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.