Sunday October 21, 2012
Toll on care-giver
MARY Schneider’s enlightening article, Whither the glitter? (But Then Again; Oct 15), spells out how I felt when the burden of caring for my mum fell on me.
Schneider says both her children have volunteered to take care of her should she become incapable of caring for herself.
“But reality will probably be a different beast,” she writes. How true that is.
The first two months of caring for an 80-plus lady who used to be active, and has a quick temper, is hard to describe. I had to deal with her condition 24/7.
She was still very alert with no signs of Alzheimer’s. But her demands and temper wore me out mentally, physically and emotionally, and drained me financially as well.
But it was the emotional stress that caused resentment to build up. Other family members suddenly “disappeared” more often than before. At the end of the day, I could not tell whether I was caring for mum out of filial piety or mere responsibility on my part.
Because of this, I beg not to burden the youngsters should I ever reach such a condition in my old age. I will ensure I have the means to check into a home, or have a few dollars left to buy some sleeping pills.
We’ve heard stories of cramped old folks homes, or good homes that come with a high price tag. I hope this will become part of legislation – more affordable home care for the elderly, with proper medication and nursing provided. We need more nurses for these places, rather than imported maids.
Let’s pray we can stay healthy while alive and be gone in 60 minutes when our time on earth is up, and not be a nuisance to the next generation.