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Estrangement and Elderly Abuse

(36 Posts)
Peonyrose Mon 14-Oct-19 06:25:27

It bothers me that to cut someone off when they are older, especially those that have no one but their child, is a form of abuse. I'm not on about cruel parents just the ordinary, loving mom or dad that's become a burden in one way or another? It's made me more aware to check on that person on their own. There should be more spoken about this, it's cruel. I do wonder sometimes what names some people tick.

Peonyrose Mon 14-Oct-19 06:26:15

What makes people tick. Sorry.

notanan2 Mon 14-Oct-19 07:02:46

It's the opposite. Its ending the relationship so its not having an abusive relationship.

How well do you really think an elderly person would be treated by someone who doesnt want to know them?

Anja Mon 14-Oct-19 07:23:32

I understand that you are talking about an elderly person who has become a burden merely through their age and increasing fragility and needs Peonyrose not the other kind of ‘estrangement’ so common these days.

Yes, it is disgraceful. Part of our humanity is how we treat those less able, or the elderly in their time of need. It is hard when you have to give up some of your own freedoms, time etc. but that doesn’t justify leaving an elderly person to rot in the care system without visiting them etc.. Sadly that is what happens to some.

I used to visit care homes with my PAT dog. It was so very, very sad seeing these lonely old folks ???

Anja Mon 14-Oct-19 07:25:09

Or worse those who physically abuse the elderly. It is no different from abusing babies.

Peonyrose Mon 14-Oct-19 07:36:27

Thank you Anna. I have heard about PAT dogs, how wonderful that you were willing and able to bring some happiness to those people. Elderly and children are vulnerable and the way we treat them shows the people we really are, like those Carers in homes that have been convicted of cruelty to the mentally ill and frail. It's bullying like sending someone to Coventry to isolate them.

EllanVannin Mon 14-Oct-19 07:52:22

There was an horrendous headline in my local paper a day or two ago which I couldn't believe and it made me cry. It was about the disabled being targeted in vicious attacks !
What kind of a person could even think to do that ? Apart from a bully/coward knowing that person can't fight back. These people aren't normal !!
Elderly physical and mental abuse is also sickening and there's nothing worse than seeing a pic. of a battered/bruised elderly person. That makes me cry too. This is a wicked world which needs to be rid of these evil beings.

Hithere Mon 14-Oct-19 18:27:10

In general, yes.
If you know of elder abuse and you do not speak up, it is a shame.


1. We cannot compare children with elderly people.

Children do not have the capacity to make their own arrangements for their own care, they are not adults.

The elderly have had decades to decide what to do when they are not fully independent and need assistance.

This is intertwined with my second point

2. Expectations -
The assumption and imposition that their children or relatives will cover that gap is not realistic.
Children are not born to have been assigned lifetime roles and duties. They haven't signed contracts to become elder caregivers and be in charge of other adult responsibilities that are not really the offspring's

A newer generation is not born to fulfill the wants and needs of the older generation.

I hate when parents tell adult childen: "I saw you naked/changed your diapers/took care of you when you were little" to prove the point that it is now payback time.

Many times, offspring are willing to help the elderly parents but not the way the elderly want. Who wins here?

Plenty of cases where offspring help their parents live independently in their own home and the offspring go several times a week to their parents' home to clean, cook, laundry, make sure the parents are ok, etc.
Parents think they do live independently and do not understand when it becomes too much for their children to just "do a couple of things for them"

Another case is parents expecting to move to their child's home instead of a nursing home.

I wouldn't fare impose on my children that way.
Becoming dependent on others when you get old is a fact of life and something you prepare for, not impose on others

Hithere Mon 14-Oct-19 18:29:34

Wouldn't dare, not fare

grannysyb Mon 14-Oct-19 18:33:14

I knew someone who said " I had four children so they could look after me when I'm old!"

Hetty58 Mon 14-Oct-19 18:41:34

Hithere, I agree that children shouldn't be expected to look after their elderly parents. I wouldn't want mine to. However, I think they should be interested in a parent's wellbeing. They should supervise and check on the care being given. I've seen far too much neglect and bullying in care homes to believe that anyone is automatically safe in them.

rosecarmel Mon 14-Oct-19 18:41:44

Perhaps in most cases where family declines to participate in caring for elderly it may have nothing to do with the elderly person themselves but the entire aging process in general, the whole kit and kaboodle of it-

notanan2 Mon 14-Oct-19 18:44:25

The brunt of the expectations still fall to women.

I know too many women who work full time AND either care for GC or have AC living at home AND care for their parents/PILs too!

Its always women! I know men that do one or the other but none that do the "triple whammy".

Also, although I know men who do care for their own parents, I do not know any who do anything more than sporadic care for their parents in law! I do know many women who provide almost full time care for their ILs on top of working.

