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Taking care of Parents

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namaskarams: the original post seeks views of senior citizens, thank you for that, Gopal-ji! my children, both of them, and their little ones, were abroad, one has returned, lives away in another place in India, one still abroad. my wife and myself both are fully aware of the sea change in the times of our own younger days and the present: no comparison, on many counts! what we wish for, pray for, above everything else today, is the well being, and comfort and smooth progress in life, of our children and grandchildren. certainly, we, in our case, are not claiming that we brought up the children and lead them to their present good position in life, it is all God's doing (God might have used us in some measure for that), and we have a right to be 'looked after'. we try our best to adjust to the times, to our own retired life and old age, which are but inevitable: yes, it will be a great advantage to have easy access to some typical needs of old age, as may be available in a 'senior citizens' organised campus', some coming up in various parts of our country, as indeed elsewhere in the world, too. we keep reassuring our children that we are happy, and, they, in their turn are happy, too: that way, it is easier for us, both parties to find happiness mutually in a kind of friendship, which is gradually spreading to the grandchildren's level at this point of time! this may be a typical case, or, may not be: but certainly something of an ideal (or, nearly so) situation: we keep in touch with many seniors around, go and visit them in senior citizens' homes, spend time with them, that also makes us happy: maybe, some of this could be formalised, some of us could get together and share notes more vigoroously. thanq, again, Gopal-ji! namaskarams: rj.
 
Namaskarams: specifically, India is heading in the 'right direction', but moving in that direction at slow speed: i, for one, would advise you to stay put where you are, make the best of both the worlds, and think of 'migrating back' only if you have strong grounding such as ancestral home and close-knit close relatives in close touch (i've deliberately used the word 'close' repeatedly), in which case your reason for coming back will not be 'old age parents needing your support'! it is, indeed, a paradox! India will take at least 30 years from now to have reasonably good infrastructural facility for good education, communication(roads, rail, air), and basic power&water supply, and health support systems. if your adaptability is not very good, you may be in for frustration, if you return in a hurry. please read this with my earlier comment on more general, broad terms. thank you, once again: namaskarams -- rj.
 

kunjuppu

Active member
namaskarams: the original post seeks views of senior citizens, thank you for that, Gopal-ji! my children, both of them, and their little ones, were abroad, one has returned, lives away in another place in India, one still abroad. my wife and myself both are fully aware of the sea change in the times of our own younger days and the present: no comparison, on many counts! what we wish for, pray for, above everything else today, is the well being, and comfort and smooth progress in life, of our children and grandchildren. certainly, we, in our case, are not claiming that we brought up the children and lead them to their present good position in life, it is all God's doing (God might have used us in some measure for that), and we have a right to be 'looked after'. we try our best to adjust to the times, to our own retired life and old age, which are but inevitable: yes, it will be a great advantage to have easy access to some typical needs of old age, as may be available in a 'senior citizens' organised campus', some coming up in various parts of our country, as indeed elsewhere in the world, too. we keep reassuring our children that we are happy, and, they, in their turn are happy, too: that way, it is easier for us, both parties to find happiness mutually in a kind of friendship, which is gradually spreading to the grandchildren's level at this point of time! this may be a typical case, or, may not be: but certainly something of an ideal (or, nearly so) situation: we keep in touch with many seniors around, go and visit them in senior citizens' homes, spend time with them, that also makes us happy: maybe, some of this could be formalised, some of us could get together and share notes more vigoroously. thanq, again, Gopal-ji! namaskarams: rj.

rajuvish,

a good thoughtful post. i am also on the verge of retirement, and apart from wishing my children well, do not want anything from them except good wishes.

their happiness is our happiness. our end will come. we can just pray for a quick one. a prolonged illness puts burden on the loved ones.

God Bless.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
rajuvish,

a good thoughtful post. i am also on the verge of retirement, and apart from wishing my children well, do not want anything from them except good wishes.

their happiness is our happiness. our end will come. we can just pray for a quick one. a prolonged illness puts burden on the loved ones.

