If your parents became infirm and the only alternative to bringing them into your home was to put them in a nursing home, would you do so? What about a sister or brother who suffered a permanently crippling injury and--other than your home--had nowhere to go but a convalescent home?
Well, I did live with my dad for the last few years of his life. I mean, he wasn't really infirm. He certainly wasn't incapacitated. The man still drove around and sang in the choir at church. It's not as if he necessarily needed me for anything. But I liked being there just in case he did. Because in those last few years we really couldn't predict when he'd have one of his episodes. His health was steadily on the decline, so it was good to at least be around for him. So I'd like to think that if the same thing were to happen to my mom, I'd be willing to give her a place to stay. But I can't say that for sure. That's what I'd like to think I'd be willing to do. I'm a pretty impatient person, and all of that stems from having been alone for so long. I've gotten used to doing things the way I want to do them when I want to do them. Having anyone, especially someone with a debilitating illness, come and live with me would completely shake up the life that I'm used to. I foresee one of two things happening: I either get used to this new life, or I go insane and end up dropping the person in a home. I know that sounds horrible. But if the staff at a 24/7 care facility can do a better job than I can, I'll certainly let them. And I promise, I'll visit.
*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.