How to avoid the nursing home…

Saw the following on a bumper sticker this morning:

“Be nice to your kids, they’ll choose your nursing home”

Has parenting really come down to this? I am a new parent (our son is only 11 months old) so is this what I have to look forward to as the boy gets older? Is this bit of ‘wisdom’ accurate? Surely this is not how things are supposed to be.

Silly of my wife and I to love our little one because he is a gift from God. Silly of us to love him because he is the product of our union as husband and wife. Silly of us to love him for any other reason than fear of being banished to a nursing home (at best) or a bad nursing home (at worst).

I have been to one nursing home and the experience was enough to promise myself never to think about (when/if the time comes) putting my parents in such a place. I understand that there can be certain conditions which as medical laymen most of us cannot provide the care our parents would need.

I spoke with one woman who was at this nursing home and she told me that she had 8 kids and none of them took her in. She didn’t have any major health problems other than being 80+ years old. Though I would be speculating, I would venture to say that many residents of nursing homes are in there because they are viewed as a burden.

As the population ages, what will become of us who are able to live longer? Ken Connor wrote a column titled, “The Graying of America: an Inconvenient Truth”, which goes into this question a lot deeper than I can.

Last weekend I was watching a show on Univision in which the host went to a nursing home in Mexico. Yep you read that right, there are nursing homes in Mexico. Something unthinkable considering the reverence which I have seen most of my countrymen there have for their elderly parents. My own father and his siblings adore my grandmother and she holds a true matriarchal position over her children. The lake of fire would freeze over before she ends up in a nursing home, as for my maternal grandmother that’s another story. In fact my maternal grandmother was in a nursing home and she might be held up as a case study of the previously mentioned bumper sticker but that story is beyond the scope of this post.

Anyway back to the nursing home in Mexico, the host went around interviewing the residents and one man’s interview brought me close to tears. He just wanted to tell his kids that he loved them and wondered why they didn’t visit him. It was sad, it’s still sad as I sit here and type this.

The people that are dumped at these places for no good reason had productive lives. We all one day will succumb to old age (unless we die young of course). Why don’t the people who thoughtlessly drop off their parents think about this? I know, I know “walk a mile in my shoes” right? I guess if we as a nation have little regard for unborn children (40 million killed since Roe v. Wade and counting) why should the elderly be treated any differently?

One Response to How to avoid the nursing home…

  1. diana says:

    That’s a beautiful post and it’s such a scary thought. I’m a kid but I love my parents and I don’t ever want them to worry about going to a nursing home! Its shocking how little regard we have for kids and old people. I guess when you lose your faith in God, you believe more in the “survival of the fittest”.

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