Helping Elderly People Live At Home

12.1.07

I have wanted to write about the topic of elderly people living at home for a while now....so here I go. I know there are exceptions to every rule but this post is specifically written about those healthy, competent elderly people who are living in fear of being forced out of their home. The reason I feel so passionately about this is because I have had experiences of which an elderly person has actually wept in my arms for fear of having to leave their own home. This is not acceptable. Lets be realistic…….if you consider how many homes there are compared to # of elderly people, there will never be enough room to contain them all. So lets leave the care homes for those who actually need it. I have worked in a home and believe me, the people that I have cared for can’t speak, can’t eat on their own, can’t go to the washroom on their own, can’t cook, can’t walk, and spend most of their day laying in bed. Now tell me….how is a healthy (mentally and physically) elderly person supposed to live in those conditions when the people they are surrounded by can barley utter a sentence…..if they can hear you at all. They can’t. They would be better off in their own home where they can live in peace…..and perhaps even die in peace. There are many programs out there like VON: http://www.von.ca/about_vision.html where care workers can come into the home….weekly/2x a week/even 2x a day if needed, stay the night with you and have another person spend the day with you. (this ammt. of at home care 24-7 does exist if you want it to) Unless a person is actually declared incompetent you can NOT force a person from their home.

Picture This. You’re in your 90’s and you had children early in life (like most women do) By the time you reach 90 your child could potentially be in their mid 70’s! Which means you might just be healthier than your children…..it is possible! (my 93 yr old great grandmother is healthier than a lot of 20 yr olds I know lol) How can an ill 70 yr old child decide what happens to their healthy 90 yr old parents?! In most cases the family is younger and healthier at the time the decision is made and in that case should be able to help with the care that may be needed. I know I would rather have my elderly family members living in their own home if that is where they preferred to be and were capable.

Because there are so few care homes, it is actually encouraged for families to try and find help in assisting elderly people to live in their own home. Like at these sites for instance:


helping older people live at home (click the text)
helping elderly live at home (click the text)
helping the elderly live home longer (click the text)
Helping the elderly to live at home (click the text)

I do not even want to start discussing my possible “old age” (like so many people I know do...pet peeve) at this point and it is silly for a young healthy person meaning even 80 if your healthy, to be talking about it all the time and talking about all the silly what if’s .....when the time comes etc. here’s why:

1. The Lord may come today.
2. I may not even reach my 90’s
3. Not all children want their parents around and would love to see nothing better than their parents in home so they don’t have to fuss with them (who's to say they will make the right decision)
4. Ultimately the decision is yours…..not your children’s or other close loved one.

5. If you are incapacitated in your old age...have your wants clearly written down and doccumented so that your wishes can be carried out in your last days.

In conclusion, if there is someone you know living in fear of being forced from their home. Help them. Show the family that there are so many other alternatives and programs out there designed to help elderly people stay on their feet and be independent. If they are going to lay in bed all day in a care home …..why don’t they lay in bed all day in their own home. Yes, there is risk they could fall and hurt themselves when they move around but there is a chance that even at my age I could go for a run and land in a pile of spikes and get mortally injured but it is my choice to make if I want to go for that run….or walk in an elderly persons case :). We can’t hold onto the people we love forever, lets make their last days a happy and memorable one. Not one where they are constantly reminded of their age. If there is someone you know living with this fear don't let them continue on with it. Help Alleviate the fear not add to it by say nothing, go to them and tell them that you love them and that you are going to do everything you can to carry out their wishes.

Lastly, if a competent elderly person has clearly said they don’t want to leave their home. Be quiet! Leave them alone! They don’t need to hear about it every time you are around. The last thing elderly people need is to he harassed in their last few years of life, especially not to be constantly reminded of what could happen. That is harassment and harassment is a form of abuse. Here is what the ethics site says elderly abuse is:


Elder abuse is destructive behaviour in the context of a close relationship with an elderly person, which may take the form of emotional (there are other forms listed but I am refering to the emotional abuse that it seems so many elderly people ecperience...even from loving family members) . It is assumed in this definition that the one perpetrating the abuse has the capacity to act differently.

The elderly person weeping in my arms was scarde she was provoked because of the harassment of others. Clearly, she was surrounded by destructive behavior and being threatened and reminded of the possibility of leaving your home is abuse!

Their minds are already so fragile. No one should have to feel threatened and manipulated to make a decision ie. moving from their home out of fear because of something that might or might not ever happen.

Here is what the bible has to say about the aged:

"The Bible, as always, is immensely realistic about human beings and their weaknesses. It insists that we respect and honour old people;[3,4] carry their burdens; listen to their advice;[5,6] serve them as we would serve the Lord himself. It paints pictures of saintly old age (such as Simeon, Moses and Anna. The Bible’s heroes and heroines are not untouchable holy paragons - but real people with real problems, hang-ups and sins, who nonetheless trusted God - and therefore God was able to do much with them. God is finished with none of us yet.

Jacob (aka Israel) was cynical and manipulating in his old age.[7] Sarah, Abraham’s wife, laughed in unbelief at God’s promise of a son.[8] The great King David died with vengeful words on his lips,[9] and his son, Solomon, who thought too much for his own good, came out with a very bleak description of old age without God.[10] Eli the priest would not restrain his wicked sons in Israel’s priesthood, and died a blind and broken-hearted man.[11] The fact is, neither old age nor old people are necessarily perfect. Even Christians can get it badly wrong.

