U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 09-08-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,917 posts, read 11,242,094 times
Reputation: 5293
Default Do You Feel An Ethical And Moral Responsibility To Take Care Of An Aging Parent?

A couple of situations with relatives and friends have occurred in the last couple of years regarding the care of an ill and aging parent that have prompted me to ask this question. My two cousins (brother and sister) who live in the Seattle area but grew up in Montana like myself and are lifelong friends of mine had a terrible strain on their relationship when their Mother who is my aunt had to be put into a nursing home and it was very expensive. Their financial situations were very different, one was very affluent and the other was just average in terms of income. When it came to paying the bill for the nursing home my cousins and their families almost reached the point of a physical fight. It was finally agreed that each family would pay half and after a few years of not even speaking to each other my aunt finally passed away last year. Right before she died they had agreed that it would be a blessing to my aunt if they became close again and they did.
The other situation is that of one of my best friends in Montana who spent years taking care of her ailing Mother and now that her Mother has passed away she has been left broke because she spent most of her adult life taking care of her Mother. She lost the house due to debts and she's just living day to day in a tiny apartment in Montana. She's intelligent and responsible but chose to take care of her Mother instead of herself. Now her economic situation is desperate and she's just scaping by even though she's in her late 50's like I am.
I'm not sure that these questions fit neatly into religion and philosophy but it's certainly a question of ethics and responsibility. I'm wondering what others think about the responsibility that they owe to their parents and to what extent they should be pursued. Fortunately, my Mother and StepFather are much better off financially than I am but I know that I would do anything if my Mother needed any kind of help. What do you think?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:07 PM
 
Location: An absurd world.
5,153 posts, read 5,598,649 times
Reputation: 1938
I'd say anything goes as long as you're taking proper care of yourself as well.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:12 PM
 
2,955 posts, read 4,837,338 times
Reputation: 1865
I would (will) definitely take care of my parents and in-laws.
Even if I didn't have the means I would find a way. I certainly feel an ethical responsibility to do that.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:15 PM
 
Location: An absurd world.
5,153 posts, read 5,598,649 times
Reputation: 1938
Quote:
Originally Posted by b. frank View Post
I would (will) definitely take care of my parents and in-laws.
Even if I didn't have the means I would find a way. I certainly feel an ethical responsibility to do that.
You must like your in-laws.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,572 posts, read 8,425,018 times
Reputation: 3932
I think that it really depends on the situation. As far as my personal situation goes, I love my parents to no end and I would do my best to take care of them with whatever means I had at my disposal. That being said, there are certain extenuating circumstances that may prevent me from doing so. If, for example, my mother or father had Alzheimer's Disease to the point that they put their lives or others lives in danger because of their actions (such as driving a car when they shouldn't but not knowing what they are doing) than I would do what I could to get them in the proper facility while still being able to take care of myself and the rest of my family because that is what I feel I would owe them for what they provided me.

However, there are other certain circumstances in which families are not that close. For whatever reason, families sometimes drift apart and sometimes families were never "meant" to be families in the first place. It's a sad but true fact that the people you are born to or who you are siblinged with don't necessarily fit into the idealized model of what most people consider when they think of "family". I think that in a case by case basis there are certain circumstances that would warrant not having the burden of responsibility but from a humanitarian perspective I still think that it's necessary to help these people out even if you consider them not a part of your family. In other words, I'm not saying you should forfeit your well being or your financial security and bend over backwards for them if there is a situation like this but you also wouldn't let them hurt themselves or others and that by examining each unique situation a proper decision can be made according to that.

I think there is also a unique balance in what we are talking about as far as help and sacrifice. Is it moral and ethical to care for the aging parent to the extent of putting your own well-being and the rest of your families' well being in jeopardy? Is it truly ethical to sacrifice everything you and the rest of your family have to help an aging parent? I would say under a lot of circumstances that the answer would be "No." On the other hand, I think that there is a certain amount of responsibility in taking care of your family members to the extent that we can call it "help" without sacrificing everything that we have as well.

I think that these are the things that can make life so tough and that there is no really clear and cut defined answer for them. Ultimately, I think that each situation has its own answer and as hard as it may be to make some of those decisions, it's all pending the situational background of things.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:26 PM
 
12,374 posts, read 14,520,742 times
Reputation: 14556
I took care of my mom and dad as well as I could (from 5 hours away) when they became unable to take care of themselves..Sometimes I made the trip 3-4 times a week,not because I felt I had to or because my brother and sisters weren't interested in helping, but because I loved them..I have had neighbors whom I checked on and helped out who were not able to do some things for them selves because I felt a moral responsibility, but maybe it was more compassion then obligation.... I just could not stand to see them trying so hard to do things for themselves or cancelling appointments because they could no longer drive. If we come to the aid of our loved ones or neighbors, I think we do mostly do it out of compassion or love, and do not expect anything in return..The grateful smiles and tears of relief are the greatest rewards..Some of us are not able to help out in a very large way financially, but there are other things we can do..As Troop said sometimes a nursing home is the best choice for some situations..In that case.if there are no resources such as a home or savings as was the situation we encountered with my Dad we had to apply for medicaid to pay what medicare wouldn't at that time. for my Dad who outlived mom by several years...We did not have to pay for anything because we just turned all their assets over to the nursing home..

Last edited by Miss Blue; 09-08-2008 at 06:35 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,225 posts, read 1,206,395 times
Reputation: 1297
I have my 76 year old father living with my husband and myself. I absolutely feel obligated to care for him, and I always will. It is partly because he cared for for me and parented me as a child. It is mostly because he is a lonely and depressed person who had a really difficult life. I want to do everything I can to make the last part of his life better than the rest of it was. I think everyone deserves to feel loved and appreciated, and most of our old people are neglected and uncared for by their own families.
It is shameful that our society is set up in such a way as to make life so hard for seniors.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:34 PM
 
Location: conover nc
1,131 posts, read 1,474,047 times
Reputation: 2650
I would take care of my parents and mother in law, father in law has passed away, but before he passed we built on to the house and added a large bedroom and shower that you can put a wheel chair in just in case we needed it for him or the other parents.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:49 PM
 
2,955 posts, read 4,837,338 times
Reputation: 1865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haaziq View Post
You must like your in-laws.
Haha - yes I do, but it is more about responsibility.
My parents are more important to me than my wife's but they all have helped her and myself so much that they simply deserve to be taken care of in their old age.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2008, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,862 posts, read 26,316,351 times
Reputation: 58082
I love my parents too much to trust their elderly care to anyone else. When the time comes that they need me....I'll be there.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top