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Joined: 18 January 2006
I think retirement homes have an unnecessarily bad reputation. They were created so that people will have freedom independence in their old age, and not to be a dumping ground. What matters is not whether a person is in a retirement home or not, but why they are there. If someone is just doing it to get rid of their parents – then it's wrong. But if someone is genuinely busy and wants a place where parents are cared for and attended to – what is wrong with that.
Our culture tends to have an inappropriate mindset that retirement homes are wrong and we must look after our parents. Sure, many people are good at heart and want to look after their parents. But, one thing we miss considering is that if we will genuinely be able to give our parents the lifestyle they deserve.
How much time are you going to spend at work, and involved in your life, and how much time with your parents? How much time are the kids spending in school, classes, with friends and how much with their grandparents? Is your parent able to go out socialize do stuff like go to the library, visit the temple, meet other elderly at the park to play cards, just shop around a bit, watch a movie – or are they bound to your busy schedule and unable to the things they would like to do because you cannot give them a ride and there is no public transport within walking distance? Are they just sitting at home bored, vegetating watching TV – or do they have a decent life with activities and socialization?
It is really nice to have parents at home, but if you cannot give them the attention and let them be involved in activities and socialize – you might be doing more harm than good. Too many people lose interest in living and deteriorate faster because there is nothing going on to keep their mind active, socially healthy and happy.
Back in the day having parents at home was the norm, because families were larger. There were always someone or the other at home to care for them. Neighborhoods were close knit and there were people to meet and activities to do right outside the doorstep. Unfortunately, in our modern lives both parents are working and even grandkids out most of the day. Many suburban neighborhoods are aloof, disjointed, with not much going on. So unless you live in a neighborhood where your parents have people to meet and things to do, or unless you and your kids can take significant chunks of time out of your schedule to spend time with your parents – you are probably being more cruel than kind to your parents.
Its not just a roof on the head, food and clothing people need – they need genuine social interaction, activities, hobbies, things to do and people to talk to, places to go. Even when someone is terminally ill and bedridden or in a wheelchair, a person still has desire to have something going on in their life. When nothing is going on, that's when they lose interest in living.
So sometimes it is better to find a reputable retirement home. Good retirement homes and communities have a lot of social activities and things going on for elderly to enjoy. They have staff on hand to check on and care for residents, they offer transit services for getting around. Many people like the feeling that they are independent and do not have to wait for their kids for everything.
Why not choose a retirement home close by so your parents have people to look after them and things to do while you are busy with work etc. Call them every night. You can always visit every weekend and plan a family activity together. Have them over for holidays and special events. A retirement home maybe a better option than parents sitting at home being bored to death.
I'm not saying everyone should put parents in a retirement home. You just need to really evaluate your options and weigh in on what is best. If you have the time, resources and ability to have your parents live with you and be fully satisfied and happy – then that is awesome. Its great when families can be together like that. That's the most ideal situation. But if you really do not have the time – a retirement home is a good alternative. However, the most important factor is that you don't just dump them there – you keep in touch, visit, care for and give them deserved attention when you can. The worst people are those who keep parents as free day care service and household help.
The following 5 member(s) liked the above post:
.bohemian., -Sneha, Beyond_the_Veil, Lost-angel, -Believe-,
Joined: 12 November 2006
Joined: 03 December 2005
Actualy this is one of the consequences of-- small family, good education n carrier prospacts for children. these take people away from parents and is a batter option than being completely lonely n unattended in last phase of life. So it is fast becoming essential.......Bt relationships bring happines n not the physical facilities. The irony is most of our time in life we run for physical facilities without focusing on relationships...
Joined: 21 February 2008
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