Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dutiful Sons

I recently wrote a post about the book Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes. The book is chockfull of data on various trends in the US that are kind of under the radar, trends that no one really notices but that are very important. One of these trends is dutiful sons who are caregivers to their parents.

Now, most of the time when we hear about caregivers to parents, we are told that women are shouldering the burden of this work. In fact, there is a recent study showing that women are unhappy and one of the reasons is that they are not engaging in pleasurable activities. An example given is that when women are with their parents they are unhappy because they see it like a job (paying bills for parents, etc.) whereas men are just out to have a good time. Yeah, whatever...

The implication is that men just see their families, especially parents as a "good time" (although frankly, maybe this is a better attitude) while women care for their aging parents in droves that should qualify them for sainthood. But quietly and without complaining, men around the US are taking care of their parents and in record numbers, yet no one cares.

Even Mark Penn, the author of Microtrends has to explain that women are tops in this area before turning to the caretaking men. "Clearly, the bulk of the caregiving burden in America falls to women," he laments. However, the next paragraph belies the implication that men do not shoulder much of the responsibiity of their parents' care:

According to a 2004 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, nearly 40 percent of the 44 million people in America who provide unpaid care to infirm adults are men. That's about 17 million sons, sons-in-law, nephews, brothers and husbands caring for loved ones in their "spare" time. Throughout the 1990's, the fastest-growing group of relations providing care to chronically diabled adults was sons.


The book gives various reasons that sons are caring for parents, and it makes several interesting points. Male caregivers more often help other men--35 percent compared to only 28 percent of caregiving women who do. Male caregivers tend not to suspend or cut back on work, and they are much more likely (60 to 41 percent) to be working full-time, and the men often choose their situation, moreso than women. Almost two-thirds say they had a choice in the matter, compared to fewer than 3 in 5 women.

The book points out that maybe men have gotten a bad rap when it comes to taking care of their parents--gee, do ya think? Women often go on about how lazy men are or how they won't help out but if almost 40% of parental caretakers are men and many of them have full-time jobs, that seems like a lot of work to me. Plus, men are taking care of other men, I wonder why? Are women less willing to help fathers as they are mothers? Or do sons prefer to help fathers or do they do it because no one else will?

I can think of several men that I know who have sole caretaking duties for their parents, I am sure most of us can. So the next time you hear that men just look out for themselves and engage only in pleasurable activities that suit themselves, remember to check out the facts, they are often different than they appear.

Labels:

52 Comments:

Blogger Cham said...

Where is it written or who is saying that "Men just look out for themselves and engage only in pleasurable activities that suit themselves"?

9:00 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Cham,

The study that I linked: "Mr. Krueger, analyzing time-use studies over the last four decades, has found an even starker pattern. Since the 1960s, men have gradually cut back on activities they find unpleasant. They now work less and relax more."

The study results, that women did not engage in pleasurable activities and men did--was discussed on the world news last night--women were being interviewed about why the study found women to be unhappy and not taking part in pleasurable activities and the women interviewed all mentioned how they were working their butts off while hubby was sitting on the couch while with their parents.

9:10 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

Filial piety. You know there's no genetic explanation, because in China the parents abort girls to get sons who they believe are more likely to take care of them.

I really think that all we have in the U.S. is feminism run amok. It's just ok for men to be bashed and for women to complain. Would anyone take a father seriously if he said, "I work 60 hours a week, take the kids to sports on the weekends, and I care for my elderly father, and my wife can't even cook dinner."
But if you reverse the situation and the wife says her husband can't even dust or do the laundry, it's basicaly the same thing. We have a complaint gap, not a work or caring gap.

10:08 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Fausta said...

I have seen many men take care of their aging parents. The first one I remember was my family's next-door neighbor when I was four years old, who, after being widowed, had his very elderly mother move in with him.

He didn't think anything of it. It was just something he did.

10:13 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Chris said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:37 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Chris said...

Correction:

The problem is derived from society's hatred of men. Misandry is a byproduct of 159 years worth of feminist propaganda. The print media and the AV media are guilty of repressing many facts that show men are not morally inferior to women. On the otherhand, they'll promote almost anything that portrays women as the "superior sex".

