that he would have the sense not to knowingly date someone of poor moral character.

 

I actually see these discussions as a GIFT to both of them, so that they can go into their marriage with eyes WIDE OPEN.

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I don't see that she said she would shame adult children or tell them that their spouse was not of good moral character.

 

While I can't control their choice of spouse, I can let them know that I would be ashamed of them if they chose a spouse with poor values.

 

She would indeed shame her adult children and - from context I am assuming - tell them that the reason that she was ashamed was because their spouse had poor values.

 

Laura

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While I can't control their choice of spouse, I can let them know that I would be ashamed of them if they chose a spouse with poor values.

 

She would indeed shame her adult children and - from context I am assuming - tell them that the reason that she was ashamed was because their spouse had poor values.

 

Laura

 

Shaming to me means calling them names, ridiculing them, humiliating them, harassing them, etc. Quite different than letting them know they would be ashamed if they did XYZ. Is it really not okay to ever say we would be ashamed of our children if they made such a huge, lifelong decision that we thought would be a poor one? A fiancee (presumed in this case to be someone they don't even know well enough to have had deep conversations with) is still not a spouse. Some of you are acting like she means insulting your spouse of 20 years or something. I think many of us may be carrying our own baggage into this discussion.

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I expect my kids to facilitate my care in the event that DH or I cannot care for ourselves/each other. If a nursing home is the best way to do that, fine. If living with them is the best way to do that, I hope to be able to respect their boundaries and privacy.

 

The men mentioned in the OPs example seem quite presumptuous.

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No, I won't expect my children to care for me when I'm older (that is assuming that I will live to old age which is a big assumption). First of all, I doubt that we'll even live near each other (I believe strongly that you should raise children and then set them free to go live their own lives). I never want to become a burden to my children. I chose to have them. They are my gift. I don't believe that they owe me anything. I certainly didn't have them so that I wouldn't be alone in old age.

 

Fortunately, DH and I are planners. We are in good financial shape and will make arrangements for ourselves prior to any developed need. I don't intend to ever live in a nursing home. In that case, I would prefer to have a death of my own time and choosing and would take care of that myself before being put in a nursing facility.

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In that case, I would prefer to have a death of my own time and choosing and would take care of that myself before being put in a nursing facility.

 

Can you explain what this means? What if you were in an accident, had a stroke, or developed dementia and could not make rational decisions for yourself?

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Due to ODS's brain damage, he never developed past 2 months of age so I've had 5 years of taking care of someone. Completely, extensively. He was hooked up to many machines at the end of his life. And I spent many nights bawling because he was about at the size of what I could care for. He was going to have to go in a facility because I was almost unable to care for him. Our life was centered around taking care of DS. It is a complete drain. Because I've done it and know what it's like, I will not do it for an adult. Nor do I expect my children to do it for me.

 

:grouphug:

 

I would caution people not to say to a family member "You will never go into a nursing home." It is a promise that can become impossible to keep because of the circumstances of life.

 

An easily made promise to someone who develops Alzheimer's could be the death of the elderly individual or could lead to the loss of a home. We have one elderly relative who insisted on living alone and almost burned her place down because she forgot the pot of soup on the stove. Eventually she needed 24 hour a day care. Most people cannot provide this in their home. Further, not everyone wants their adult child to toilet them or bathe them. The safety of the elderly or ill person is paramount.

 

I do have friends who have built in-law apartments on their ground floors or added elevators to their home to accommodate aging parents. Not everyone has a home that can be adapted easily for wheel chairs.

 

It is probably a good idea for everyone to think about adaptations to their home while they are still healthy. For example, we should remove one of the tubs and install a walk in shower.

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Shaming to me means calling them names, ridiculing them, humiliating them, harassing them, etc. Quite different than letting them know they would be ashamed if they did XYZ. Is it really not okay to ever say we would be ashamed of our children if they made such a huge, lifelong decision that we thought would be a poor one? A fiancee (presumed in this case to be someone they don't even know well enough to have had deep conversations with) is still not a spouse. Some of you are acting like she means insulting your spouse of 20 years or something. I think many of us may be carrying our own baggage into this discussion.