When women say no to these duties its shocking and shameful. Yet men can still offload the daily drudge onto their female partners or sisters and still get praised for their sporadic contributions

Hithere Mon 14-Oct-19 18:44:54

You met my parents, uh?

They also said they had kids because they wanted grandkids.

notanan2 Mon 14-Oct-19 18:49:15

I also feel that some people are hard to help. E.g. our rellie that insisted on buying a "characterful" cottage with split levels and spiral staircase when they "downsized" in retirement. Predictably, when they had an op they couldnt cope at home during recovery and expected to be put up or have us move in with them for a few weeks.

I don't think thats fair. They outright refused to consider any property that had any hint of being suitable for "retirees" then expect us to take 2 weeks off work at a time to help them stay there!

It grates!

Hithere Mon 14-Oct-19 18:49:17

We are on the same page.

M0nica Mon 14-Oct-19 18:50:23

I am always wary about these stories about loving devoted parents deserted by selfish children.

There are always two sides to stories like this. Every neglected parent will tell the story of their devotion to their children, how they did everything for them etc etc, but quite often if you have a chance to look any deeper, you find it is not quite that simple and often the parent/child relationship has never been good, the parent is nowhere as wonderful as they say they were.

I worked for what is now Age UK as a volunteer home visitor for 10 years and visited hundreds of old people. I remember visiting a very elderly man, recently widowed, with six children, none of whom could look after him. I visited this poor old man wracked by grief, describing how much he loved and missed his wife, describing the perfect marriage relationship and how proud he was of his children.

A few months later I visited another client on the same estate. As she answered the door, she looked over my shoulder to an elderly man walking past and said 'Oh, there's that horrible Mr Smith', Looking to the road, I saw my devastated widower client. As we walked into the house my new client commented. 'Nobody likes him, he used to beat up his wife and kids. They chucked him out of the pub recently because he threatened someone with his walking stick.

As I said, I am wary about these tragic tales of loving parents deserted by their children.

rosecarmel Mon 14-Oct-19 18:53:23

Look at May-December marriages, most are much younger women than men ..

Hithere Mon 14-Oct-19 18:54:08

Spot on as usual

notanan2 Mon 14-Oct-19 18:59:09

I have another relative who has chosen to buy in the middle of nowhere and wouldnt consider anywhere built up enough to have public transport.

Which would be fine if they didnt expect to be shopped for and driven on a regular basis.

They moved there in old age. Its not like they had already been there for years.

I know they complain about being somewhat neglected. And do rope in samaritans for a while until they end up taking advantage and then fall out with them too. (E.g. needs to be taken to the shops, but wont do a weekly shop because they refuse to run a full sized fridge freezer, so insist that they can only do little shops consisting entirely of perishables a couple of times a week)

Starblaze Mon 14-Oct-19 20:59:24

I worked for a family for a long time caring for their elderly mother, 4 siblings who paid between them. I enjoyed the job and she was full of interesting stories. It had a dark side though. Her children, I watched her drive wedges between them. Pass on stories. Complain about 1 to the other. I listened to her put them down to their faces, to each other, to me. She destroyed the relationship between two of them and so many times I wanted to reach out and explain to them what she was doing. She put me down a lot too, but I am a very patient person and very tolerant of it after my own NM. The less her children visited, the more she came to rely on me and would treat me better until she forgot herself.

In a way, it alleviated some of the guilt I feel that I will not be there for my NM in her old age. The idea of my siblings doing it... Well, they are loved better, but just like her. They won't.

People take care of their elderly parents out of love, balancing it with their own lives and obligations.

I wouldn't want a child who didn't love me to look after me elderly. To be that vulnerable and in the presence of an angry resentful person? Best that sort of child walks away.

Sara65 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:14:29

I totally agree with M0nica, two sides to every story. Don’t judge before you know all the facts.

agnurse Tue 15-Oct-19 11:55:52

Keep in mind, too, that sometimes children simply don't or can't live close enough to be constantly visiting their parents.

Growing up, we lived 6 hours' drive from my grandparents. Granted, Dad did have siblings who lived much closer. But Dad had a good job, and the kind of work he did was one that wouldn't have been available to him in my grandparents' area.

We live four hours' drive from my parents. Now, they're still in pretty reasonable shape. But it will be close to three years before we would be able to move closer to them, because DSD is still in school. She does live with us full-time now (long story), but I have no doubt her mum would pitch a fit if we moved.

Sometimes, too, people have children who have health issues themselves and need care. Plus there are people who genuinely have no family - I have come across it on occasion.

quizqueen Tue 15-Oct-19 12:00:51

When adults treat their own parents badly, they should remember that their own children are watching the situation and learning how it is acceptable to behave!

notanan2 Tue 15-Oct-19 12:35:39

When adults treat their own parents badly, they should remember that their own children are watching the situation and learning how it is acceptable to behave!

That is precisely why people DO go Nc. To break cycles and not role model bad relationships.

This is probably why estrangements peak a bit when people have children of their own!