Who’s job is it to look after you when you’re old ?

In many countries, there are economic pressures caused by an ageing eldelrlypopulation.

Here’s a story from Britain today – the elderly could be asked to take out insurance to pay for long term care.

In India , parents can seek maintenance from their grown-up children to help them in their dotage.

The papers here are full of stories of  pensioners having to sell their possessions – their memories – to pay for care.

In other societies, it falls to the family to take care of their older members. 

So who’s job is it ? the state ? the family ? or is it your responsibility to plan ahead ?

21 Responses to “Who’s job is it to look after you when you’re old ?”

  1. 1 Tom K in Mpls
    July 14, 2009 at 15:20

    Ideally, you have a fairly successful life and invest/plan for the future. Then it is anyone you pay to do it. 80 years ago in the US we started a low cost plan for those that either never earned enough or had it wiped out in a depression. It was called social security *Insurance*. Ideally it was to never be used unless needed. Now it is seen as the automatic retirement fund that pays the most to those with the least need. In extreme need cases people sign over their complete worth and SSI/Medicare/Medicaid benefits to a private facility that is subsidized for this care.

    Asian societies are huge on family support and Native North Americans would walk out into the winter night when the time was right. They all were considered reasonable.

    • 2 Dennis Junior
      July 14, 2009 at 18:30

      Yes, it is very true and accurate with the remarks that you are writing about…

      ~Dennis Junior~

  2. 3 James Turner
    July 14, 2009 at 15:46

    If at all possible it should be your family. I really believe our children out when they don’t spend real quality time with the grandparents.

  3. 4 Ramesh, India
    July 14, 2009 at 15:58

    In many cases in India, choldren look after their parents. It should be so if we remember who brought us up!

  4. 5 Dilli Sharma,ktm,Nepal
    July 14, 2009 at 16:45

    it depends on how someone has spent his/her youth time. if someone has worked hard and paid lots of tax to government,then surely it must be the government who should be responsible for looking after us.if someone has devoted their life to bring up their children,given them proper care and love and expect the same from their children then he or she must be cared for by their children themselves.as far as i am concerned its the job of each and every government to provide proper care for its elderly citizens.

    July 14, 2009 at 17:53

    That’s a point of concern Mark because many old people are increasingly getting ignored by their kin. Sometimes the kids leave home and do not come back and some are increasingly finding old people unfashionable. In such instances your wife or the husband should be your support. This brings us to the question of family stability when now an increasing number of marriages are rocky and freedom seems be fashinable.

    What do I say? Its getting very frightening and complicated and one can only wish for luck. Governments too need to make this consideration on this issue and vigorous campaign dedicated for care and support for the old is overdue.

    Caution should be observed when want to revolutionlize our lives according to the new trends that ignore family values. This is a very crucial issue which touches on everyone but rarely outspoken probably because of widespread guilt. Thank you.

  6. 7 Rachel in California, USA
    July 14, 2009 at 18:26

    I would love to have my parents come and live with me, but they don’t want to.

    For years my mother said her worst nightmare was to be dependent on family for her care, and she scrimped and saved and bought a place in a graduated care facility, with independent living in a small apartment with a garden, assisted living when she needs a little more care, and full nursing care when the time comes.

    She has made good friends in the community, attends nightly talks and movies, and helps people who need someone to come in and water their plants. We talk frequently, but she’s 3000 miles away, and I miss her.

    My dad still lives a rigorous independent life, and I suspect he may take the Native American route of walking out into the cold, when the time comes he can no longer live in the place he loves. He knows he’s welcome here, but I can’t compel him.

  7. 8 Jim Newman
    July 14, 2009 at 19:10

    Hello again
    The question has a different answer depending on which society one is brought up in. In most modern societies people pay into some sort of pension fund which supports them financially when they are old. If the old person needs protected accommodation where medical care is provided the state pays and if the old person has property then that is used to pay.
    In other societies it’s the children who have that duty. This is the traditional way.
    At the moment I am in good health but if I become debilitated then I think I would find a way of ending it. I’ve always been independent and that hasn’t changed with age.

  8. July 14, 2009 at 19:24

    Children should look after there aged parents,there is no question about this.

  9. 11 patti in cape coral
    July 15, 2009 at 05:16

    My knee jerk answer is to say children should take care of their parents. My mother, however, has planned well, and has the means to be independent of us if she chooses, but I am hoping she will choose to live with me instead when that time comes. I have a job that I can do at home, so I am in a better position than a lot of people who cannot look after their aged parents because of work obligations, however.

    I worked in a nursing home for some years, and there was one woman who came to visit her mother regularly and took care of the bills. She told us her mother was very physically and verbally abusive to her and her brothers and sisters, and the only reason she kept in touch with her and looked after her was out of respect and love for her father. The other brothers and sisters washed their hands of their mother, and who can blame them?

  10. 12 Tan Boon Tee
    July 15, 2009 at 06:04

    Old age is a bane. It is painful for many, especially those who are either poorly or simply poor.

    Do not expect anyone else’s help — just struggle to live on alone, till the final day of reckoning.

