British families should take elderly relatives to live with them - like in Asia

(138 Posts)
juneau Fri 18-Oct-13 15:50:31

According to Jeremy Hunt anyway.

So, could you see yourself doing this? Would your elderly relatives actually WANT you to? Do you have the space.

I would rather kill myself than have my DM living with me. I could possibly cope with my dad, although he's terribly dithery and likes things done his way. As for my step-parents and in-laws - again, death (either theirs or mine), would be preferable grin

UriGHOULer Fri 18-Oct-13 15:54:42

I would if the need arose. Currently my parents are far healthier, wealthier and comfortable than we are. I might suggest they take us in to their 6 bedroomed executive palace grin

ChristmasPixie123 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:59:08

I would want to look after my parents unless I couldn't care for them properly. I've always said that as my mother works in care and I have done all my work experience in a care home (which I hated). I hear too many horror stories about people in care so unless I had no choice I wouldn't even consider it.

MIL is a different story however....She has 4 different children to chose from grin

PloddingDaily Fri 18-Oct-13 15:59:52

Oh dear lord no!!! Two weeks in a caravan with MIL last year was MORE than enough...lovely as (in my rational moments) I know she is, I can't imagine it going well... <shudders & sits huddled, rocking & twitching at holiday memories>

Chocotrekkie Fri 18-Oct-13 16:00:19

But it's a distance thing too.
I would be happy to have my mum live with me but for her it would mean moving 200 miles and probably never seeing most of her friends/neighbours/the woman she chats to for hours in the corner shop/gp who know her and her medical history etc..
Other family would visit her and maybe one or two friends but no one else.

Apart from me when I'm not at work, DH when he's not at work/out and the flying visits from kids who need fed and then taken elsewhere who would she talk to all day ?

My Mum still thinks I don't drink. She was up in arms that DP went to the pub with his brothers when she stayed over from NZ. And DS really didn't take to her.

She might hoard in my house. I couldn't face it if she brought GM gravestone along with her.

No just no.

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 16:06:08

I love my DDad dearly, but I couldn't live with him.

SuperiorCat Fri 18-Oct-13 16:10:04

My parents would not want to be a burden to anyone so would not want to live with any of us.

PIL have 4 DCs and other than a phone call a few times a year that is as close as it gets. No way would I want them living with us.

newgirl Fri 18-Oct-13 16:10:48

I think this falls on women - childcare then year or two off then caring for parents

How many men think this means them?

Aniseeda Fri 18-Oct-13 16:18:15

I just couldn't do it I'm afraid. I honestly believe I would end up severely depressed within a very short space of time (I have suffered from depression so not saying this lightly) and incapable of caring for them anyway.

I will do everything possible to ensure that both sets of parents (all lovely people) are well cared for but it won't be by me.

I don't want any of my children taking me on in my old age either.

If Jeremy Hunt wants to take in his own elderly relatives, good luck to him.

I admire anyone who can do it.

FriskyHenderson Fri 18-Oct-13 16:21:06

Not without endangering my DC.

I'd have MIL in a very self contained annex though, except she'd have to move 300 miles away from friends and family.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Fri 18-Oct-13 16:24:05

So which member of the family is going to give up work to care for the relative (the woman I'm guessing hmm) and how will they manage financially with mortgage (and other) costs so bloody high?

PinkStarStuck Fri 18-Oct-13 16:32:59

In the perfect circumstances I think it can work...it's not going to work if you live in a 3 bed semi thought is it? Not that Jeremy Hunt lives in one of those...

I do know someone who has done this but, their DC's have all left home, they have enough space for the parent in question to have their own bathroom and pretty big bedroom. It's still had it's stressful moments though and there was definitely a period near the beginning that was very tricky.

I don't think it would be for everyone and I certainly don't think people should feel guilty for not taking their parents in...anyway, bloody government, yet again telling us how we should live our lives!

To provide proper round the clock care which someone who needs residential care requires means someone is going to have to stay home and not work. If you are talking about this as a way to avoid resi care then it is a very different prospect to moving your elderly parents in so that you can keep an eye on things.

The trouble is that as a society we have changed and households where it is possible for one person not to work to provide this service is surely not in the majority. What does Jeremy Hunt propose to do about the financial cost to these families?