God Bless.

kunjuppu

in this day and age of medicine,quick end,lies with doctors,i think.

children adore their parents no matter what,just as parents do for their chidlren.owing to modern life,things may not be exactly like past,but love exists in all its form even today.love rules.
 

kunjuppu

Active member
kunjuppu

in this day and age of medicine,quick end,lies with doctors,i think.

.

nachi,

wish that were true.

it is my experience, that doctors, thanks to their hippocratic oath, tend to extend lives as long as possible, without giving much thought to quality of life.

here is an instance, that happened quite some years ago to someone i knew: the house had a indoor pool, and there was a party. some idiot left the door to the pool open, and the host's 2.5 year old daughter slipped in through the door and fell into the pool.

she was discovered semi comatose some minutes later. the ambulance was called and rushed her to the hospital.

meanwhile my friend a doctor who had been on an errand, came home to the situation, and rushed to the hospital with a view to request NOT to revive the baby. but the hospital had already done that.

now 18 years later, the girl is still alive - thanks to modern medicine's eagerness to save lives. except she is paralysed completely, has no mental growth beyond 2.5 years and completely dependent on others to feed, clothe and clean her.

what should we make of that? i don't know.

had only my friend reached the hospital on time, the girl would not have resuscitated. would that be a sin?
 
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nachi naga

Guest
nachi,

wish that were true.

it is my experience, that doctors, thanks to their hippocratic oath, tend to extend lives as long as possible, without giving much thought to quality of life.

here is an instance, that happened quite some years ago to someone i knew: the house had a indoor pool, and there was a party. some idiot left the door to the pool open, and the host's 2.5 year old daughter slipped in through the door and fell into the pool.

she was discovered semi comatose some minutes later. the ambulance was called and rushed her to the hospital.

meanwhile my friend a doctor who had been on an errand, came home to the situation, and rushed to the hospital with a view to request NOT to revive the baby. but the hospital had already done that.

now 18 years later, the girl is still alive - thanks to modern medicine's eagerness to save lives. except she is paralysed completely, has no mental growth beyond 2.5 years and completely dependent on others to feed, clothe and clean her.

what should we make of that? i don't know.

had only my friend reached the hospital on time, the girl would not have resuscitated. would that be a sin?

kunjuppu

saving a life is the goal,that medical professional acheived it.kudos to them.as to your query of quality of life as far as the child is concerned who grew into young woman,minus her faculties and paralysed limbs,she is in sath chith anandam,it's the people who care for her maybe having a hard time taking care of her.i would still consider her as my lil girl,love her untill natural death of the body takes place.anyways,this is just me,life is a wonderful gift to cherish enjoy as long as possible,quick end is also possible provided one is a coward in life and attempts suicide.
 
...
now 18 years later, the girl is still alive - thanks to modern medicine's eagerness to save lives. except she is paralysed completely, has no mental growth beyond 2.5 years and completely dependent on others to feed, clothe and clean her.

what should we make of that? i don't know.

had only my friend reached the hospital on time, the girl would not have resuscitated. would that be a sin?
Really could not help feel for the girl and her parents. We dont know what the mind of the girl would be spinning around... or of the level of awareness, or of the mental suffocation experienced every second... or it may be just a stillness, a jadam. It is a terrifying thought.

If her condition is beyond the scope of modern medicine, I only hope that her karmas get exhausted with this suffering...

To the last part of your post, I think that the decision of whether a person can live or not is not within our hands, irrespective of the reason; it is against dharmam.

Which makes me think that this,

.....she is in sath chith anandam,
is probably one of the craziest conclusions I have come across. :suspicious:

it's the people who care for her maybe having a hard time taking care of her.i would still consider her as my lil girl,love her untill natural death of the body takes place.
Very true; theirs is a suffering of a different nature.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
sapthajihva

you used jadam as a probability,but me qualified her as sath chit anandam,dunno maybe i am crazy boss :)
 

kunjuppu

Active member
saptha, nachi,

i forgot to mention that the ambulance folks who arrived at her home and checked her out, pronounced her 'brain dead'.

normally in such cases, they let the body die slowly by withholding nutrients. organs may be donated. all this with the permission of the family.

in this case, since the father was not there, the girl when transported to the hospital, went through the default which is revival of the heart beat. the brain has been dead for over 18 years.

not sure, if this would change your perspective or not. no matter what, it has been a tough life for the parents. and the siblings too.

all this sorrow, happened in a matter of seconds, and due to one guest's failure to read the sign on the door of the pool, 'KEEP DOOR CLOSED BABIES AT HOME'.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Dear all..

