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Generational relationships

(56 Posts)
mollie Wed 03-Jan-18 11:29:39

Court orders dentist to pay his own mother for raising him

I'm not sure what to think about this but it is interesting how some cultures see it as a responsibility to care about family. Here, it seems to me, once we are adults we are off the hook as far as caring for family goes.

Bibbity Wed 03-Jan-18 11:43:13

Well parents make a conscious decision to create children. That comes with the known responsibility of housing, feeding and caring for the child.
Children do not ask to be born and certainly do not owe their parents of rights carrying out their legal obligation.

It is also obvious that we are all going to age. That makes it all our own personal responsibility to make provisions for when we can no longer work. It isn't the responsibly of our children who already have to work, pay their bills, maintain their own relationships and raise their children. And hopefully in amongst all that actually get to do things just for them that they enjoy.

Greyduster Wed 03-Jan-18 11:43:16

That is like student debt writ large! I can’t imagine why they were foolish enough to enter into such a contract in the first place.

Starlady Wed 03-Jan-18 11:43:27

But this decision was based on an agreement the son signed, himself, as an adult. So I don't see where it has anything to do with "culture."

eazybee Wed 03-Jan-18 12:43:07

Instead of getting on with work I was reading an ancient booklet that I think belonged to my Grandmother:
'Gems of Thought ' from the Zionist Chapel, Manchester 1907. Mrs. Gregory from Hulme contributed:
" Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the careworn heart,
The sands of time are nearly run;
Let such in peace depart."
Doesn't seem to be happening nowadays, but would we want it to?

Christinefrance Wed 03-Jan-18 15:43:31

Love that eazybee , times gone by were not all bad.

janeainsworth Wed 03-Jan-18 17:19:45

That’s wonderful eazybee, I’ve copied it into my notes and will bring it out at an opportune moment grin
In fact, DD2 gave me a calligraphy set for Xmas & I might well write it out and have it on my kitchen wall grin
Have you got any more?

Day6 Wed 03-Jan-18 17:53:24

That is a lovely little verse eazybee.

I expect many of us were brought up to 'respect to our elders and betters' - no matter how grumpy or disagreeable they might be. Today I tell myself I don't have 'betters' as it's an outdated notion.

I cannot for the life of me see why anyone would get nasty or impatient with a frail, older person. No one should be troubled in their twilight years.

However, and I blame social media for having people focus daily on so much outside the family unit - the bonds of love often seem to break as far as grown up children are concerned. My dear Mum was my responsibility until the day she died, even though she always told me to go and live my own life and she didn't want to be dependent. I felt it was my duty as she aged to see she was looked after.

Perhaps as older people now we don't expect our own children to care about us as we age. I know younger members of the family don't seem in any way concerned that their dear Grandmother is stuck in a home with dementia. They mention her in passing and express concern but do nothing practical, or visit her. I'd have felt duty-bound in their position to go and visit or bring her flowers but they really don't see that. They say it's a waste of time, realistically, as she knows no one, is silent and doesn't cherish her family ornaments any longer, never mind a bunch of expensive flowers, which will just die. They are being realistic I suppose and it's up to our generation to ensure she is well looked after. What will become of us though?

I don't want my own children to be burdened with my care as I age, I know that. However, a friend's daughter works in a nursing home and she is surprised that so many old folk don't have visitors or relatives coming to see them or take them out. Many are taken in by family, forgotten about and die alone. I find that ever so sad.

Day6 Wed 03-Jan-18 17:56:29

Sorry for long post. Gist of my message was, I do think we have obligations to our children, and they to us, although that is changing. I am appalled that so many babies are born to selfish people who drag them up and don't put their child's needs before their own. Being a parent means you are obliged to care for your child until they come of age, end of.

Norah Wed 03-Jan-18 19:13:32

I find an obligation to my children normal, but I do not believe they have obligation to us.

mollie Wed 03-Jan-18 19:34:29

I think the underpinning of my original thoughts was the fact that it seems to me that Taiwan, where this case was heard, doesn’t have a policy of social care unlike here. The mum in the case knew she would need to look after herself and doubted her two sons would step up, hence the agreement. It’s different here, it might not be ideal or perfect but the welfare system here will do something to help with a pension and medical treatment and some help with housing and care (while it can) so adult children and wider family don’t feel quite so obliged to take care of the elderly if they can’t or won’t. And several here have already said ‘I don’t want to be a burden to my kids’ probably thinking they will manage. But what if you can’t? Shouldn’t family help family instead of the us expecting the state to step in?

Ilovecheese Wed 03-Jan-18 19:50:35

But families often live much farther apart from each other now, having been told to go where the work is, so it is much harder for them to give any physical care or pop in to see elderly relatives.
Not everybody even has any family, or their family may not be in a position to help financially with housing and care, particularly medical care, so it is just as well that here is at least a financial and medical safety net for older people. That doesn't help with loneliness though.
I would also hate to be a burden to my children and would rather pay my taxes so that at least the state could step in on the financial side.

M0nica Wed 03-Jan-18 19:55:39

The difference is between the family expecting the state to step in and the state expecting the family step in.

Generally families do still support other members of their family when in need but in many cases; distance, all adults working, other disabled family members, poverty, all sorts of reasons, may make this difficult or impossible. In which case the state should step in but frequently doesn't causing immense stress to families and misery for older people.

annsixty Wed 03-Jan-18 20:39:32

My C , knowing my situation with their father having dementia, still think I am invincible.
I have always been the strong one and the coper and they assume I am and always will be the same.
They made no fuss when I had breast cancer, I still looked after the GC I had committed to 3 days a week and the other one then was living 3000 miles away, but my D still came home 3 times a year and I did everything when she was here.
When I had my new knee last year she came up for just a few days.
Who do I blame ? Me of course, I am too independent and they expect it of me.
Foolish I know.