    • 13 synergy
      July 22, 2009 at 01:21

      What goes around comes around. I don’t understand why us human being make life difficult fo each other when it could be simple life.
      why not look after your old parents as they took care of you when you were young and your children will take care of you when you are old.
      Live a life in unity which will also bring about happiness. Imagine that old parents of yours will be happy during their last days.
      Also parents should understand that when children insist on living together, they should as it will make the children happy. Living alone does not mean being independent, its just that you have isolated yourself, you can be independent living together.

  11. 14 RightPaddock
    July 15, 2009 at 06:15

    I am an old person, currently I look after myself. When I am unable to do that then I’ll be looked after in an hospice for the aged that I’ve pre-arranged, then in its associated nursing home and then in a wooden box that I’ve also pre-arranged.

    However I hope my family will continue to CARE for me even after I take up residence in my wooden box.

  12. July 15, 2009 at 06:46

    The reality is that there is no way most of us can possibly live the “retirement” lives suggested by television “Sun City” genre commercials. The kindest thing the USA could do right now is to immediately establish elder colonies in the warmer areas of the USA for our growing ranks of aged and impoverished citizens. Self-sustaining (as much as possible) “farms” would give the residents a sense of self-worth, promote healthy socialization, and provide at least a semblance of community for the residents.

    Most Seniors I know want to be self-sufficient. Having a room to call their own in a dormatory, having a useful community service task to perform daily, being able to participate in producing their own food, having regular access to van or bus service for trips to town, having access to at least a modest Federally stocked dispensary and regular medical care, all these things are a much better alternative than languishing alone in a ratty mobile home or rundown apartment in a dangerous part of the city waiting on a $300/month social security check.

    Providing elderly groups access to safe living conditions, decent food and basic medical support would ultimately be more humane and economical than doing nothing and watching the resulting human carnage. The “heavy lifting” jobs could be bourne by younger state community service workers or part of a Federally supported community service work-for-college program.

    Our older folks do better in groups – loneliness is a heavy burden on them. Creating a dynamic community where they could live out their remaining time as valued partners instead of Social Security paupers is a kinder outcome.

  13. July 15, 2009 at 07:34

    Due to Govt Insurance across UK EU and Canada Citizens are being looking after in sickness health benefits unemployment and Old age pension in Lieu of Zakat charity Other format Muslims Use. Even the Poorest of Poor European and N American Countries are able to enforce collection of Tax and insurance and give benefit Successfully. On the other side Muslim Nations Muslim UMMA in the name of Zakat or Charity disobey Islamic Law Sharia Law of Tax Insurance benefits and instead indulge on whipping or circumcision Gimmick while insult and display poor Islamic Thing .By any standard the Govt of UK Canada and those who follow rule to protect citizen in the name of democracy are successful. Where the democracy is double standard and unsuccessful even in Britain Canada is when your entire Pension entire Private Insurance entire wealth entire Possession have been stolen By illicit infrastructure of democracy illicit Court illicit insurance illicit immigrant Illicit precise situation which is awaiting reform while the culprits law enforcing agencies Police Security Agents have procured illicit living standard. This has Compounded as worldwide virus worldwide conflict world wide infrastructure on the model of Settlers (anywhere) bypassing natives and local inhabitant and those victim who have grown old without protection in the absence of weakling democracy of even Britain EU Canada infrastructure

  14. 17 Jennifer
    July 15, 2009 at 14:42

    I think it is a child’s responsibility to care for their parents when they are old. I will care for my parents and for my brother if it should be that he outlives my mom. That is what family does. I don’t want any of my family to enter into a nursing home ever!

    In extreme need cases people sign over their complete worth and SSI/Medicare/Medicaid benefits to a private facility that is subsidized for this care.

    We can all kiss SSI/Medicare/Medicaid benefits goodbye! I bet that it will not be around much longer. The kicker is that those “benefits” are not meant to be any one person’s sole source of income. In many cases, people have to meet the guidelines to qualify………

    We have progressed and these programs really needed to be reformed and brought into the here and now if there is any chance for them to be truly useful to individuals long term. We need to be doing that instead of making health care a “right” and yada yada.

    Hope everyone is hiding their money egg in a coffee can in their closet! 😉

  15. 18 Dennis Junior
    July 15, 2009 at 15:37

    In theory: It should be the responsibility of the “family” e.g. Kids to take care of the Older person…But, in most cases, the children have relocated to other parts of country for work and other better career opportuntities…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  16. 19 Dennis Junior
    July 15, 2009 at 15:48

    Re: SSI, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare (USA)

    That money doesn’t covered the cost of any care, unless you are getting Public Health Care thru the County of Residence….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  17. 20 John Salkeld
    July 15, 2009 at 21:08

    I can look after myself thanks but the “government” seems hell-bent on stealing my life savings.

  18. 21 Mohammad Shafiqul Islam
    July 20, 2009 at 08:53

    Definitely children are responsible for taking care of the elderly parents. This is the order of the almighty Allah. Also this is very logical. Our parents look after us when we are very helpless in return we should do our best for them.

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