 

I would indeed have felt ridiculed, humiliated and harassed if my mother had said that my intended husband had poor values because he refused to look after his mother-in-law in old age. As it is, my mother has refused to live with us or even near us.

 

Choosing a spouse is an adult decision - not one that an adult child should be ridiculed out of by a parent. As a parent, I can imagine sitting down with an adult child and asking questions in order that he could see clearly if the fiancee is the right choice for him. But I can't imagine saying that I was ashamed of him for that choice.

 

There's a good scene in a Dorothy Sayers novel, where a stiff-backed police sergeant is criticised by his superior for not taking care of his subordinate, whose wife had become ill and who had stolen some money to pay for a doctor. The sergeant replied that he had warned the young officer not to marry the girl, that she was shiftless and no good. The wiser superior opines that it's no good telling a lad that the girl he loves is no good: instead you help him to understand his situation and to deal with it.

 

Laura

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And just so we are clear, having those discussions with your husband (as I did with mine) before marriage was a BENEFIT to your marriage, right? It made it easier because you knew you shared values, right?

 

There seems to be this idea that insisting that my children discuss values with a potential spouse is some kind of torture. I see it as a blessing. If they find they share values, they will be happier and more secure. If they find they do not, then they can avoid a huge and costly error.

 

Yes, huge benefit. I didn't actually realize this wasn't a common thing until I joined the boards!

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I would assume any potential spouse would be someone of reasonable moral character or my son wouldn't bother to present her for marriage at all. And I would hope that he would have the sense not to knowingly date someone of poor moral character.

 

I actually see these discussions as a GIFT to both of them, so that they can go into their marriage with eyes WIDE OPEN.

 

It does seem to be all about your own idea of what a good moral character is, however. Your children will be adults, with their own ideas. These ideas may or may not coincide with yours. A child may be entirely happy that the intended spouse is a moral person, without that morality coinciding with yours.

 

Laura

Edited by Laura Corin
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I assume she means she'd rather fling herself off a bridge rather than be in a position of being unable to care for herself or think for herself.

 

This is a very interesting discussion today. I'm sick and it's my anniversary. Tomorrow I get the honor (I mean that) of attending a funeral of a neighbor who lost her battle to cancer at 64. She died at home, the funeral home right down the street came to take her body without fanfare. I hugged her dh that day and we plan to look out for him.

 

I'm raising my child to live HIS life, not finish off mine.

 

We moved closer to be near my parents, but they're doing great at mid 70s. Ds adores them and I wanted to enjoy them in the good years. My mom has offered to pay us to live in our basement (jokingly) so she doesn't have to go into a nursing home someday.

 

My dh works at a nursing home. I wouldn't put anyone I truly loved in that particular one, so going out in my time and choosing is starting to have some appeal. :tongue_smilie:

 

In the end, many of us may not even make it to those elder infirm years. We truly don't know.

 

My ds's goals is to live half a world away. I doubt I'd follow him there even if he asked.

 

I don't know, random thoughts as I read this thread. Interesting.

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I am undecided but I lean towards yes. I would take care of my in-laws and my parents, if needed. I do not want to be a burden but I fear what our healthcare system will be like for seniors and how they/we will be treated in a nursing home.

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Some friends and I were talking about this and I was thinking that this issue has been seen differently by different generations.

 

At one point, way back when, people died young and when they didn't, they lived at home with family until they died. But then, society disrupted, etc. etc. and people put their parents, like my great-grandparents, into nursing homes. And it SUCKED. Nursing homes were the only option most of the time and many weren't very good at that time. I feel like my experiences visiting nursing homes have gotten steadily better over time since my childhood so that they're not places that seem just completely sad anymore.

 

But regardless, having seen that, a lot of people in my parents' and grandparents' generation have this attitude that they will never, never go into a home and they'd rather die. But it causes them to sometimes make poor decisions. It's much better to age in place and to choose your community while you still can.

 

I feel like there's another shift going on now where people in my parents' generation are starting to make better decisions and plans - to go into retirement communities that lead into assisted living earlier, to try and move at the right time and not wait so long that they're isolated and forced to. And the options are so much better now, if you have the savings or the assets, at least. Which, obviously, is another whole can of worms, but at least there are now nicer places to grow old and a new paradigm for these things.

