I have recently been working as a casual care worker for the elderly in their own homes. I have thoroughly enjoyed working as a care worker and meeting people of a different generation and hearing their stories of youthful days with joy and sorrow behind their eyes. But a sudden sadness appears over them when they mention that they are lonely…at moments like these I can’t help but wonder where are their children? Why aren’t they here everyday looking after their own parents? I mean some of the patients are really ill that a sudden fall could quite possibly kill them, we wouldn’t let a toddler roam around the house on their own, so how and why can we as children of frail parents allow the same to happen with them? As children, we demanded our parents to feed us, clothe us, shelter us, love us, educate us but most of all spend time with us, yet when our parents return to a fragile state and require assistance, we, as their children look the other way and say “We are too busy.” Imagine if our parents had said the same to us? Wouldn’t that be classified as neglect? We would be considered as selfish parents. Our parents have gladly given up so much for our upbringing that as their children we have become spoiled, ungrateful and extremely selfish to even remotely return some of the time they have invested in us.
We need to take more responsibility of our parents, if we can juggle time around for our children than we should do the same for our parents, who taught us many of our first lessons in life. If my mother ever reaches a point in her life where she is no longer able to do the simplest of task such as give herself a shower or to cook for herself there is no way that I would leave her to live on her own, even if she lived around the corner from me. I don’t understand how some of us can sleep at night knowing that we have abandoned our frail parents just to make our own lives easier. I would love to hear people’s views on this and from people who have chosen to have their parents in care because I just can not fathom how you could.