I am going to be a bit medical and at the same time non medical here.

Its of no use reviving a brain dead individual from a medical point of view.

well coming to non medical point of view..in a brain dead individual..the astral body is almost detached from the physical body..just waiting for the Pranas to exit completely..in a matter of time there will be death..but when you jump start the heart again,you force back the astral body into a dysfunctional physical body..
well its hard to say..from then onwards..dont know the state of mind of such an individual..

the best thing is to do the best for the patient..interms of quality of life..
its easy to feel and say..parents can look after such an individual but if the child outlives the parents? who is going to look after such a child?
 
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nachi naga

Guest
kunjuppu

too tragic,she is a vegetable.parents and siblings lives would have changed dramatically.hope she attains peace.
 
Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather,
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare:
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short,
Youth is nimble, Age is lame:
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold,
Youth is wild, and Age is tame:—
Age, I do abhor thee,
Youth, I do adore thee;
O! my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee—
O sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay'st too long.

--W. Shakespeare
 
N

nachi naga

Guest
Dear all..

I am going to be a bit medical and at the same time non medical here.

Its of no use reviving a brain dead individual from a medical point of view.

well coming to non medical point of view..in a brain dead individual..the astral body is almost detached from the physical body..just waiting for the Pranas to exit completely..in a matter of time there will be death..but when you jump start the heart again,you force back the astral body into a dysfunctional physical body..
well its hard to say..from then onwards..dont know the state of mind of such an individual..

the best thing is to do the best for the patient..interms of quality of life..
its easy to feel and say..parents can look after such an individual but if the child outlives the parents? who is going to look after such a child?

renuka

assuming the worst case scenario,don't you think our society is compassonate enuff to sustain a life,even though the life seems like that of inertness?god all ways provides ways and means to sustain life,untill the athma decides to exit from the body.
 
....If parenthood is all about giving and never taking, I honestly feel children will grow up taking, taking, taking and taking for granted that everyone owes them something.

My dear Amala, I have been wanting to respond to this poignant post from you for a while, but did not know how to put my thoughts across best. This morning I heard something in Democracy Now and I knew immediately that was it, that story conveys my thoughts very well.

An aside first, there are some from my generation in India who think everyday must be Mother's day, look at the west, they think they have one day to celebrate mom and the rest of the year they don't care. This is a false understanding. In my experience, people here care for their moms just as much. Every day is a good day to love one's mom here also. But, on this one day they want to honor her and make her feel special. Further, it is a day to honor all moms, not just their own mom.

Back to my response. National Public Radio here in the U.S. runs a project called Story Corps. Anyone can go bring someone and talk about their lives for 40 minutes. These conversations are recorded and stored in the US Congressional Library for future generations. Selected stories are featured in news reports. Couple of books have been published of selected recordings as well.

They have published a new book about moms and Democracy Now featured an interview with the producer. During the interview I heard about one particular case that caught my eye, ahem, ear. This is about a daughter and her mom falling apart, and getting back together. Towards the end of this particular narration in the recording, the lady became very emotional and started sobbing.

In the following, Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now, Dave Isay is the Story Corps producer, Nancy Wright is the daughter talking about her mom to her son JD.

AMY GOODMAN: So Nancy Wright, she’s fifty-three.

DAVE ISAY: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: And her son, JD.

DAVE ISAY: Yes, and they wanted- she wanted to remember her mom whose name was Francis Guy Erickson. And this is just a little excerpt of their conversation.

AMY GOODMAN: And JD’s nineteen.

DAVE ISAY: JD’s nineteen, yes.


  • JD WRIGHT: What was your relationship like with her?

