Morning! I was reading this article on a growing issue of elder abuse in China brought on by an oversized elderly population and rapid modernization, and I started thinking about elder care in general. Do you think about what you’ll do when you get older? How does your family handle the care of your parents/grandparents? I’ll be honest, since I don’t have children, this is an issue that I think of more often since there’s a good chance that I’ll be completely on my own one day.

In the community that I came from, parents didn’t live with their children when they got old and needed help, but it was definitely up to the adult children to take care of their elderly parents anyway. When my grandparents (my father’s parents) were starting to need help, my parents were over 3-4 times a week. My mother started doing all their cooking and cleaning. When my mother’s mother needed help, even though all her children hated her (long depressing abusive story), they still banded together and did the same for her. All my grandparents are gone now, and like the other people in their church in the same situation, my parents spend at least 1-2 nights a week visiting the older/infirm members of the congregation to make sure they don’t get too lonely. All in all, while it’s obviously a lot of work for everyone, it’s a really good situation to make sure there is no neglect going on.

I know that Mr L’s parents expect us to take care of them (financially and otherwise), and at some point I half expect his mother will be living with us, since she already has health problems and there’s no way she can afford the live-in help she would need. Circle of life- parents taking care of kids, kids taking care of parents.

Obviously, it’s going to be different for us. I don’t have kids, and am not part of any church or community community that will really care all that much when I’m old. Hopefully some of my nieces/nephews will check in on me every once in a while, but Mr L and I are basically saving and planning as much as we can to ensure we have the money to let us pay people to get the same level of care. We already have wills and living wills drawn up that dictate what will happen if either of us becomes infirm/unable to care for ourselves now. All I can do is hope for the best and pray that I’m never so senile that I give everything I have to some scammer.

So- anything different in your families/communities? Do you have your old age planned?