I think Mr Hunt has not thought this through at all properly and his Asian model argument is both far too simplistic and ill thought out.

I also think that women generally take on the vast bulk of such a role if their parents or other relatives move in with them.

On Radio 4's Today programme, Anthea Tinker, the professor of social gerontology at King's College in London, said it was a "myth" that eastern Asian families placed greater reverence on families and older people than in the West.

"The reality is that with one-child-families, children have often moved to a city or emigrated," she said.

"So it's just not practical for families to depend on their children. One of the largest nursing homes in the world is about to open in China, for 5,000 people, which is amazing."

South Korea has the highest number of elderly suicides in the world.

Pootles2010 Fri 18-Oct-13 16:35:44

No. I can't see how it'd work tbh - surely by the point they couldn't look after themselves then me living with them but working full time wouldn't be much use?

I think people who swear they will never do this have no experience of dementia, tbh.

LaFataMalvagia Fri 18-Oct-13 16:36:20

I'd like to be able to, for either my parents or DPs parents - Unless they became dangerous for some reason, or they needed too much (ie. we couldn't live a normal life and look after them) or too specialised care.

But if they were just a bit poorly/doddery/forgetful I would in a heartbeat. (that is the stage both my grandmas are at at the moment, one grandma lives with my uncle and the other lives by herself but has plenty of relatives that pop in on her every few days)

It seems normal to me, but I think it is partly cultural as I'm Italian and DP is Asian.

turkeyboots Fri 18-Oct-13 16:39:48

I don't live in same country as DM or even the same continent as DF, so caring for them would mean major upheaval. But I have proposed a bed in a shed with a Charlie and chocolate factory arrangement for an relative who decides to throw themselves on my mercy. That seems to have put them off the idea, given both parents and in laws have been divorced for over a decade!

expatinscotland Fri 18-Oct-13 16:43:26

Cuz we can all afford such spacious accommodation like Jeremy CHunt. We don't live in Asia.

juneau Fri 18-Oct-13 16:51:53

Ultimately, this is just the government trying to save money again. And yes, it's a nice idea, isn't it? That we can all end our days in the bosom of our families - loved and valued to the end. Reality isn't usually like that though and the thought of raising children, then nursing parents through their elderly decline, and then doing the same for a spouse strikes me as a very masochistic life and, of course, one that will fall to the woman of the house to perform.

NotCitrus Fri 18-Oct-13 16:57:15

My parents would prefer to pay for a bit of home help or similar, and by the time that was insufficient, would probably need more care than I or DP could physically give and would need a nursing home. If MIL died then FIL might consider living in our granny flat, but would hate our noisy household. MIL is lovely but huge and has health issues and no way could we look after her if FIL and SIL couldn't.

Some care homes may be inadequate but at least they have training in preventing bed sores, other people to talk to, regular doctor and nurse visits, all stuff I wouldn't have. I do envy people who have fit and helpful parents living nearby to help with the school run, but if your parents are 70 when your kids are born, it's not very likely.

crescentmoon England Fri 18-Oct-13 17:15:21

i think its the british fear of being a 'burden' on the part of the older generation that would stop this. i often read that term 'burden' when mnetters discuss their own arrangements for when they get old 'i wouldnt want to be a burden.' its a very cultural way to look at it - not so in other parts of the world where it is more of an honour to take care of elderly relatives. now imagine if euthanasia was made legal in the UK in this cultural context and with the government requirements for people to sell their homes to fund retirement. fear of being a burden plus not wanting their children to lose their inheritance would probably lead to a large takeup of euthanasia amongst that demographic. or there could well be unscrupulous relatives putting pressure on their elderly parents to 'take the pill and do their final selfless act for their children'.

crescentmoon England Fri 18-Oct-13 17:16:19

*to fund 'retirement home' i meant

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 18-Oct-13 17:22:45

How many men in Asia do the caring? This is part of much wider cultural differences that see women, chiefly, at home, doing all the bloody work. I strongly suspect the Tories would like that here too...

morethanpotatoprints Fri 18-Oct-13 17:27:47

I won't have the option as mine aren't here anymore, but of course I would have done. I couldn't bear for any of my family to be institutionalised unless there was no option. That includes my children grin

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