 

My mom has talked converting our English basement into an apartment and coming to live with us. She's mostly kidding. We'd have to dig it out to make it accessible when she's older because otherwise she couldn't do the steps. But I wouldn't be averse to that at all. I'd love it. But every family has to make their own decisions, you know?

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My 9yo is already planning her family which includes dh and I living with her and her husband, preferably in FL at the beach or Disneyland :D.

 

As many have said, circumstances can change dramatically - financial and relationships, so while I'm hoping, I won't expect it.

 

My poor in-laws used to own/run an assisted living home which they eventually lost due to poor financial management and other issues. They had always assumed that they would live there when they needed to. We're not sure what will happen when they cannot live alone any longer (which may be very soon). Of all the family, we're the most financially stable, but I don't think they would want to leave NY.

Edited by Susan in TN
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Yes, I do. Not financially, though. DH and I are working toward being financially independent until we die, but definitely emotional care and physical care. I am completely willing and expect to take care of my parents that way, and even my aunt and uncle who are childless. It's just what you do.

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Do you have any expectations that your children will care for you? If so have you discussed it with them?

My daughters have said that they will look after me and their daddy. However, since they are 7 and 4, I have no such expectations (although I think it was a sweet thing to say).

 

Dh and I always planned that we would take care of any of our parents who needed it if we possible could, however his parents are no longer with us and mine would be way to proud to accept any kind of help from us, so it isn't likely to come up.

 

I guess it's one of those things where I have ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, I do believe that adult children have a duty to their parents. But on the other hand I also believe that the elderly people should do all they can to avoid putting their kids in a difficult position, including making the choice to move into residential care when appropriate.

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I would say I expect my children to look out for me. If I needed 24/7 care I would expect them to help me find a place for that. I would not expect them to do that, only to find help for me.

 

If something terrible occurred, and I had no where to live, I would expect to be able to live with one (or all) of them. Again, not if I was needing physical care, I'm only talking about financial straits. (We have a 401k but it is no guarantee).

 

There is nothing certain in life and who knows what the world/our society will look like in 25 years.

 

And I will add, that if any of our parents needed us, we would do whatever we could to help. I know some people have to cut off contact with their parents. There are good reasons to do that. But my dh and I are on good terms with our folk.

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I hope my kids will want to take care of their Dad and me, but I don't expect them to. But people have different definitions of what that means.

 

To my mother-in-law, it means never putting her in a nursing home or other care facility. To my mother, it meant making sure she was in a decent nursing home (or other) and visiting her sometimes.

 

I wouldn't expect either of my kids to take me in to live with their family, but I hope they will want to be sure I am cared for.

 

To expect nieces and nephews, especially ones with no real relationship, to care, is... ludicrous! That said, I think my relationship with my siblings' kids is such (at least today) that they'd look out for me if my own kids couldn't. But I wouldn't expect it in any case.

 

:iagree: Me too.

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These guys who refer to breeders yet expect to be care for by nieces are a hoot, almost as funny as people who stuck their kids in daycare yet expect not to be stuck in nursing homes. Their kids need to just let ol' mom and dad know that they'll be sure to give them some "quality time." Just sayin'!

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Look, I don't depend on others for anything. I know darn well that if I want anything, if I need anything, that no one is going to give it to me or do it for me. So, no. I don't expect anyone to care for me ever. That's my own problem.

 

Life doesn't come with any guarantees. I have no right to expect anyone to give me one.

 

That said, my dad didn't have to ask if I'd take care of him. I told him he could move in anytime if he wanted. I didn't expect anyone else to help, but my brother did step up to the plate a couple of times, so that was a nice bonus.

 

I'll do anything for family, but I don't "expect" it back in return.

Edited by Audrey
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Look, I don't depend on others for anything. I know darn well that if I want anything, if I need anything, that no one is going to give it to me or do it for me. So, no. I don't expect anyone to care for me ever. That's my own problem.

 

Life doesn't come with any guarantees. I have no right to expect anyone to give me one.

 

 

 

:iagree: Well said.