Luckylegs9 Thu 04-Jan-18 11:43:20

Easybee, what a lovely verse, how true that is.
Day 6, my mother in her job used to get so upset by older relatives who never received visitors in their old age. She would done tines come home after a hard day working with such people and shed a tear, she used to say how can her/his children do that, they were on the whole just nice people, didn't deserve it. My lovely, caring mom died at 56, for the life of me I cannot understand anyone just dumping family and getting on with their much time would it take to phone even once a week and visit once a month or even two months. Some people don't have hearts I fear, just very important busy lives where family comes last. There time will come by the example they have set. The measure of the man is how he treats all people.

mollie Thu 04-Jan-18 20:29:29

Years ago an old lady was brought into the hospital where I worked by her family and during her stay the b******ds moved without telling her or the hospital where!

123flump Fri 05-Jan-18 09:55:03

mollie it is awful but how bad was the situation that led to that? I have LPA for an elderly relative with dementia, I ended up being rushed into hospital as the stress led to a cardiac problem and 4 days in hospital and it was amazing what 4 days bed rest did for me but even then I was getting calls from receptionist at GPs demanding I sort out a problem, I ended up in tears and Sister intervening and telling them they had to stop calling me.

The local GP was worse than useless, she wasn't eating and was clearly starving, I couldn't even get them to weight her. I was told by social services that there was no cause for concern. Emergency service operators were making formal complaints to GP asking him to do something to stop her phoning them, the neighbours were phoning me complaining. She turned away delivery men when we tried to have food delivered, she locked the door to stop carers getting in resulting in the police breaking in more than once. She was out in the road, a main road, causing traffic chaos. She was tried on a medication that worsened her condition so taken off it, 2 months later I found out they had prescribed it again and after several rows with GP and his staff I had to threaten to go to the newspapers before they changed it to something else.

I tried to move her close to me and she agreed and then went and told her solicitor, neighbours, shopkeepers, GP etc that I was forcing her to do it.

Eventually she was allocated another social worker who managed to get her into a home where she was assessed by a psychiatrist and another social worker and we got a deprivation of liberties order.

In twelve months I went from a happy healthy person to a quivering wreck. People would just tell me to put her in a home. Well unless you get the DOLs people can't just be forced to do that.

So yes I feel sorry for the elderly person who is abandoned but I do wonder why they did it.

HellsBells Fri 05-Jan-18 11:12:13

love the poem crazybee - any more gems? have copied into my diary also to be brought out at the appropriate moment!!

HellsBells Fri 05-Jan-18 11:13:12

Sorry easybee!should have put my glasses on

Catherine1954 Fri 05-Jan-18 12:27:13

My heart goes out to you-I am so lucky as my 92 year old mother is fine but surrounded by friends whose lives are being totally destroyed by demands, especially now that women are having to work til 66! 🌹🌹🌹

grandtanteJE65 Fri 05-Jan-18 12:42:43

In the days before welfare states, occupational pensions and state run old age pensions, it was quite common in most of Europe for the elder generation when they were handing over the responsibility for running a farm or a business to their son and daughter-in-law, or daughter and son-in-law to have a legally binding contract made out, stipulating where the old people were to live on the farm, the amount of food, and firewood that the son would provide yearly.

There is even said to be one such contract in a Danish museum that stipulates that the old folks had the right to use the farm privy. And if you are wondering where else they could have gone, the answer is either the unroofed farm midden in all kinds of weather, or the cow byre and hope the cows didn't need to wee while grandpa or grandma were squatting behind them!

Now-a-days I agree it is each generation's responsibility to try and put money aside for their old age, but we may all still need help with tasks that are beyojd our physical strength as we age. It is nice if our children offer to help, but I agree, we cannot expect them to, or take it for granted that they will offer.

nigglynellie Fri 05-Jan-18 12:52:25

That is a lovely verse eazybee. It's been copied into my little book to be read as and when.
I sometimes think that it is just one of your children who actually care and eventually take responsibility for elderly parents. We find our son and his partner far more caring of,
and concerned about DH and I as we hurtle towards our twilight years. DD, seems so wrapped up in her family, her job iffy marriage that we feel that there is simply no room for us in her busy life, which is very sad. They both live 50 odd miles away so not TOO far, but it's always son that rings, comes over, and generally shows affection and concern for us.

newnanny Fri 05-Jan-18 13:51:07

When my Mum got terminal cancer my 4 sisters and I all between us moved back into her home to care for her in a shift system for several months. She was told she had about six months but in the end she only had just under 3. It was an absolute privileged to be able to care for her after all she had done to care for us all our lives. We were tired, stressed and only one of us had any experience of care but we did it willingly and with love because she was our Mum and we wanted to spend as much time as possible with her before she passed on.

Skweek1 Fri 05-Jan-18 13:58:58

I remember when I worked for DHSS Short-term benefits, which included Maternity Grant and Allowances. At the time the grant was £25, but hadn't increased in years. When it started, that £25 covered the whole layette - bedding, nappies, pram and cot, baby clothes etc, but by my time it only bought about a dozen terry nappies.

Horatia Fri 05-Jan-18 14:29:31

I am not sure, there is something a bit much about never helping your parents, taking anything going and not forgetting to virtue signal in the meantime.