The revealed will of God is that we honour and esteem elderly people, care for them and listen to them. The Scriptures do not hold them up as infallible, and are honest about the besetting sins and faults of old age. But they also see them as given to the younger people for their profit, just as the younger ones are given to the older folks.
We should main-stream the older people in our churches: honour and make space for their input, and seek their prayers and wisdom. We should make many fewer mistakes if we did! And old people would feel much better about themselves, and be spurred on to greater things rather than just feeling a waste of space amongst God’s people. If you have fears of a loved one living on their own take one day at a time. Put your trust in God and pray that His will be done and not our own."

References
Ps 103:8-12
Ps 106:1
Lv 19:32
Pr 20:29
Pr 23:22-23
Jb 32:6-9
Gn 42:35-38
Gn 18:10-15
1 Ki 2:5-9
Ec 12:1-8
1 Sa 3:11-18; 1 Sa 4:15-18
Lk 2:25-38
Dt 29:2 - 31:8
Is 46:3-4
Heb 13:5
Rom 8:38
Ps 103:17
Ec 3:14


Those are my thoughts of the day. Does anyone feel the same way I do? To all my blog viewers, please tell me your thought and opinions on the matter. I would love to hear them.

10 comments:

Rachael said...

Wow. That is like a 2000 word research paper. I think you spend too much time tutoring me Beth & Ben!

I agree with you 100%!

Name: Ryan said...

I guess this is my first comment on your blog. I still have a lot to do to my blog but thought I would give this a try. I love this post dear. One of the reasons I fell in love with you because of your huge heart and the passionate feelings you have about many things. I am so lucky to be married to such a beautiful, intelligent person. Thank you for being my wife.

Anonymous said...

You know Shanilie. I totally agree with you about the elderly. It a elderly person can take care of themselves. Leave them alone and let them live their life in their own home. They shouldn't get kicked out of their home just because they are old.

Summer

mamaof2sweetangelboys said...

I was in the middle of commenting a few minutes ago & Kendall's in the office/entertainment room (as Justin likes it to be called~said he's too old for a "playroom" lol!) playing & he accidentally stepped on the surge protector switch & turned off the computer! SO, I'm starting over, LOL!

I agree whole heartedly w/everything you said. My grandmother (my dad's mom) lived until she was 80 & she never once stepped foot into a care home~up until her last breath, she was @ home. She was in the hospital now & then for illnesses but she was @ home unil her very last breath. Bobby's mom lived until she was 64 & never once stepped foot in a care home~she was totally against it & told everyone in the family many times that she wanted to be in her own home. She had had 3 strokes & was disabled & bedridden & had nurses come EVERY day while Bobby's dad was @ work to help care for her (they bathed her, fed her, gavev her her medicines, cleaned their house~just everything~they were super!). I know there's instances where it's a must for the elderly to go to care homes, but if they choose & request not to, I feel their wishes should be honored.

Great post Shanilie, my blogger friend :)

Shanilie said...

Rach: Thanks. I enjoy it :)

Ryan: hehe you surprised me! I am glad you entered the bloging world. Love u babe!

Summer: Thanks for the comment.

Connie: Thanks for telling me about your family. None of my family members have ever entered a home either. It is amazing how much help there is out there for people. It is wonderful that your grandparrents wishes were kept.

About Kendall shutting down the computer. Sorry you had to re-do it all! I completely understand. Jacob does that to me sometimes...or when I am chatting with someone on MSN. I guess boys that age like to press buttons! Hope you have a great weeked.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shanilie,
I check you blog every so often. You have such an adorable boy! Anyway, I wanted to say it is great to see other people my age thinking about elderly people and what is best for them, not just what is most convenient for their loved ones. Keep at it! I know that my parents would not enjoy living in a carehome and I hope that they can live where they want when they are older--maybe even with me! Have a great weekend!
Emily W (your Prov neighbor across the hall :)

Hannah said...

I came over from Connie. :-) I agree! My grandma is 81, and it means so much to her to live on her own. We help her a lot and it makes it possible for her to have a place of her own.

Great post!

Shanilie said...

Emily! Wow it was great hearing from you. Thanks for droping by! I am glad you enjoy the blog. Yes, most of my family members feel the same way. It is great that you would consider having them live with you when and if the time came. :) Thank you for the compliment on Jacob....yes he is quite a cutie. I guess I am bias though because I'm his mom lol.

How are things going? What are you up to now? I would love to hear from you again. Do you blog? I still can't get over that my Prov. years are almost 4 years ago! Where does the time go. I hope you are doing well. Enjoy your weekend as well.

Hannah: Thanks for the comment on the blog. That is wonderful that you all help her out when needed. 81. That is awesome. I know many younger people than that in a care home. Thank goodness for the love and care from family members.

Ellie said...

In the culture I come from and live in, it is nearly unheard of an elderly person ever going to a home for the elderly. We just sort of take care of our own. My uncle has Alzheimers Disease and is in such bad shape, he has to be tied up to a chair so he won't wander about, that is how bad it is. Anyway, some semi/retired fellows from the community have responded to the call and they take turns coming in to help my uncle's wife care for him. That is one thing I do like about my roots.

How sweet that your husband commented on your site! He sounds like a really nice fellow.

I also wanted to say, you did a great job on this post! Lots of time and effort!

Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Ellie

Shanilie said...

Thank you Ellie. Thank you for sharing the story. It is wonderful all the help that your uncle's wife is getting. That is a great way to put it "take care of our own". Very sweet. Those are some great roots to have :)

lol yes, I have a tendancy to go on and on sometimes. I had fun though :) Glad you enjoyed the post.

Have a great weekend too.

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