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If you had £60,000! - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

If you had £60,000!

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
Sajahar, your post was very eloquent and moving, but I do think that elder caring has a moral aspect of its own that is fundamentally different from caring for those who are disabled, or ill or otherwise in need of care while still 'in the prime of life' (let alone those who haven't yet reached their prime).

My fundamental point is that the elderly have already HAD a good long life (well, it might have been a sad long life, and I am the first to acknowledged the sorrows that have afflicted my MIL, a widow for thirty years, and her own son dead before her). It's the problem (as I see it!) of those who have already HAD their lives who want yet MORE life, but they can only have those extra years IF those younger than them give up their own 'personal lives'.

Some, yes, like yourself, make that sacrifice willingly, and it isn't even a sacrifice, and I would be the very first to both applaud you and certainly not try and argue you out of the decision youv'e made. But even when those like you want to make that decision, it still is not, to my mind, a 'fair' decision to put upon your shoulders!

I suppose, what I'm saying, though I'm trying hard not to - yet the logic of my original argument is ineluctably leading towards it, I can see.... - is that we (and I do mean WE, as in, 'including me!' SHOULD really die when we get 'old and needy'.....

Yes, 'old' is subjective - longevity is high in the west, and I think premature death is regarded as being anytime before 75 (I think that's correct??) - and 'needy' is certainly subjective, but perhaps boils down to 'how many hours of attention does it require from a carer to keep that 'old' person going'.

But, at whatever point 'old' actually hits, and wherever 'needy' actually occurs, at that point, then expecting someone who has not yet achieved those number of years to keep the elderly person going, does seem fundamentally 'unfair'. That's why I 'translated' years into money....to make that point.

It would seem to me that the only way one can 'justify' being very old and very needy is if, indeed, as you point out - and I completely agree with you on that! - the 'caring burden' is shared out between multiple individuals, whether family or professional, so as to reduce the burden per person.

I know I've made it sound horrribly horribly 'us or them' (or even 'me or them'!)(I don't want to tar anyone else with my own particularly ruthless Darwinian brush!), but would any of us here, as carers, want to turn into carees ourselves? Would any of us want our own children to have to do for us, what we are doing for our own older generation? I don't think we would! (Sadly, though, I think I remember Crocus saying that her own mother, who'd had to care for her mother or MIL, saying just that, ie, that she would never want to be a burden - and yet that is what she had become herself))I think because of dementia????)

I know I would never want my son and DIL (assuming my DIL is a decent girl and not a selfish hussy!!!!!) to have to go through what I've been going through with my MIL, let alone anything worse (as it could so easily, easily be!). I really,. really don't want to buy my 'extra years of life' at their expense.....(but of course, grimly, maybe I'll change my mind when my time approaches...easy to be 'noble' when what you are being noble about is - I trust! - decades away yet......)

I do think (hope!) though, that what our generation is going through in terms of caring for the elderly is going to prove an 'aberration' - our generation just happens to be caught at the point of history between 'the olden days' when it was rare for anyone to live much beyond 80, say, and what I hope will become increasingly the norm as the next decades arrive, which is to enjoy a very healthy and independent extreme old age with very little need for care.

Certainly, my own situation with my MIL is teaching me very, very vividly, that my prime directive, so to speak, is to get healthy and stay healthy, in body and mind, for as long, long, long as I possibly can!
jenny lucas wrote:I suppose, what I'm saying, though I'm trying hard not to - yet the logic of my original argument is ineluctably leading towards it, I can see.... - is that we (and I do mean WE, as in, 'including me!' SHOULD really die when we get 'old and needy'.....
Jenny, life isn't made up of only the good things. Life is times of health as well as times of illness. It's times of anger as well as times of love. It's the newly born looking at the world with wonder as well as the old looking back to a bygone age. Subtract the negative aspects and you subtract half of life itself.

If I have a dog or cat, should I only love and care for it when it is strong and young? Should I cast it off when it is older with expensive dietary needs and arthritis sets in?