    NANCY WRIGHT: We had an interesting time, especially in adolescence. We were pretty compatible up to that point and then I think we grated on each other’s nerves quite a bit. And our relationship went really downhill from there. She was critical of me and very judgment-laden, and finally, when I was about thirty, we were together and it was just a miserable weekend. I felt our relationship was awful. And I told her right before I left that I couldn’t deal with that kind of criticism anymore and it wasn’t helping me, and she said that that’s what mothers do. I said I didn’t need a mother anymore, I needed a friend; That if she wanted to continue to try and be my mother that way, that i didn’t want that, but to call me if she wanted to be my friend. She was very angry and upset. I kind of almost didn’t expect to hear from her because she could be a little stubborn. It’s kind of a family trait. I think about two weeks, though, after that conversation, I picked up the phone one day and a kind of small voice said on the other side, “Hi, this is your friend.” And it was. And we stayed friends until she died. With only occasional lapses in critical judgment. But, I think I had my lapses, too.
Amala, my take is, while growing up parents show love by taking care of them and providing a loving environment to develop and be a good person. Once the children are grown up, the parents the only way to show love is to be a friend, a good and dependable friend they can count on. Respect and understanding must be mutual.

In this context, my hat tip to Jambu, his posts about his granddaughter are quite a treat. Whether he has good English or not, it is not for me to judge, but he sure seems to be a wonderful grandfather and I am sure a great father too.

peace and love to all.....
 
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agopal

Active member
Thanks a lot for all your comments, opinions and suggestions. Really appreciate it. I read all of your reples.I don't know how my situation might turn out but I really hope that my dad and my family are happier whereever they are. My brother is living with my father so I guess I have some time now to decide to return to India or not.
rajuvish pointed out that his son does not live with him even though he has returned to India. That seems to be some sort of compromise and may work out for us. Anyway time will tell.
 
REALITY ALWAYS FRIGHTENS US AND WE ARE NOT READY TO FACE IT.
We parents have to accept that we are the cause of our children living away from us.We taught them to be ambitious,make more money with the help of the education we gave them and also trained them to stay away from us during the course of their studies.We sowed the seeds into them and we are reaping loneliness.We should form a community wherein parents of all children living abroad can stay together and live as a family and be of support to one another.
 
.....ooops: my 'quick reply post' seems to have vanished! anyway, a lovely thought above, 'living as one family'. maybe this is the right place to compare&share notes, judging from the mature&active discussions above. namaskarams: rj.
 
Amala, my take is, while growing up parents show love by taking care of them and providing a loving environment to develop and be a good person. Once the children are grown up, the parents the only way to show love is to be a friend, a good and dependable friend they can count on. Respect and understanding must be mutual.

I have no disagreement about parents and children being friends. I'm all for it, if it actually does reduce any tension/friction in the family. My concern is that, children should be friends in need for their parents when their parents are old and unable to manage and not good-time-only-friends, as many a friendship can turn out to be. That is all I was/still am saying from the beginning.

I'd like to digress a bit. Friendship like all other relationships need nurturing and must be two ways. It takes two to tango. We cannot have one party always going that extra mile to keep it going, to keep in touch or whatever. Parents-children relationship is the same.
 
I have no disagreement about parents and children being friends. I'm all for it, if it actually does reduce any tension/friction in the family. My concern is that, children should be friends in need for their parents when their parents are old and unable to manage and not good-time-only-friends, as many a friendship can turn out to be. That is all I was/still am saying from the beginning.

I'd like to digress a bit. Friendship like all other relationships need nurturing and must be two ways. It takes two to tango. We cannot have one party always going that extra mile to keep it going, to keep in touch or whatever. Parents-children relationship is the same.
Ideally, repeat ideally, love of any kind (compassiion, sympathy, kindness etc., included), and friendship, should not be 'need based': as we move along in life, it is good to keep an eye on the ideal always, on the 'emotion front', on the 'health front', on the 'finance front', on the 'relationship front', and on the 'time management front', in particular, among other important areas in life management -- it helps a great deal in old age, in the retired life phase, the phase of life in which we gradually 'slide' into spiritual planes as individuals from religious planes as 'groups'! i consider that relevant to the kind of friendship you are talking about, between young adults and their parents, with responsibilities, mutually binding, and duties&obligations, some hidden&tacit, some more explicit, visible: your posts are very mature views, and may the consistency in the way you seem to understand the rules of relationships in small prints, give you a lot of strength and power in your life, for a very very long time, dear Amala! love&regards: rj.
 
