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Old 14 February 2016, 12:19 AM
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Default The Crisis Facing America's Working Daughters

Many are familiar with the challenges faced by working moms, but the troubles of women with aging parents are unseen and widely ignored.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...ercare/459249/

This article came across my desk at a particularly pertinent moment as I had just gotten a phone call to let me know that my octogenarian father fell and needed to be hospitalized, leaving my elderly handicapped mother alone in their apartment. I am just so grateful that I have sisters who are stepping up and helping as well otherwise I would be feeling a little overwhelmed right now.
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Old 14 February 2016, 04:59 PM
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This is something that I occassionally think about, and get really, really scared. My father suffered a stroke a few years ago and I briefly became his caregiver while still in university. He died a year later. My 64 year old mother has type 2 diabetes, chronic pain, and limited vision and hearing (recently lost her licence due to vision). So far, she has my step-dad, but he recently had a TIA. My older sister barely scrapes by financially as it is. So at some point, this is going to fall on me. I'm in my late 20s, and I'll be amazed if this doesn't become an issue in my life in the next 5 years. I am currently looking at houses, and a house with a possible in-law suite is very attractive as I'm not sure how much longer they'll be living on their own. My step-dad does have two adult kids of his own, one of whom will probably be assisting with his care.

I knew this would be something I'd have to deal with, but I was really hoping to have it happen later in my life (40s+) when I've got my student loans paid off.
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Old 14 February 2016, 06:58 PM
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Because the responsibility never falls to working sons. huge
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Old 14 February 2016, 07:03 PM
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That didn't take long.
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Old 14 February 2016, 07:13 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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The linked article basically is set to find the uniqueness of the challenges to women completely ignoring that in the majority of the article changing the gender (or removing the gender reference entirely) gives a much more credible article.

For example
Quote:
Anne Tumlinson, a health-care-policy analyst and consultant who also runs Daughterhood.org, a website for caregivers, says, “Caring for an aging parent is a much more significant life passage than we give it credit for being. When you are caring for a child, it doesn’t threaten your identity. Because that’s what parents do. But when you are a daughter, you are cared for. You turn to your parents for refuge. When they seek refuge from you it shakes your identity.”
Is there any concept in that entire paragraph that is specific to women? Why differentiate women in the underlined part?
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Old 14 February 2016, 07:23 PM
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Anecdote not equalling data and all that, but over the holidays my mom was talking with her two sisters about how they're getting on in years. My aunts both have only sons, my mom only has me, a daughter.

My aunts agreed my mom was lucky to have a daughter because they'd never expect their sons to take care of them in old age, whereas my mom can rely on me (and she can).

Meanwhile on the other side of the coin, my husband and I have been taking care of his mother for a while.
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Old 14 February 2016, 08:15 PM
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Plurabelle, do they mean their sons won't help them financially, or physically? In other words, is it that they think their sons will let them starve, or just won't personally nurse them?
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Old 14 February 2016, 08:30 PM
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Of course there are sons who step up and care for aging parents. Just like there are single fathers bringing up children. That doesn't change the reality though that most of the time eldercare and childcare seems to be the domain of the womenfolk. In times past this was probably a natural thing because women tended to be home, certainly far more than men did anyway so with all that free time they had on their hands of course caring for aging parents was no big deal . Now with women working in more cases than not you'd think that things it would even out a bit in terms of who takes care of who and probably that will happen eventually. Not happening now though I guess based on the studies and statistics out there.
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Old 14 February 2016, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
is it that they think their sons will let them starve, or just won't personally nurse them?
There are stages in the process in which those amount to the same thing.

Those stages may start earlier than you're expecting them to. It's not just a matter of 'is the person minimally physically capable of getting food into themselves?' Many people who are very much still physically capable of eating, and who are nowhere near the point at which mental difficulties become obvious enough to get care for them declared medically necessary, just gradually quit bothering to eat: starting with gradually not bothering to eat a reasonably decent diet, and continuing into not bothering to eat quite enough, and so on from there: with the problem aggravated by nutritional deficiencies, which can cause muddled thinking.