The old still have something to teach, something from which we can learn and grow. Something that is inside ourselves, of ourselves, that we never before recognised or knew existed.

It is part of life. It is a part of our growth, our personal journey through this world.
I'd like to give an alternative to your assumption that people have their life when they're younger, Jenny, as I feel my situation is different to the one you describe.

My childhood was quite an abusive one and, therefore, not very pleasant.

My teens and adult years were lost in a haze of drink and drugs, trying to block out the childhood (not trying to make excuses, I take full responsibility for the booze and the drugs, but I think the need to forget was a deep seated one). I became pregnant in my late twenties and have spent the last twelve years doing two things - caring for my (disabled) son and coming to terms with my childhood situation.

I expect to have full time care of my son for at least another ten years - that takes me to age 50. I hope there will be some sort of assisted living programme for him by that time but with the way things are being cut who knows. So assuming he is able to leave home at that time, from my perspective, I will finally start living my life at 50.

I already have health problems so I assume they will be more severe in ten years time. I may have accumulated other health problems by then, who knows?

I've not yet experienced true, unconditional love from another person. I didn't get it when I was a kid and I've never been in a relationship that gave me that (I should add the caveat that I mean love from another adult; my son loves me but that, I feel, is different).

Perhaps it is selfish of me, but I would love to be loved enough by another person that they would be willing to make a sacrifice for me. I fully expect to need some help to live my life, because I still won't have started by the time I'm 50. It's a pretty big delay to have! I've felt like a burden my whole life - I'm really hoping there will come a time when I won't feel like that but can still enjoy being around people and doing things that please me.

From a philosophical point of view, I think that getting into whose life has value is incredibly dodgy ground. I don't know the entire situation regarding your MIL as I'm a relatively new member and probably haven't read all the threads but I do think you need to simply tell her you aren't willing to look after her. You seem to me (apologies for the amateur psychology and I in no way mean to be offensive when I say this) to be trying to find a way to excuse yourself from taking care of her and not feel responsible for her. I don't think you have any reason to feel you ought to devote your life to her.

I wouldn't be willing to devote myself to my MIL. I don't think you should feel you have to. If you weren't around, other people would have to step in and look after her. If someone were looking after me in my old age I'd be horrified to find they felt that I ought to be dead and really wouldn't want to be looked after by them. Having been brought up by people who didn't want me I know what it feels like! I think it's fairer all round not to do something that your heart isn't into.
. SheWolf, my apologies for my inadvertent wolfism. Henceforth I shall use the expression foxing it down. Are there any ‘Foxes’ on the forum? Am I now guilty of foxism? Just make sure that chocy you’re licking off your paws is the dark stuff containing all sorts of unpronounceable goodies!

Jenny, I don’t think there’s a moral case for people outliving their usefulness at all.
If Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest actually worked then we humans wouldn’t be here.
We have bare skin (can’t keep ourselves warm without clothing) have no talons, claws, teeth to speak off, shit eye sight/hearing and very poor strength in relation to our body size. In short, we are Darwinian failures.
But like another anthropologist said (can’t remember his name), “There is a future for failures with flair.”

The logical conclusion of your ‘old and feeble’ should go away and die (top themselves?) for the greater good of society, is not a million miles removed from Spartans (supposedly) exposing any baby born with a defect being exposed to death on the mountain side.

Life is life. When are we going to stop thinking of it in such contentious terms. I have been massively inspired by Eun’s son, Robert, to up my ante. According to Darwin, he should be dead. I’m glad he’s not.

A civilisation should judge itself on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, be they old or young.
The lie we are being fed is that no longer applies. Why? Say’s who?


Perhaps we are victims of our own success? I suspect not. We are the 6th most wealthy country in the world, but we can’t afford proper respite for Eun’s son?

I suspect it will all be academic anyway. Isn’t there an obesity/diabetes crisis on the way? Not to mention all that shit in the Ukraine.