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I'd like to digress a bit. Friendship like all other relationships need nurturing and must be two ways. It takes two to tango. We cannot have one party always going that extra mile to keep it going, to keep in touch or whatever. Parents-children relationship is the same.

I believe you would not mind if I differ a bit with your comments above.

It takes two to tango, both the parties in a relationship should be equally responding and are all sensibly true as per human expectations/feelings.

Parenthood is beyond all sorts of human expectations and feelings. Though children go out of their way, offending their parents, parents would have the pain for sure, but no hatred and would never let their children feel despondent, when they wish to come back to heir parents in a true sense.

It may look like parents expect children to reciprocate with love, commitment and responsibility and its true to the extent of human feelings and expactations and not as the only source of making up of mind for fulfilling their children. The bottom line of the parenthood is only to be contended and happy with the prosperity of their children, doesn’t matter how selfish and rude were the children towards their parents.

In this sense if you look deep into the giving and taking policy between parents and children, you will for sure find that parenthood is all about giving, giving and only giving, doesn’t matter if their efforts in nurturing good qualities in their children fail.
 
Thank you very much for your blessings RajuvishJi. Even I'm being a tad idealistic as far as parent/children relationship go, from the (ideal) child's perspective...naturally!

While every parent on here and some non parents as well are quick to point out parents responsiblities and duties towards their children, when it comes to the children measuring up, everyone is bar one or two seem to be saying its ok if they don't measure up. Oh well, we get the children we deserve at the end of the day I suppose.

Parents are human too. I cannot get this idea that parents are some unconditional love and giving machine with no feelings, no expecatation, no desires frm their children, that many on here are touting :(
 

kunjuppu

Active member
..
While every parent on here and some non parents as well are quick to point out parents responsiblities and duties towards their children, when it comes to the children measuring up, everyone is bar one or two seem to be saying its ok if they don't measure up. Oh well, we get the children we deserve at the end of the day I suppose.

Parents are human too. I cannot get this idea that parents are some unconditional love and giving machine with no feelings, no expecatation, no desires frm their children, that many on here are touting :(

amla,

i do not think it is so cut and dry in a parent-child relationship as you envisage.

life is a little more complex than that. at the time, when parents lean on their children, are also those times, when the children are building a family.

the stresses and strugles of modern day urban living, is something that few of the previous generation has experienced. most of us children, have in built psyche to desire to take care of our parents - again this is conditional - boys' parents and not girls.

why this should be valid, in this day where parents apparently live with one or two girls, and do not keep breeding till they reach the sought after son? i do not know, except i think it is one of the factors why our boys are finding it difficult to find brides.

a promise to take care of the girls' parents might swing the vote in their favour. but then what happens to the boy's parents.

i have seen two in-laws living in the same household, and the u.s. civil war looks like a friendly pow-wow compared to the situation in such environments.

again one finds time and money limited. whether you provide comfort for the parent or the need of a growing up child? the emotional demands of the parent and their need for attention, or the child? what about the wife?

things may get simpler in a female centered home, as husbands are not that demanding, i find, when it comes to emotional support from their spouses.

the biggest source of friction between spouses is the parents. there are exceptions. there are folks who claim to have the ideal relationships with the dils or sils. all these are fortunate folks, and i think, do not conform to the norm.

all in all, i would like to give benefit of the doubt to the child, when i see a parent complaining of ingratitude from their children. not out of any sense of wisdom or knowledge, but only after an old adage, that one acquires wisdom with age. i, on the contrary, as i age, have found that there is no fool like an old fool.

.. and so it goes. no thing asolutley right or no thing absolutely wrong. all in shades of gray according to our mite.

hope this also accommadates within your sphere of relevance.

thank you.
 
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namaskarams: The Hindu today (May 16, Sunday) carries a few artic les on the SeniorCitizen scenario on page 16. Not much depth in the featured articles, i thought, in comparison with the debate in our forum! But, the 'readers write' space in the next few days, may have interesting follow-ups on this. regards, best wishes to everyone on this the 'AkshayaThritheeya' Day! -- rj
 
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