Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another "fine line"

Is it elderly abuse when the elderly are still made to be fully responsible for his/her sickly spouse, handicapped child, or an old house, car, etc?

Many of those I know, especially the 80 plus group, find the multiple responsibilities much too stressful, and we all know that stress is one of the main factors that badly affects health.

It's very common for people to stay in their homes as long as they feel themselves capable, and once they feel it's too much for them, moving is also too much for them, so they just struggle to stay in the old home. The trick seems to be to move to a smaller, low-upkeep, home or apartment when we're still "young, strong and energetic." It takes enormous strength, both emotional and physical, to move, so most people try to delay it for as long as possible.

If they wait too long, it becomes impossible, especially if there's no family to help them, meaning: to take charge.

For many elderly, their main occupation is taking medications, ordering or buying them and going to the doctor. Getting around gets more difficult, since even if they are legally allowed to drive, it's not that simple. Besides the strength needed for the driving itself, there's also the upkeep on the car which can become as overwhelming as having the roof or heating system repaired on their homes.

There's something I've seen with many elderly couples. The healthier of the two, the one who has taken on the majority of the burdens and responsibilities, desperately wants to move, either to a small apartment or one of those nice "protected" homes for the "independent elderly," but the weaker one strongly opposes.

How much of this is the responsibility of the children, the middle-aged "sandwiches," like myself?


Pragmatician said...

If there's ill will by elderly to take charge when they still can, relying on the fact that it'll be someone else's problem later, then I don't what to say.

Can you abandon someone in need, even if it's their stubbornness that put them in this situation?
Tough question?
I don't know...

Batya said...


kailani said...

It's so sad to see my parents get older. In my eyes, I'll always see them as the people who raised and protected me. I know that I'd the same for them when the time comes.

Here via Carnival of Family Life.

Anonymous said...

This is a very thoughtful, insightful post. Thank you.

muse said...

kailani, very true, though my parents have been old for awhile, so my expectations have changed.

a, thank you

clarksburg said...

Elder Abuse is difficult to spot, however when it is found it should be heavily punished!! Families put faith in people to look after the older relatives and people tackle advantage of the persons frail nature and trust put in them by the family! if someone is found guilty of elder abusethey should punishable in the same fashion a doctor is for medical negligence, however it should be remembered that elderly abuse is intentional and maliciously carried out!