Chinese Cultural + or -?, no.1

Taking care of the elderly.

I remember thinking Chinese were more humane in that we never put out the elderly, but take care of them.  Because, it is only fair that since your parents took care of you, that you take care of your parents.  And we Orientals respect our parents more.  I believe, this idea mostly goes for Koreans and Japanese also.  Any Filipinos in the house care to sound off?  For you guys too?

Now that my parents are in their 60s approaching their 70s, they have to take care of my mom’s dad who is like almost a hundred!  And they are giving me the real scoop (pun unintended, you’ll see why later) about taking care of an elderly person.  Fact one, the elderly lose bowel control.  When my grandpa went to stay with my folks for a few weeks, he was not able to hold his own, so to speak.  So three times a day, my parents (yes, my dad included, bless him) had to clean up after him.  They repeatedly asked him to wear depends adult diapers or stay on a plastic sheet (yes, like a puppy) or tell them when he felt like going, but he never complied.  Maybe it was the old brain or forgetfulness or stubbornness, but he made a mess every time.  His meal needed to be prepared for him every mealtime.  He slept a lot, but a couple times a day, my folk took him around or exercised him, if you know what I’m saying.  My parents still have their business and their lives to manage, plus taking care of my grampy was a 24 hour a day job and on-call.

My mom and dad really didn’t like having to do this for their own father.  And my grandfather, I’m sure, lost some dignity in the fact that he was being cared for in such a way by his own child.  So after much deliberation, they arranged to send my grandpa to a nursing home.  Just like the Caucasians do it!

I was really surprised initially when I heard this.  It just flew in the face of everything I thought.  But, after my parents explain the practical aspects of it, I understood.  My mom even said when she gets old just send her to a nursing home.  I visited my grandpa at the home, and although he is not surrounded by family all the time, the care he gets is very good.  It is also not cheap to stay in a home, it’s like $3,000/mo. on Guam, with all the fixings.

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