For example, if a study is produced, and its conclusion states women are smarter than men, there's a good chance the study's conclusion will be portrayed by the media as "irrefutable proof" that women are smarter than men. Along the way it will go on to ridicule men and promote "grrl power". The study's methodology will not be questioned -- it'll be assumed that it's 100% flaweless.

However, when a study's conclusion on intelligence says men are smarter than women, the media refers to it in a "joke-like" manner so that it's not taken seriously by the public. A plethora of studies have shown men as a class are more likely than women to possess an IQ of 130 or higher. The media doesn't focus on studies as they don't support the feminist argument that the sexes are the same.

Feminist propaganda and its assumption that women are morally superior to men has manifested itself within the law system. It's part of the reason the Family Law judges who adjudicate cases between fathers and mothers on custodial matters are biased against fathers.

--------------------------

NOTE: A feminazi will probably come along and use feminist rhetoric and "touchy-feely" drivel to divert attention away from my argument. It's what they do when they are confronted with information that doesn't support their agenda. They're unable to repudiate anything that doesn't support their agenda, so they use argument-ad-hominems, straw-man arguments and other logical fallacies such as "appeal-to-emotions" as their way of diverting attention away from their ignorance and innate stupidity. Laurence Sommers' experience with the feminazis is proof of it.

10:44 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

The study results, that women did not engage in pleasurable activities and men did--was discussed on the world news last night--women were being interviewed about why the study found women to be unhappy and not taking part in pleasurable activities and the women interviewed all mentioned how they were working their butts off while hubby was sitting on the couch while with their parents.

Let's take the comment about the couch-sitting with their parents. I will reference a dear male friend who, along with his sister, take turns taking care of their aging mother. When my friend visits his mother he rakes leaves and cleans the gutters. When his sister visits her mother she sits on the sofa and has long talks with her mother. My friend claims his sister does nothing while he works his butt off. I merely told him that the two siblings have different views on parent-care.

Not to change the subject but I would like to touch on women not engaging in pleasurable activities. Women don't engage in pleasurable activities because our culture, our media and our peers has been slowing redefining women's role while nobody noticed. Women disinfect, women care for sick people, women make sure everyone is "safe", women make sure the kids do their homework, women make sure the bills are paid. Women do not play football in the park, women do not drive the cool car, women do not tell crude jokes, women do not laugh.

Ever since I decided to devote my life to all fun all the time it is amazing all the nasty comments I receive from other women that I am being irresponsible, unsafe and way too free-spirited. (I reference last night's phone conversation with my own mother) I've always seen this concern as a problem for other women, not for me. But if my self-esteem wasn't already sky-high I might grow a complex.

12:26 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

Have fun cham. We only live once, and not long enough.

If no one depends on you for food, shelter, clothing, other than yourself, have the hell at it! I sure plan on it, once my own are completely on their own. Provided I live long enough anyway. One of the 100 things to do before I die is streak a major league football game on national TV. I have no idea why, or when I put it there, but it's on my list.

My parents are long gone. I plan on being the same, before ever becoming a burden to my own kids.

12:59 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger jimservo said...

br549, I've noticed it's the case for many men have a tendency to not want to become a burden for their family, or especially their children. There is a discomforting reversal of traditional roles roles. I certainly wouldn't wish to become one if I had kids. Then again part of me accepts such things as a normal inevitable part of life.

2:03 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger rightwingprof said...

I had three brothers. My youngest brother passed away several years ago, but at the relevant time, he was stationed in Germany, so this doesn't apply to him. My mother had had six strokes, and the last one incapacitated her. She had Alzheimer's. She was a stubborn woman (that's putting it mildly), and would not let us move in and take care of her, so we hired a live-in nurse. When she had that last stroke, we moved her to a very nice convalescence center within ten miles of where we all lived (except my brother who was in Germany). The idea, of course, was for all of us to rotate spending time with her and bring her to our homes as frequently as possible.

I went every day. None of my brothers could be bothered. One of my sisters-in-law was there almost as often as I, but my brother never was.

There were no fights. I never brought it up with any of them. I don't feel as if I were put upon. I guess I understand why they didn't want to be around her toward the end when she didn't know me or anyone else, but I will never understand why all of the months before they had no interest.