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This is a very interesting discussion today. I'm sick and it's my anniversary. Tomorrow I get the honor (I mean that) of attending a funeral of a neighbor who lost her battle to cancer at 64. She died at home, the funeral home right down the street came to take her body without fanfare. I hugged her dh that day and we plan to look out for him.

 

I'm raising my child to live HIS life, not finish off mine.

 

We moved closer to be near my parents, but they're doing great at mid 70s. Ds adores them and I wanted to enjoy them in the good years. My mom has offered to pay us to live in our basement (jokingly) so she doesn't have to go into a nursing home someday.

 

My dh works at a nursing home. I wouldn't put anyone I truly loved in that particular one, so going out in my time and choosing is starting to have some appeal. :tongue_smilie:

 

In the end, many of us may not even make it to those elder infirm years. We truly don't know.

 

My ds's goals is to live half a world away. I doubt I'd follow him there even if he asked.

 

I don't know, random thoughts as I read this thread. Interesting.

 

 

This is all very true. One can't just choose to retire anywhere! Dh may eventually take a job in Thailand if his company's stock continues to tank. If not there, Bangalore or Chenai. However, in neither of those countries can our parents follow us for retirement. Thailand is especially tight on residency visas. We've already checked. MIL can't get one. It wouldn't do her any good anyway. She'd be close to us but with no medical insurance.

 

But, if the company tanks while we still have kids at home, dh has to follow the job. There is no other choice to make. The eldest boy has a heart condition, stable and not causing a problem at this time, but VERY unwise for him to be without medical insurance. So, dh or I must remain employed in a job with good benefits. Basically, since I've been out of the work force homeschooling kids for a very long time, and since paid pianist positions have become nigh unto impossible to find, that means dh has to keep a job in his field.

 

This kind of thing just can't be predicted. DD's fiance may end up with a job in Japan eventually. I can't tell them "don't go, you need to take care of me" because they have to go where it is best for their family. The job market has become global and that means families have to be mobile. We don't have the funds to retire to Japan even if we could get a residency visa which is doubtful. Many countries do not give residency visas to people to come live there in their old age and take advantage of their socialized medicine.

 

Eldest ds's best hopes for employment will be overseas and middle son's future field is herpteological research, specifically Indonesia and the Pacific Rim...so, he won't be living here either. Youngest son has the best hopes - mathematician and aeronautical engineer wannabe - of being employed stateside in a job that would allow him to be financially well enough off to take in aging relatives.

 

Financially, our 401K and other investments aren't recovering and won't for the foreseeable future. Therefore, dh will work well into the "golden" years with me joining his ranks when these kids are grown. I hope to make enough to pay for private schools for my grandkids if their parents do not live in foreign locales with great schools, and still rebuild our losses, but that might be a pipe dream.

 

That said, I was a good daughter-in-law today and took chicken/veggie soup, elderberry extract, olive oil extract, eucalyptus and menthol rub, and more nyquil to my MIL whose cold is just hanging on and on. She's a sweetie and I'm concerned about this turning into a secondary infection. As long as I can take care of her without putting my family in a bad way, I will do so.

 

Faith

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My dh works at a nursing home. I wouldn't put anyone I truly loved in that particular one, so going out in my time and choosing is starting to have some appeal. :tongue_smilie:

I work in a nursing home, and feel the same way as you.

 

I adore the residents, try to do what I can for them, and feel that most of the staff is excellent. But there's one of me and somewhere between 20 and 30 residents I'm responsible for. Depending on the shift and staffing, there's one CNA for every 7-10 residents.

 

I do think that it can be better than at-home care for everyone involved in some circumstances (eg. high-need patient with a caretaker who has little or no help). However, I certainly hope that neither myself nor any of my loved ones ever end up in that position.

