As people are living longer, the elderly population is larger than it has ever been before. This means that there are more adult children today left with the “task” of taking care of their elderly parents. In some cultures caring for elderly parents is expected, and usually never questioned. But, why here in the United States is caring for your elderly parent so often considered a burden?
Some people believe in reciprocal care, care that is owed to an elderly parent in return for the care they provided raising a child. While raising a child, parents are expected to provide them with a safe environment, food, clothes, education, and other needs. After a child reaches adulthood, and their parent grows old, it would only seem right to return the favor–Right?
Well, some believe that concept isn’t so cut and dry. What about adult children whom live busy lives and do not have the time necessary to provide the care their parent needs? In today’s world, many middle aged adult children are busy with careers, and raising their children, both which are life consuming. If this is the case, an adult child could consider placing their parent/s in a nursing home, or consider home health care. Both provide educated staffs that are able to give the elderly person the care they need; while at the same time providing the adult child with a peace of mind. Although the child cannot be there physically to take care of them every day, they are ensuring that their parents are getting the proper care they need.
What about adult children whom feel they owe their elderly parents nothing at all? What if the elderly parents neglected their child or children? Are adult children morally obligated then? Just as many people that believe an adult child should care for an elderly parent, many do not believe it is an obligation. There are adult children who look at their relationship with their parents as non-existent due to neglect in some form. They feel as though they owe them nothing.
So, will the care of elderly parents by adult children become a law? Very doubtful! But, is it a moral obligation? It is hard to say, and something that seems to relate with the way in which an individual was raised by the elderly parent/s in question.