Each of us is unique, with our own talents and flaws. Often, our so-called faults are merely ways in which we differ from society’s ever-changing expectations. For example, it used to be a given that married couples would have children if possible. Currently, a significant number of couples are choosing to be childfree. Are they selfish? No. They simply know what they want out of their lives and understand that becoming parents probably isn’t the best choice for them or their potential children.
Similarly, some people have the insight to recognize that they wouldn’t be able to provide daily hands-on care for a beloved parent. They may have spent decades building careers that they love with the support and encouragement of the parents who now need help at home. They may be people to whom patience does not come naturally or abundantly. Perhaps nurturing is simply not their strong suit. Not everyone is a natural caregiver.
Do these qualities make them bad people? No. Selfish people? Again, no.
Most individuals who choose not to be primary caregivers simply don’t have the characteristics, time, or resources needed to sustain the daily provision of long-term care for a vulnerable adult. It’s likely that these people truly love their parents and, even if they don’t have a solid relationship, they at least feel moral concern for their well-being.
Just because someone decides against personally providing total care to a loved one doesn’t necessarily constitute indifference or abandonment. Many will visit, arrange other sources of care, handle financial issues, monitor their parents’ health, and advocate for them. In actuality, they are providing a degree of care, even though they are not responsible for 100 percent of their care recipients’ needs.
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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