Worldwide Problem

by British Boomer

Mum is 87.I'm an only child as were she and Dad, so there isn't anyone else. I live in France, in part to emphasize to our kids that we are not their responsibility. I accept the obligation to care for her while maintaining her independence as long as possible - I do her food shopping via the internet, manage her money, pay her bills, organize her home care, but I won't touch her body.


I don't like Mum much. As I look at her now in her armchair with her blanket round her knees I feel no pity, no love, just irritation and dislike. Oh, and shame, and guilt, of course. She is expert in emotional blackmail, very manipulative. I should be able to stand up to a helpless old lady, but I can't: she brought me up ensuring I never could.....

Mum wanted to downsize after Dad died, so we helped her buy a smaller place, and I paid part of the price to give us somewhere to sleep when we visit her. She enjoys our visits, I think, but we don't. She has carers each day to get her washed and dressed, then ready for bed, and a cleaner/friend who spends an hour with her each afternoon on weekdays. At weekends she has a carer to ensure she has lunch each day as well.

At the moment she can afford all this from her pensions, and of course all her health care is free here in the UK. For now she stays at home and seems reasonably content, although she can't recall what she had for lunch and is never sure whether she is speaking to a carer, the cleaner or to me, which is a bit disconcerting.

She threatens to go into a home - we doubt whether she will be able to mute the TV in a home when the adverts come on, or whenever she hears a Scottish accent as she always does now. She won't have her junk around her either, but that may be a good thing. She certainly won't have everything her own way in a home, and may have to join in sing-songs and bat balloons to other old dears, which she would absolutely hate.

On top of this, the home will take all her capital within two years. "One day all this will be yours my dear". In my dreams. Big businesses in the care industry, expert at pocketing oldies' money.

We are already hearing in the UK press that the very old are too well off, that they are killing our Health Service by blocking beds needed by younger people. A general atmosphere of blame is building, ready for us boomers who are retiring now and beginning to fall apart.

By the time we reach the most expensive stage in our 80s the law will have changed to allow assisted suicide and it may even be encouraged and widely accepted. Let's face it, the country won't be able to afford our care without nationalising our homes and bank accounts, and I can't see any government doing that.

I don't think it will affect me, though. I am convinced Mum will outlive me, and that she will be the reason why.

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How dare you St. Anonymous?
by: Leasa

How can you stand in judgement of this person who is distressed enough to write to this site? Did you read her second paragraph? Just getting to be 'old' does not mean you are a nice nor worthy person.

She said she does not touch her mom's body, which is fine. Not everyone is comfortable with washing their parent's bum. Perhaps also, she isn't comfortable because her mom withheld physical touching when she was growing and a child in need. You don't know.

I looked after one old man in the nursing home where I worked. He had put one nurse in the hospital, he called women 'those goddamn bitches'. The ONLY time he had a visitor was when his son was called when he was dying. He came. When he was leaving, he said to us: "I just wanted to make sure the son of a bitch is suffering." In your view, his son should have been caring for him.

I am telling you this because you cannot judge others like that. If someone writes here, it is because they are hurting and have had their lives ripped away.

I put in my will that my children are NOT ALLOWED to care for me if I become demented or ill.

I cared for them, so they could grow strong and care for their own children....and enjoy their own lives and not worry about me. That's the way it should be. Love is a two way road.

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Worldwide Problem
by: Anonymous

To be blunt, you just resent the fact your mother is old, and unable to care for herself. I used to care for my mother, but the difference was that she did not own her own home, and I used go down everyday five or six times to see to her, she also had carers, but I can assure you they are useless.

`Yes` there were times when I used to feel trapped and resentful, but I would never have turned my back on mother.

You on the other hand do a spot of internet shopping for your mother, and live in France.

Your mother is lonely and vulnerable, and if you on day reach her age then `maybe`you will realise that it is nice to have family around, but the example you have shown your children, I shouldn't think they will give a damn.

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