2:25 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Rightwingprof: Maybe Alzheimers has a negative effect on men. My grandmother was living in New Jersey when she became afflicted with the disease. My mother's brothers decided to take action, they found a wonderful convalescence center for grandma two miles from my mother's house in Maryland. Without my mother's knowledge or permission they transferred Grandma to the center, then one uncle returned to Africa and the other suddenly found a reason to move to Knoxville. For 10 years my mother was left with the burden of taking care of my grandmother until Grandma passed 8 months ago.

Fortunately for me, my mother says that if she ever got to be a burden like that to anyone I will finally be allowed to live my dream and put a pillow over her face first. ;)

2:58 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

Perhaps the male child takes care of the male parent and the female child takes care of the female parent, in the cases in which there is more than one sibling.

I wouldn't be comfortable caring for an older male to whom I am related when it comes to bathing and toileting.

Secondly, perhaps more men say that they "chose" to take care of the parent than women because they don't have the need to think of themselves as a victim or martyr.

In Asia many sons "take care of" their parents by having their wife do the work.

5:54 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

In Asia, like in the U.S., both partners work. Do not discount an Asian husband's contribution just because it's a paycheck any more than one here.

This would be different than a wife "taking care of" her parent by relying on her husband making an income, how?

7:05 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"Women disinfect, women care for sick people, women make sure everyone is "safe", women make sure the kids do their homework, women make sure the bills are paid. Women do not play football in the park, women do not drive the cool car, women do not tell crude jokes, women do not laugh."

That's odd. Not at all what I have observed.

10:39 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Joanne Jacobs said...

If nearly 40 percent of unpaid caretakers are male, then more than 60 percent are female. That's a large gap.

I wrote a column on a program to help people caring for elderly relatives with Alzheimer's. I was told caregivers typically are wives, daughters and daughters-in-law. Husbands tend to be older than their wives and less physically capable of providing care. Sons are more likely than daughters to be working full-time. Still, it's more typical for a woman than a man to shoulder the responsibility of caring for elderly relatives.

10:54 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger sbk said...

My husband works in the senior living industry and his practical, day to day experience would be at odds with this survey, as is mine.

I would be quite curious as to how the data was collected. I have four brothers and as the only girl the bulk of our parents care comes to me. My brothers might put in an hour for every ten to twenty of mine. Yet, if they were asked on a survey if they took care of their elderly parents I have no doubt each of them would answer in the affirmative. Not only would they answer yes, they would believe it too.

10:58 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

"This would be different than a wife "taking care of" her parent by relying on her husband making an income, how?"

If you define "taking care" of the parent as footing the bill then every person out there footing the bill for assisted living or a nursing home for their parent is "taking care of them."

11:01 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger John Hetman said...

I am one of those males. In 1987 my wife left me with our two toddlers--my daughter was three and my son not quite two. I moved us all in with my mom who was alone and 87 at the time. We all lived together till late 1997 when my mom died from congestive heart failure at almost 98 years old. A few months prior to her death, she took a fall and badly lacerated her head. I worked full-time, took care of my kids and my mom. One of my other three brothers helped out financially after her fall with getting an additional part-time person to stay with her during the day when I worked. But at night, I put her to bed, diapered her, and did all the cleaning, cooking, shopping, yard work. And parented.

It was, for me, a labor of love. There were some who advised me to put her in a nursing home, but it was the very least I could do to ensure that she remained in her own house till the Lord called her to her real home.

My daughter is a fine young woman who graduated from college and is working as an Americorp volunteer teaching adult education. My son is 22 now and still with me.

I also knew other single dads and other guys who cared for their parents. It's one of the best kept secrets in this politically correct country. Men don't make a big deal about it.

There were some guardian angels who gave me occasional help, but mostly it was an ojt, do-it-oneself job.

11:31 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

God bless you, John Hetman.

12:11 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger tomcal said...

Helen:

I believe that, at least in California, the crime of streaking requires lifetime registration as a sexual offender. If this law applies in other states as well, I suggest you do it in Europe and send us a video.

12:49 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

It is all based on our society's LOUD demand for ever increasing contempt for all males. It doesn't matter if he is a saint and the stay-at-home caregiver and discriminated against at every turn, he is a male and thus a lazy rich oppressor of women. Worse, in our culture's eyes, that is ALL he ever can be.