If the Russians don’t get us via there pipeline, then the diabetes will.

Whatever…..
Sajehar, I didn't realise you were a "Foxist"!! ;)

Only two words to follow all that:

Logan's Run.
Jenny, you may have said this elsewhere but I wonder whether you have discussed your concerns with your MIL. Does she know how the situation is from your side of things? Or are you holding in your frustrations and putting on a brave face?

It hurt me enormously to be honest with my Dad and admit that I simply couldn't carry on looking after him. But it was a discussion that I had to have with him. The outcome was that he moved into a care home, the caring was shared with others and I became his daughter again.

Jx
As an "oldie" to the forum who hasn't contributed for a while, reading some of the threads that have appeared recently has been very interesting.

I'm aware that there has been some discord and thought to myself that it would be a tough call for mods and admin. Much of what I read could.be seen as upsetting but of course as you are a carer Jenny, you have the right to your opinion.

But having read and reread this thread, I think maybe there is too much free rein being given.
Your return time and again to your fundamental point, here and on other threads. Fundamental point being old and needy should die if there are not plenty to look after them. Have I understood correctly?
Ok. They should die. How? Would you do it, how would you ensure death was forthcoming? Is there a cut off point, 80 I think you said? Arsenic or a doctor Shipman type job?
Would you kill an elderly relative because they have lived too long and are too old and needy..because they should die?

The reason I ask these questions are because I would like an answer. If old and needy should die and that topic is considered a suitable one then surely we are adult enough to take it to the next stage?

I have read quite a few of your posts Jenny. You are obviously resentful that you are at present caring for your MIL and have said so, in forceful terms which has upset some. So be it.
But when your viewpoint is advocating death for old and needy ( terms and conditions of course) and you camouflage initial posts to end up at the same "point", I do wonder what you are hoping to achieve. Discussion has been had aplenty but advocating death for all old and needy ( t&c again.blahblah) I am amazed that it still stands.
If we turned around to all those who choose not to care and called them inhumane we would rightly be taking the aims of this forum and twisting them.

My opinion is that you are doing exactly that. It smacks of everything that others, especially Sajehar, has raised and I would suggest that another look is taken at the thread. If it's deemed to be appropriate, then I would like an answer to what I've asked if possible. Freedom if speech and damn the consequences seeming to be the order of the day..
Jenny I have sent you a pm; but as the forum no longer sends email notifications of pm's I don't know if you've yet worked out how to access them ?

Click on Forum Profile or Private Messaging and you will see any pms that have been sent to you.
Final comment from me - no, of course there isn't anything we can 'do' about it - as I said, we must hope that with the next generation (us!) we keep in good health physically and mentally until the very end, and so need care from no one!

BUT, and this is really the only thing I think needs to be said - no one should feel they 'should' give up their years of life that a very elderly person has already had, simply so the very elderly person can get even more years.

If this forum is only for Happy Carers, so be it - but it won't reflect the total population of carers, nor will it ever allow them to feel 'this isn't fair - I'm only 50/60/70, whatever, and yet I can't have these years to myself because I have to give them to someone who is 80/90/100'.

Even if there is nothign they can do, or would do, about that, they can at least know that it remains 'unfair' in principle.

OK, over and out - J.
No, not a forum for Happy Carers only as is very obvious from some of the posts here at present and those in the past (including mine), nor not only for those who are in good health physically or/and mentally (hand up there too).

The difference being I don't see other posts advocating that those that are cared for have outlived their allotted time allowance and should now kindly die.

You see the thing you seem to be missing Jenny is that nobody on this forum says you have to care, infact I would go so far as to say the opposite. Even those who believe quite strongly that elderly relatives should be cared for do not impose their belief system onto anyone else.

So you and others who agree with you (and there are many) are able to have a platform to present your views, to share.

Advocacy of death for a certain group, at a certain time, as has been mentioned quite clearly on this thread has nothing to do with fairness and doesn't belong on this forum.