And I'm a little thrown by the "just" in your phrasing. In many families, purchasing the food is among the easiest and least time-consuming of the things that need to be done.
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Old 15 February 2016, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Plurabelle, do they mean their sons won't help them financially, or physically? In other words, is it that they think their sons will let them starve, or just won't personally nurse them?
They think their sons will put them in "a home," whereas I'd be willing to have my mom live with me and take care of her if she wanted to, or I'd be willing to put her in a home if she wants to do that. Essentially, they know their sons will help financially, but would expect a daughter to accommodate their specific wishes.

I found it weird and surprising, especially knowing them and my cousins.
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Old 15 February 2016, 12:53 AM
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It may also be that they can foresee allowing a daughter to do very personal things for them that they would never want a son to do. I know my mother because of her handicap has had to accept help from my sisters and I that she would not have wanted or expected back in her younger and healthier days. I also know, for her anyway, that she would not want my brothers helping her in this way. It would be embarrassing for all involved.
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Old 15 February 2016, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
It may also be that they can foresee allowing a daughter to do very personal things for them that they would never want a son to do. I know my mother because of her handicap has had to accept help from my sisters and I that she would not have wanted or expected back in her younger and healthier days. I also know, for her anyway, that she would not want my brothers helping her in this way. It would be embarrassing for all involved.
That's a good point. And makes sense considering I helped my mother-in-law with certain things my husband did not.
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Old 15 February 2016, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plurabelle View Post
That's a good point. And makes sense considering I helped my mother-in-law with certain things my husband did not.
It's the whole women as nurtures/caregivers vs men as providers. It's the same reason that women (even young girls) are expected to know how to (and be willing to) change a diaper of even a stranger's baby while guys who do so are superheros.
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Old 15 February 2016, 03:17 PM
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I was very lucky. My parents lived at home until my mother died (suddenly but not really unexpectedly) at 75. Then, when my father decided he shouldn't drive any more (implanted defibrillator), he moved himself into an assisted living facility where he stayed for the next almost eight years, until he died.

There was no way either my sister, brother or I could've have had them in our homes (due in part to my father's firm belief that visitors and fish start to smell in 3 days), and my father would've been deeply unhappy in the city. This was the best for him all around, especially after my nephew moved to the same town to go to college. He visited my dad at least once a week.

Speaking to the article, though, if either of my parents had become unable to make decisions for themselves, it would have been my sister and I who dealt with it. I'm not sure if that's because we were women, or we lived closer than my brother.

Seaboe
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Old 15 February 2016, 03:37 PM
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When it became clear my mom was going to need care, my youngest brother commented that there used to be "maiden aunts" who handled such matters -- and added, after a beat, "Oh. I'm the maiden aunt." He was unmarried, has no kids, and lived locally, so he ended up being the primary caregiver, although the rest of us chipped in quite a bit.

That said, I imagine that statistically, women are more often the primary caregivers for the elderly. That's no reason to downplay or denigrate the contributions of men who fill that role, but OTOH I see no reason to disregard the statistical reality completely.
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Old 15 February 2016, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post

That said, I imagine that statistically, women are more often the primary caregivers for the elderly. That's no reason to downplay or denigrate the contributions of men who fill that role, but OTOH I see no reason to disregard the statistical reality completely.
Someone on another board I post at calls this the "what about the mens" mentality and it does get annoying pretty fast. I recall there being a thread about breast cancer and how women can be devastated at the thought of losing their breasts which is why it was wonderful that there were now lingerie stores etc catering to the needs of post-op women and almost immediately someone piped up with a "what about the mens" post that hey men get breast cancer too. Well yes they do, it's extremely rare (less than 1% of all breast cancer cases are found in men) but it does happen. However men are not generally going to be devastated at losing their breasts and need to find bras etc . That this even needed to be said was more than a little irritating. To say the least.
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Old 15 February 2016, 05:46 PM
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It's also just about impossible to have a discussion about Female Genital Mutilation without someone chiming in to talk about the evil of circumcision.
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