------------
Mind you, I hope I am not placed in a situation where I have to take care of my mother, I never have liked the woman. OH! I'd do it. Yes, I would do it and do a good job. I just hope it doesn't happen.

4:11 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Joanne Jacobs,

My point is that many men are shouldering the responsibility--not just a few. They have full time jobs and almost 40% are caring for mom or dad. As far as the gap--60% to 40% it is there and you say it is large. But why is it when percentages show females to be having problems or "burdens," the gap is seen as large but when percentages show men to be having problems the gap is seen as small-e.g. the college gap with 58 women enrolling as freshmen for every 42 men. When faced with this stat, most people say, "Oh, that's not much of a gap." I find this puzzling.

SBK,

There are many more women in these facilites than men and women live longer so the sons taking care of dads may not be involved in senior living care as often.

7:20 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Mary said...

Lots of caregiving has to do with transferring and body elimination.

Bluntly, some men are the type who can handle seeing their mother's sag and some are not. If they are patient, humorous, and work well together, a mother-son team can have a great quality of end-of-life.

With fathers, sometimes it's more "get the job done".

The caregivers themselves, if done right, often benefit from seeing aging up close, and becoming better people or parents or patients themselves for it. Lots of patience and smiles can make a whole lot go down easier -- like with children. Plus, it's really not that scary, or it doesn't have to be. There can be a great deal of dignity, even in physical decline and discomfort.

I am all for multi-generational living, for these reasons.

8:04 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Mary,

I agree, aging is not scary--our culture has frightened people to the point that they are ready to discard anyone over 30--okay, maybe 40--but caring for our parents and grandparents is the right thing to do and if we as a culture learn to interact with those who are older as people first regardless of their age, it will go a long way in making life a lot better for all of us who are lucky to live long enough.

8:10 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

SBK:

You make an interesting point:

I would be quite curious as to how the data was collected. I have four brothers and as the only girl the bulk of our parents care comes to me. My brothers might put in an hour for every ten to twenty of mine. Yet, if they were asked on a survey if they took care of their elderly parents I have no doubt each of them would answer in the affirmative. Not only would they answer yes, they would believe it too.

Perhaps this study didn't go far enough. It might have been advisable to find out how each respondant defined "care". Care means many different things to many different people.

8:23 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger blogbudsman said...

Sometime good deeds are thrust upon us. A wonderfully tangled web of circumstances has my recently widowed 75 year old mother living in my house helping me tend to my loving wife who is in the later stages of Huntington's Disease. We have a hired caregiver who comes on weekday mornings to give mother a break. I work full time and try to get out a little on Saturday afternoons. I find that these circumstances has greatly simplified my life and has given me a necessarily focused purpose in life. As somewhat of an expert on care giving, I've discovered that it is physically easier for men to care for women; and maybe so psychological also. Women who have lost control of their calling due to physical or demented maladies might feel less threatened by a caring male family member in control of the house.

9:15 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Donna said...

As one of the females who is unhappy with "family care plan" in my own family in regards to an aging parent (in this case my Mother-in-law), I can only give my own experience. I am working on a graduate degree, mother, wife and full time care giver to a woman that I don't particularly like. My husband can't do it because he's currently stationed in the Gulf. His brother, with whom she technically lives, works an average of 60+ hours a week. I live down the street from him and her. I go down every morning and make sure that she is awake and comfortable. Her linens are changed. I help her bathe and eat until the "companion" comes during the day to stay. If my MIL gets belligerent, I get the phone call to come and see what is wrong. If she throws her lunch around, I clean it up when I get home from classes. Her, for lack of better terms, companion, talks to her and plays cards with her. I take her to appointments and make sure she takes her medicine, etc. My Brother in law considers his contribution equal to mine because he is footing the financials. He was the one who didn't want her to go into a nursing home. I also help his daughter with her homework (his wife left him) as well as cooking dinner for his family and mine most nights.