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I guess it depends on what you mean by care for. I cared for my grandparents by running errands, picking up prescriptions, taxi service and doing their laundry. They lived in a nice retirement home, so meals were taken care of as well as cleaning. My grandmother was unable to dress herself, so my mother or I would go change her ever night. Usually my mom did as I had two small children. I was the only grandchild that helped or even visited and I was the only one with children that lived in the state! I had a great relationship with my grandparents, but it would have been nice to have help! After my grandmother died, my grandpa needed more help. I was caring for both my grandpa in the above ways and my mother who's health rapidly declined. My mother was in her home and I didn't have the financial means to get her help, so I did it. It was very stressful caring for both as well as my small children. They passed within months of each other. I was actually moving in (hopefully temporarily) the day my mother died as it was just too hard to care for her an hr away every day with two toddlers. I wouldn't wish my experience on my own children, but I hope I'm raising them so they will step up if the need arises. They've had to step up when I was on bed rest for my last pg. We are a family and we stick together and care for one another.

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Yes, huge benefit. I didn't actually realize this wasn't a common thing until I joined the boards!

 

Interesting conclusion. I don't see where anyone has said they don't discuss values with their children and what to look for in a spouse. From my reading on this board, that is Very Common Indeed.

 

What people are arguing against is that child raising is a simple formula of Say the right things as a parent=kids turning out how you wish. And if values conversations before marriage= happily ever after, few of us would be divorced.

 

Rosie

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I don't expect my child to take care of me. It's too much pressure to put on another human being. I do not want to put her in a position that I will die if she doesn't take care of me. If I am too sick to mostly take care of myself, then I am too sick to be living at home.

 

I hope that my child grows up and lives her own life. I hope that I am part of her life, but parents are supposed to take care of children under 18, not the other way around.

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Interesting conclusion. I don't see where anyone has said they don't discuss values with their children and what to look for in a spouse. From my reading on this board, that is Very Common Indeed.

 

What people are arguing against is that child raising is a simple formula of Say the right things as a parent=kids turning out how you wish. And if values conversations before marriage= happily ever after, few of us would be divorced.

 

Rosie

 

I mean I didn't realize discussing many issues, including values, with your future spouse wasn't common. I'm also refering to other threads as well in regards to that.

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Yes, but again, I don't believe that parents are servants. We don't order our entire lives to the good of our children for two decades and then turn them loose. If I've done my job right (guess we'll find out), then my children will WELCOME our input into their potential spouses. And if either of them cannot be bothered to have values-based discussions before they get married, then it tells us that they don't take marriage seriously, and so we would not support the marriage.

 

I do believe that parents are servants for a specific time period. I believe children should leave and cleave when they are adults. Hopefully, they will pay the servanthood forward to their own children.

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This is not so much "reaping what you have sown", which is more of the nature of natural consequences.

 

Gleefully stating that sticking it to them now as a point of pride is shameful.

 

 

 

Or maybe everybody could and did grow up over the years. Even the parents. You are a parent, and if you are like the rest of us, you have done some things wrong and made some bad decisions. Hopefully, your kids are graceful enough to allow you to repent of this.

 

If they do not allow this, well, you have indoctrinated them that we cut off parents.

Uh, who said it was a point of pride? It's a statement of fact. And, fwiw, I cut off contact just a few mths ago, so please don't tell me that I didn't give them a chance to grow up and change. They've had many, many chances. There is nothing to repent regarding this decision. If I'd allowed my children to continue to be hurt by my parents, allowed them to continue to be a negative, hurtful, toxic present in our lives, then I'd have something to repent.

So, if you weren't disabled then you would be happy to take in an elder (assuming they weren't toxic, which I have gathered many of your elders are)?

Depends. Depends on how old my kids were at the time, depends on what level of care they'd need, depend on what sort of housing situation I was in, what assistance I'd be able to get in terms of being able to not be on call 24/7 to ensure that I didn't burn out.

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It was the "we will inspect the values of your future spouse and you and we will be ashamed of you if you if you marry her after I have decided she isn't up to MY value judgment" comment. Of course people discuss values with the person THEY CHOOSE to marry.

 

Dawn

 

I mean I didn't realize discussing many issues, including values, with your future spouse wasn't common. I'm also refering to other threads as well in regards to that.
Edited by DawnM
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I read a statistic once that the only thing that will give a person less than a 50% chance of ending up in a nursing home is having three or more daughters, or three or more daughters in law. So the odds are that our children will NOT take care of us.

