Gransnet forums


Why are so many elderly abandoned by grown up children.

(207 Posts)
Sparkling Sun 23-Aug-20 18:40:13

It is a fact that a lot of elderly are not visited by their grown up family. No falling out, just indifference. How have things come to this?

kittylester Sun 23-Aug-20 18:42:32

Where have you seen this? It is not what I see around me.

Ladyleftfieldlover Sun 23-Aug-20 18:46:37

This isn’t my experience either.

MellowYellow Sun 23-Aug-20 18:47:31

Nor mine. Where is this happening?

biba70 Sun 23-Aug-20 18:47:56

I know many who currently feel totally at odds with their parents opinion on a certain major issue. They just don't want to argue and fall out, so they are just keeping away.

BlueBelle Sun 23-Aug-20 18:51:34

Not my experience either, what backs this up, or is it just a personal thought

Grandmabatty Sun 23-Aug-20 18:58:07

That's a huge assumption to make! What is your evidence for this? Bearing in mind that one example is an anecdote, not statistical data.

NotSpaghetti Sun 23-Aug-20 18:59:02

I think that sometimes elderly people feel lonely so a visit every couple of weeks may feel like no visits. My next door neighbour used to have at least twice as many visitors as I did but told me regularly that "no one ever comes".

I know they did because I saw them. Someone visited virtually every day!

Bibbity Sun 23-Aug-20 19:05:44

Have you looked at the demands on young people’s time?
Full time work, childcare, extracurricular, somehow trying to squeeze in some family time of their own.

Also ‘abandon’ to me means there is some responsibility for the adult child to care for their elderly parent.

Esspee Sun 23-Aug-20 19:11:25

So many threads on Gransnet about estrangement yet people pile on here to say they don’t see it.

You should also read the threads on Mumsnet on the subject of going no contact. It has become an epidemic.

Sparkling. I blame the internet for putting the idea into the empty heads of the younger generation. I see a selfish, entitled generation of snowflakes who think only of themselves, and resent the older generation who lived modestly to have security in retirement.

I am thankful that I do not have a problem with my children but I am very much aware that many older people are ghosted by their children for perceived faults such as not providing childcare or money.

BlueBelle Sun 23-Aug-20 19:17:38

Here is a true story which I think is funny
My friends’ elderly mother was in a care home and she used to visit her most days but the mum was quite difficult to engage in conversation but also like to say that nobody ever visited her
One day my friend was sitting with her mum trying to get her to have a chat, without much success, after about three quarters of an hour the mum got up and walked away
Thinking she had gone to the toilet my friend waited and waited and then after a while thought she better go and look in case she was in trouble As she went through the corridor to look for her she saw her mum sitting on a chair in another room so she went and sat next to her and said ‘I wondered where you were, you disappeared’ the mum turned to her and said ‘well I had to get away from that stupid woman that wouldn’t stop talking‘

Sparkling Sun 23-Aug-20 19:26:08

I base my opinion as two ladies in my group, after being widowed, seem to go more than a month without contact with their children. I feel that’s a long time for someone in their late sixties. We were talking about it and it seems that is the norm. Mine are in touch weekly even though it can be weeks between visits, we are-all busy after all but not to make contact for a month seems a long time to me, but perhaps that’s just my opinion.

Smileless2012 Sun 23-Aug-20 19:28:40

Perhaps your friends elderly mother has dementia or alzheimers Bluebellsad.

A sad but true post Espee and from GN alone, so many examples.

BlueBelle Sun 23-Aug-20 19:31:04

Oh yes she did smileless was just a funny story at least I thought it was, so did my friend,

Smileless2012 Sun 23-Aug-20 19:31:47

Our DS lives in Aus . Sparkling he's busy but we never go more than 2 weeks without face timing and more often than not it's a weekly event.

I agree that to make no contact for a month is a long time

Illte Sun 23-Aug-20 19:34:21

Well I guess that they could pick up the phone or send a text just as easily as their children.

Or do they mean a visit?

kittylester Sun 23-Aug-20 19:36:47

Well, I say again, it isn't what I see around me.

I think your post is quite harsh esspee

Smileless2012 Sun 23-Aug-20 19:39:00

Yes they could Illte, but will their AC answer the 'phone or reply to the text?

Grandmabatty Sun 23-Aug-20 19:39:17

Two people don't make this an epidemic of elderly people being treated badly by their children so your assertion that it is 'a fact' that 'a lot of elderly' boils down to two people in your experience. Not a fact.

BlueBelle Sun 23-Aug-20 19:42:45

Well personally I don’t think a month (although a long time) equates to abandonment some people are more in contact than others
All my friends have different stories some see or hear from their families regularly some not and some hear from some children and not others no one ever knows family stories do they ?

biba70 Sun 23-Aug-20 19:47:11

Re timing- it is clear that if a person is busy, doing their own thing, walking, classes, friends, etc - they will notice the length of no contact much less, and feel it not so acutely, than someone who is not active- bored and sitting around at home 'waiting' - for whatever reason.

GillT57 Sun 23-Aug-20 19:49:30

This is sad for the people enduring the lack of contact from their children, but as others have said, this generation of parents are generally both working, juggling work and childcare, but I agree that a quick phone call can be the difference between being happy and feeling abandoned. I do think that your statement I blame the internet for putting the idea into the empty heads of the younger generation. I see a selfish, entitled generation of snowflakes who think only of themselves, and resent the older generation who lived modestly to have security in retirement is unfair and harsh, and frankly, if anyone is spouting that bile to their grown up children it is quite obvious why they have few visitors.

Bibbity Sun 23-Aug-20 20:27:36

And how often do those two fitness pick up the phone and call their children? Or instigate meetings or ask to visit?

Jaxjacky Sun 23-Aug-20 20:39:17

We and the people we know, must be lucky then! My children are in contact weekly, ad hoc messenger, WhatsApp, phone calls and sporadic garden visits. However, we live within 6 miles of each other now, but when we were in France, up until 2 years ago, still FaceTime/Skype and phone. Friends we have seem to be the same. So, maybe people’s circumstances are different from ours?

annodomini Sun 23-Aug-20 20:44:22

Contact is a two way street! I contact them and they contact me. Why should adult children get the blame for not maintaining contact when elderly parents have the phone and the internet and probably more time on their hands? I'm on the fast track to 80; I ring my sons and they ring me - or we have video calls on Whatsap. Both families live around 150 miles away and normally I would go by train to visit. Recently, when I needed a break from my own four walls, one son came to pick me up and the other brought me back. Both have demanding jobs. I am so grateful to them and appreciated my two weeks away.