Do I think I shoulder most of the responsibility? Yes. Do I think he should cut back his hours or consider a nursing home? Yes. Will I keep doing this? Yes. Family is family and even though we (MIL and myself) don't particularly see eye to eye (even before she was diagnosed with dementia), I will continue to do this until her two sons decide that this is just too much for all of us to handle. I think that we all define care in different ways. I simply do not have the room for her in my house, but BIL does. I have a more flexible schedule so I take care of the day to day scut work. And I don't think that he could handle the day to day stuff.

Do I wish this was different? Hell yeah! Do I wish my husband was here to help? Hell yeah! Am I angry about it-at times. What are my choices? Not do it-run away to small tropical island to paint shells for the tourists-or suck it up and drive on. I chose the latter because well, family is family and that is what you do.

I do not regret my choice but I think that is because I do have spots where I take time for myself. I go to the movies every Saturday afternoon by myself. I don't really care what I see but I need that time. It is my detoxing time.
The only other thing I have to say is thank goodness for insomnia-it makes studying so much easier!

10:23 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger edgelady said...

My son and his cousin took amazing care of his cousin's Dad (my son's great uncle) when he was dying of cancer. My son was only 20 at the time -- I was in awe of his tenderness and deep devotion. I had no idea he had it in him.

10:37 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger cathyf said...

in China the parents abort girls to get sons who they believe are more likely to take care of them.

The mechanism is a bit more complex -- in China parents abort daughters because a son is the only way they can get a daughter-in-law, and a daughter-in-law is the person who will be obligated to take care of them. A daughter will be expected to prioritize her own in-laws over her parents. This is a classic example of game theory in action -- something like 100 million Chinese parents who got lucky by having a boy on their first (and only allowed) try, or who made their own luck by doing away with any older daughter, are not going to have daughters-in-law, or grandchildren. It's classic game theory because every set of parents getting themselves a son is planning on being a part of the lucky majority who get a DIL, not the unlucky (but sizeable) minority who don't.

It's even more fascinating because the one-family-one-child rule is going to leave the next generation of elderly people in a state where only a minority will have daughters-in-law. It's hard to imagine the cultural rule of "those without daughters-in-law are out of luck" surviving in a society where the majority of elderly people will not have the opportunity to have a daughter-in-law.

It looks to me like the reason that Chinese mothers prefer sons is that this is the only way that they can get a DIL to make miserable in the same way that their MILs are making them miserable. I find this fascinating because it is yet another example of misogynous behavior that is perpetrated by women.

11:23 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger NEP Admin said...

I echo what Chris said, above.

American misandry stands on the gender-unequal practice of civil law, pseudo-norms and myths perpetuated about gender by media, and the inherent and vigorous imbalance both wreak daily in the lives of millions.

Did any here know that statistics prove women own billions upon billions more than men? It's a federally-reported fact.

Dr. Helen, I request that you one day interview Stephen Baskerville, Glenn Sacks, Wendy McElroy, Phyllis Schlafly and/or others about VAWA and the institution of anti-father family law in America. There is a direct link between poverty, federal welfare, minority disadvantage, single parenting, and the family law industry.

We are a nation where it pays everyone but the victim to tear up families statistically in favor of mothers. That they underwrite extended families less may be equal parts poverty and selfishness, both of which are enabled by the State.

Society is utterly stacked against men and one of the fundamentals is family law, which is the industry of separating families so that fathers can pay the state without recourse. That they then support their extended families from this disadvantage says something about us all.

11:26 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Helen:

I will beg to differ with you:

but caring for our parents and grandparents is the right thing to do and if we as a culture learn to interact with those who are older as people first regardless of their age, it will go a long way in making life a lot better for all of us who are lucky to live long enough.

Not so fast. Caring for aging parents might have been a great idea 50 years ago and before that, when one started to require in-home care the end was pretty much near. A family would care for a loved one for 6 months or a year tops, and then the loved one would pass on and everybody would go about their business. But much has changed in the medical community since then. We have machines, respirators, ventillators, heart transplants, defibrillators, medications and a host of other devices that can make living last a real long time. A person's untimely demise might have lasted 6 months in 1940 now can last 10, 15 or 20 years. People live much longer and the care-giver themselves can be up in age. My mother was 73 when my 98 year old grandmother finally passed on, and mom had a host of health problems of her own. Grandma languished in a vegetative state for most of that 10 years, was my mother expected to take her into her home and become a 24/7/365 day care-giver? Was my mother expected to quit her job where she was busy socking away money for her own retirement in order to take care of her mother?

