In Western Anglo Saxon culture, old people get shipped off to old age homes and care facilities. Multi-generational living a not the done thing. In other cultures, multi-generational living is expected and celebrated.
I’ve written about this before, but three or four-generation families under one roof are seen as a blessing. Family knowledge, heirlooms, and folklore are passed down and kept alive. The grandkids keep the grandparents young and useful. Young at heart grandparents are also excellent baby sitters and companions.
A quick google search surfaced a couple of stats. ~80% of Americans would prefer to die at home. Despite this, 60% of Americans die in acute care hospitals, 20% in nursing homes and only 20% at home
I’ve been reading the sad and disturbing news about how the COVID-19 coronavirus is running rampant through old age homes. There’s nowhere for these old people to run, and they are sitting ducks if one person contracts the virus. They would be a lot safer in family homes surrounded by younger and healthier family members who can help stay out of harm’s way and monitor them closely.
I hope we recognize and appreciate families who look after their aging parents in the same way that we look after young people, Just like there are benefits like free government schools for kids, maybe we should change the tax system and design support systems to reward families who offer full-time home care to their aging parents.
Photo by Jesse Roberts on Unsplash