 

I guess I'm in good shape then: I have 8 daughters and 2 sons. I don't expect them to take care of me when I'm old but I hope that at least a few of them will grow up not hating me and will want to take care of me when I'm old. That doesn't necessarily mean being a full time care giver or providing financial support, although it may. It might also just be making the arrangements, finding the right care situation, visiting, etc. Since I have 10 children, I shouldn't have to be too big of a burden on any of them.

 

I haven't exactly talked to them about it but it comes up from time to time, usually when I've done a big favor for one of my adult children and they thank me and I say, "Just remember this when I'm old and destitute."

 

Susan in TX

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It was the "we will inspect the values of your future spouse and you I will be ashamed of you if you if you marry her after I have decided she isn't up to MY value judgment" comment. Of course people discuss values with the person THEY CHOOSE to marry.

 

Dawn

:iagree:

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I guess I'm in good shape then: I have 8 daughters and 2 sons. I don't expect them to take care of me when I'm old but I hope that at least a few of them will grow up not hating me and will want to take care of me when I'm old. That doesn't necessarily mean being a full time care giver or providing financial support, although it may. It might also just be making the arrangements, finding the right care situation, visiting, etc. Since I have 10 children, I shouldn't have to be too big of a burden on any of them.

 

I haven't exactly talked to them about it but it comes up from time to time, usually when I've done a big favor for one of my adult children and they thank me and I say, "Just remember this when I'm old and destitute."

 

Susan in TX

 

 

Same here. 3 daughters. Who knows how many dil I might have.

 

Only I do talk to them about and they do see it in action. I cared for my mother, she lived with us, when she got cancer. If my dad wants to move in for his last days, he can. I didn't give any money. Don't have any. But they certainly see that we are able to give 2 hands and heart.

 

I would feel like I didn't deserve to live if all TEN of my kids didn't want me in my old age. One of my sisters is in that situation. It's awful.

 

That said, I also deeply hope the caring for each other stàys mutual except for my very final days, which I hope are brief. Ideally, I hope to help with the house, the babies and generally be useful and a blessing to my grown kids too.

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I have to say that I think it's pretty unfair for anyone to suggest that ALL adult children should feel obligated to care for their elderly parents.

 

I had great parents, and I took care of my mom 24/7 after my dad passed away. I don't resent it, and I don't regret it.

 

But if I'd had rotten, abusive, mean parents, I seriously doubt I would have been rushing in to save the day.

 

It's so easy to see these sweet-looking little old ladies and gentlemen in nursing homes and talk about how horrible their children are because they never visit them and didn't take them in to their own homes. But we have no clue how those "sweet" old folks treated their children. Sure, some of them were wonderful parents and their kids grew up to be selfish and uncaring... but I'll bet a lot of them were lousy parents and their kids feel no love for them and have no reason to want to help them.

 

I think Imp has been picked on a bit in this thread, but for crying out loud, we've all heard the stories about her parents -- who could possibly criticize her for not wanting to take care of them when they're old and sick?

 

This is the kind of situation where one size truly does not fit all, so I think it's quite dangerous to generalize. It's fine to say what we would do for our own parents, or what we hope our kids will do for us, but I don't believe it's right to judge others for making different choices than we did.

 

As I said, I took care of my mom, but I don't think it's the right choice for everyone else.

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Yes, but again, I don't believe that parents are servants. We don't order our entire lives to the good of our children for two decades and then turn them loose. If I've done my job right (guess we'll find out), then my children will WELCOME our input into their potential spouses. And if either of them cannot be bothered to have values-based discussions before they get married, then it tells us that they don't take marriage seriously, and so we would not support the marriage.

 

Oh, wow.

 

There are so many assumptions here, both about your own children and about other people, that I find it difficult to even wrap my head around the idea that you might be serious.

 

For what it's worth, my 17-year-old has told me she wouldn't even consider dating someone she thought I wouldn't like. I've never thought of myself as my children's "servant." What an ugly description of a family relationship! However, I fully expect that, if we've done our job right, my children will become independent, functional adults with minds and ideas of their own.

 

And I would never, even consider the work I've put into parenting to be some kind of down payment on their everlasting loyalty.

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(And before any big girl panties get in a twist, let me reiterate that I know there are LOTS of completely valid reasons why adult children may not be ABLE to care for their aging parents. But just not wanting to? Nah. Not cool for me.)

