This semester I have a course on Business Ethics. Last class, we discussed the growing demographic of old people because of the advancing technology nowadays to keep them alive. I am not religious so I am not going to get into the discussion of messing up with “God’s plan”. In class we watched a documentary on Frontline about the growing demographic of old people and how they are just waiting for their final day in nursing homes, or being cared for by family who have had to sacrifice their own lives to keep them alive.
I was then left with the assignment to answer the question,
What would I do with my parents when they are old, and what would I want for myself?”
This Christmas, my grandma passed away at the age of 91. She had been in a vegetative state for at least 8 years before she died. She was living with grandpa in their own apartment back in China, with their own maid. Dad’s sister lived not too far away. Before her death, grandpa had been healthy except for some small heart problems. But since grandma’s funeral, he has not been doing that well. He is 92 this year. Dad only recently came back after a month of taking care of him. He already used up a year worth of vacation days and it’s only the beginning of the year. My dad is the only one that works in my family. Grandpa’s still in the hospital, and is currently developing some dementia, but when there is family near him he is a completely different person.
To go back to the question, I have my own opinions about it now, but given the circumstances I think things may change. For my parents, I would want to provide them with the best care possible, but not necessarily from myself. It is not because I would not know how to care for them, but because I want to be able to live own life as full as possible, and I would want the same for my own children. I know it may sound a little greedy and conceited but my parents are 30 years older than me so senior age is not that far away. In 10 years, they will be seniors and I will have only begun establishing my life and family. I would hope that I make enough money to provide them with the best care possible if they need it, and that they remain close to either my sister or me, in their own home. I am opposed of nursing homes because they seem so depressing. Almost always, family is what keeps you living. Without question, I would never pull them off support or anything like that. When push comes to shove they are still your parents and people you love and you want them to live forever.
I’d love to hear all your opinions on the subject, even if you want to disagree with me.