In an ideal world taking care of a loved-one in their final years is a great idea, but in practice in can be a debilitating process. Sometimes "care" is best left to the professionals in certified nursing homes that are equipped to deal with the complex issues that arise.

11:40 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Have to agree with cham here. My mother was in literally the same boat, taking care of Violet until she finally died at 101. That was some fifteen years and not at all good ones. I call her Violet because she at no time in her life was a nice person and extreme age only served to make her extremely nasty.

When she finally died, my mom asked me if I thought she was a bad person because all she could feel was relief.

The world has changed and we; young, mid and old have to acknowledge and adjust to that.

12:55 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Carolynn said...

It is easy to romanticize elder care until you are in the position of trying to give it yourself. My grandmother finally had to put my grandfather in a home. He needed 24 hour care by other men. Neither she nor I could control my grandpa. Although his mind had gone physically he was still stronger than either of us. He became dangerous to himself and others.

1:28 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

cathyf,

It's more complex for sure. But filial piety is a 2000 year old Confucian value. A son was expected to be loyal to his parents, following their orders, including trading his life for his parents.

1:54 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger serket said...

Luckily my grandparents are still able to care for themselves. My paternal grandmother is 63 and still works.

Tomcal: I believe that, at least in California, the crime of streaking requires lifetime registration as a sexual offender. If this law applies in other states as well, I suggest you do it in Europe and send us a video.

I believe it was br549 who said that and I was surprised!

6:11 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Maxine Weiss said...

Biblically....in the Bible, there is a passage that says that a Man is supposed to leave is mother and "Cleave unto his wife". So, what that means is that the son leaves his family and goes to join his wife's.

Dr. Helen, do you not see that that's kind of the way it's supposed to be? It's the daughter(s) that stay with Mom, and stay in the family. The sons go out and join a new family.

It's rather devient when a grown son is tied to Mama's apron strings and he's a "Mama's Boy". That isn't what the Bible proscribed (prescribed?).

I think, looking at it that way, it's the daughters who have far more obligations, which they may or may not be meeting, than the sons!

10:21 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Andy Johnson said...

Our mothers treated us wonderfully. When Mom or even Dad, Sister and Brother needs help, it's not an issue to go and help. It's manly. Its not a problem that will last forever. It's not an imposition or even a burden upon my personal life... It's something that needs doing... Nothing could more define a man than doing what needs doing... John Wayne said it best; "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do"

So make the best of things and get on with it... My Grandfather always said "A kicking mule can't pull"...

Homilies encapsulate a lot of wisdom in a few words, if we're paying attention.

11:57 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

Just watch the China comments!

For most of China these comments apply. For one province (Hu Nan?) the opposite applies.

Things are a bit more complex than most people think.

4:29 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Myrtle Hocklemeier --

If you define "taking care" of the parent as footing the bill then every person out there footing the bill for assisted living or a nursing home for their parent is "taking care of them."

I'm not sure you understood my point. The man or woman can do the care giving in their home because of the spouse's income, not that the income pays for external living expenses. This makes the spouse an equal contributor.

But, to respond to your response: Yes, paying for external care is taking care of someone. Beats the street and is sometimes necessary.

8:17 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger baldilocks said...

Mercifully for him, my great-uncle had only a month of infirmity before he died. Whenever any of his nieces tried to take care of him, he became noticeably agitated (he had no children). The only two people he would allow to take of him were my great-aunt (his ex-wife) and the nurse's aide which we hired.

The thing is this: he didn't want us--women whom he thought of as daughters--to see him naked.

12:53 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

baldilocks...

Right or wrong, I feel the same way about my own children. For them to have to wipe my behind, etc. - no way. I would not let my children see me naked or that incapable. I have not seen them naked since the day each were able to bathe themselves.

My own father would not let that happen, and I begged him to move in with me to let me take care of him.
That was years ago, and I could not understand it. Now, I am in complete understanding and agreement with his position. I will be off the side of a bridge long before that happens.

10:06 AM, September 30, 2007  
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