 

I haven't spoken to my parents (outside of a courtroom) for almost two decades, and it won't matter to me how old and decrepit they get in terms of whether I "want to" take care of them. Not going to happen. I wish them the best, hope they have long healthy lives . . . as long as they live them where I can't see.

 

It is my dearest hope that my children never have reason to feel anything like this about my husband and myself. I get all misty at mental images of both kids coming home for holidays, bringing spouses and kids, laughing with us and brightening our lives. But they don't owe me anything just because I gave birth to them and parented them. Neither of them signed on to be my parent, and it would make me profoundly uncomfortable and unhappy to see either of them forced into that role.

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I have to say that I think it's pretty unfair for anyone to suggest that ALL adult children should feel obligated to care for their elderly parents.

 

I had great parents, and I took care of my mom 24/7 after my dad passed away. I don't resent it, and I don't regret it.

 

But if I'd had rotten, abusive, mean parents, I seriously doubt I would have been rushing in to save the day.

 

It's so easy to see these sweet-looking little old ladies and gentlemen in nursing homes and talk about how horrible their children are because they never visit them and didn't take them in to their own homes. But we have no clue how those "sweet" old folks treated their children. Sure, some of them were wonderful parents and their kids grew up to be selfish and uncaring... but I'll bet a lot of them were lousy parents and their kids feel no love for them and have no reason to want to help them.

 

I think Imp has been picked on a bit in this thread, but for crying out loud, we've all heard the stories about her parents -- who could possibly criticize her for not wanting to take care of them when they're old and sick?

 

This is the kind of situation where one size truly does not fit all, so I think it's quite dangerous to generalize. It's fine to say what we would do for our own parents, or what we hope our kids will do for us, but I don't believe it's right to judge others for making different choices than we did.

 

As I said, I took care of my mom, but I don't think it's the right choice for everyone else.

Thanks, Cat:grouphug:

Oh, wow.

 

There are so many assumptions here, both about your own children and about other people, that I find it difficult to even wrap my head around the idea that you might be serious.

 

For what it's worth, my 17-year-old has told me she wouldn't even consider dating someone she thought I wouldn't like. I've never thought of myself as my children's "servant." What an ugly description of a family relationship! However, I fully expect that, if we've done our job right, my children will become independent, functional adults with minds and ideas of their own.

 

And I would never, even consider the work I've put into parenting to be some kind of down payment on their everlasting loyalty.

:iagree:

I haven't spoken to my parents (outside of a courtroom) for almost two decades, and it won't matter to me how old and decrepit they get in terms of whether I "want to" take care of them. Not going to happen. I wish them the best, hope they have long healthy lives . . . as long as they live them where I can't see.

 

It is my dearest hope that my children never have reason to feel anything like this about my husband and myself. I get all misty at mental images of both kids coming home for holidays, bringing spouses and kids, laughing with us and brightening our lives. But they don't owe me anything just because I gave birth to them and parented them. Neither of them signed on to be my parent, and it would make me profoundly uncomfortable and unhappy to see either of them forced into that role.

:iagree: I'm sorry you've had that experience w/your parents :grouphug:

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There seems to be this idea that insisting that my children discuss values with a potential spouse is some kind of torture. I see it as a blessing. If they find they share values, they will be happier and more secure. If they find they do not, then they can avoid a huge and costly error.

 

No, the only "ideas" I'm suggesting are that:

 

- If my kid is old enough to get married, he or she is old enough to choose a mate and make these decisions without my micromanaging the process.

 

- I'm not arrogant enough to assume I know what is "right" for everyone, even if the person in question is my own child.

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No, the only "ideas" I'm suggesting are that:

 

- If my kid is old enough to get married, he or she is old enough to choose a mate and make these decisions without my micromanaging the process.

 

- I'm not arrogant enough to assume I know what is "right" for everyone, even if the person in question is my own child.

:iagree:w/that, and add, "that I deserve a say in who they choose as a spouse"

 

They have to live w/whomever they choose, not I.

 

Course, my mother didn't approve of my dh, b/c she was afraid his 'race would take over' and the grandchildren wouldn't look like my side of the family :glare:

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