Often when a decision is made to care for an elderly parent, it is after they have had a severe illness or a hospitalization, then the realization sets in that they can’t live alone anymore. Family members are called, and plans get under way for who will care for the parent.
In my opinion, it’s the family’s responsibility to care for their elderly parents as long as they are physically, mentally and financially able. Put yourself in your parent’s shoes, and ask yourself where you would rather be? Cared for at home- or by total strangers at a nursing home?
I believe we should care for our parents out of a sense of duty, commitment to family, and honor thy parents, just as our parents did for their parents, and so, on. Leave the assisted living and nursing home open as an option, only when the burden becomes physically, or emotionally, too much. Several years ago, we moved my mother to Ohio, USA where I was living at the time with my husband, and we began caring for her at home. She was diagnosed and treated with Alzheimer’s, but it was the wrong diagnosis, and when we found out what indeed was wrong with her, it was too late to save her. She had a condition that had similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s, but unlike Alzheimer ’s, if found in time it is treatable with a good outcome. I helped my step-father care for her at home for a few weeks, and only six weeks after we found out what was really wrong with her, she died. Before her passing, she went into a nursing home after an illness and stretch in the hospital, but by that point, she didn’t really realize where she was, who she was, or who I was. She couldn’t walk, or feed herself. I held her hand right up until the last moments of her life. While it was the most challenging time I have ever been through, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I stand by my opinion that it is the family’s responsibility to care for our elderly parents, no matter how much it may inconvenience our life. It is the right, descent, and a just thing to do whenever possible. For more information about this mysterious condition that mimics Alzheimer’s, read Who the Hell Are You? Alzheimer’s the Wrong Diagnosis.