With an ageing population, this question becomes all the more important.
Few people would ever question whether parents should take care of their children. As the debate often goes: it’s a parent’s responsibility to ensure their child is fed, clothed and educated. But what about parents? Is it a child’s responsibility to ensure that their ageing parent is fed, bathed, and cared for?
Well, on the one hand…It is a person’s responsibility to ensure that they have the resources to be cared for when they’re no longer able to care for themselves. A baby has no choice; it needs someone to care for it. An adult always has options. So, in a way, it’s not always fair to say that children should take care of their parents, especially since most parents have a lifetime to prepare for a reality that afflicts most people who reach a certain age.
But, on the other hand… These are our parents we are talking about. The ones who did so much to see us grow into healthy and successful individuals. The ones who made sure we ate properly and that we were happy. The same people who probably gave up a lot – if not financially, then at least life-wise – to make sure we made it. If they can’t count on us in their hour of need, then who can they count on? And shouldn’t we, as their spawn, want to help out if we can?
Of course, there is no doubt that taking care of one’s parents can take up a lot of money and time – and that those are not always available or bountiful. But I think striking some sort of balance is the least we can do.
So, if you don’t have money, at least spend time with them and lend a helping hand in anything you can. Make them dinner, wash the floor, take them out for a ride. In other words, be there for them the best way you can.
Or, if you don’t have time, help them by contributing towards their care. Ensure they have everything they need to lead a decent and happy existence in their circumstances. In other words, don’t just leave them be.
Ultimately, we only get one set of parents and no amount of money or time will get them back once they’re gone!
What do you think? Should children take care of their parents?