I overheard a conversation the other day.
A lady with an elderly father was vehemently denying she would ever assist her father with his toenails. She said "there are some things that are just too personal."
Well it got me thinking about elderly care in the family.
I asked myself, if Dad had surgery would I be prepared to look after him and assist with showering and dressing?
As for his toenails!
I used to show my love for him from about 8 years of age by doing his toes and massaging his feet when he was tired from work. I appreciated that he went to work all day to provide for the family.
Now looking back I could not deny care to someone who cared for me.
I had not thought about the limits before.
Is it because my mother was a nurse and care for the elderly was something that we were more attuned too?
I watched her care for my grandmother until her death.
Am I just de-sensitised to age and personal care?
Is it a cultural thing?My Italian friends and Asian friends place no boundaries on parental care.
Is it a class thing?
Is it a sign of economic progression? We have all sorts of people we can pay to do these jobs.
Obviously there comes a time when the level of care required is not always able to be provided in the home environment. There is a lot of other "stuff" before that time though.
Because of the work I do, I see more and more elderly couples trying to maintain nursing care of each other when they really are at their limit already. One of the reasons is that families are more far flung these days. Once it was that children moved interstate but now it is common for them to re-locate to different countries all together!
I'm not judging here, just making an observation.
Have you ever thought about the day your elderly relative may need care?
Have you had experience with elderly care?
I would really love to hear your thoughts and experiences.