Caring is a significant challenge, capable of providing the satisfaction of “doing the right thing,” but also of generating exhaustion. When that care is about beings so close, like older parents, and when they are more fragile, the question about what to do and how to intervene becomes urgent.
A few decades ago, “taking good care” of parents was an ideal that had more obvious answers. The “filial duty” had to be respected in precise ways, and the social controls were more explicit, weighed the fear of being seen as “a bad son.”
Many of the current values promise more personal lives and less dependent on others, even caring for the other can be considered as a forgetting of oneself. What has generated family ties are more questioned and less intense, but not non-existent.
So also in the last decades, the lifestyles of the elderly have become more autonomous, and their lives are not reduced to the closest and most intimate ties.
In this way, “taking good care” of parents becomes more diffuse and relative, less dependent on the exclusively family, with new social pacts in which the State, family, friends and even neighbors are necessary participants. However, like any social organization that is transformed generates conflicts where it is not always so clear who is responsible for answering. Children are often those who feel this responsibility, which is the question about the limits of the obligation and, why not, the fault. The fault is a normal thing but should be avoided, same as if we look for essay writing service, we may create a fault.
The question many ask is: to what extent should I intervene when the “adult and senior” relatives do not allow it? The question that seems to have a simple answer, since there is no doubt that age is not in itself a limit to exercise autonomy, and we emphasize that the majority is capable of applying it. Therefore no one should suggest or argue, as we would with any other adult.
Although the issue becomes more problematic when that mother, father or close relative stops eating enough, does not sanitize, falls frequently, becomes disoriented or begins to have forgotten or other mistakes that can affect your life. Especially when this seems to escape their will, often as a result of a life crisis, a depressive state, cognitive failures or others that do not allow to assess and address the situation, or simply size it.
In these situations, and in the face of suggestions to adopt measures that reduce the risk, the refusal to accept a home caregiver, a consultation with health professionals, or any other possible alternative may be common. Factors that make children impotent, generating situations of anguish, of each other that can lead to different forms of violence.
Which leads us to consider much more crudely what the answer is, and to what extent it is possible to be able to recognize that, even that valuable ideal of autonomy may not account for the needs of a subject, that is, that “right” own “can no longer be exercised in the same way.
That is where it is necessary to respond in what way solutions can be found that do not fall back on highly invasive measures, which ignore the values and vital interests of the person being cared for. Discern what you can not decide as much as you can, avoiding quickly dismantling the mechanisms that worked a large part of your life, but not reaching a point of “supposed trust” in a false autonomy that ends up turning the child’s attitude into abandonment or negligence.
In these cases, it is more important to know what vital situation we are referring to, which of the illnesses we are talking about. People with dementia in initial degrees have found useful resources to continue living in their home, while others, in the face of a loss of a loved one or the experience of loneliness, are so difficult to cope that they enter into depressive states that can make them highly dependent.