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But who will look after you when you're old?

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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,781 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty


    NSAman wrote: »
    While I am not childless... I do not want my kids to look after me at all.

    If for any reason I am incapable of looking after myself, I would prefer not to be around.

    Having looked after a parent for years, it opened my eyes as to the amount of effort it takes. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my dad and was happy and glad to be able to give him back some of what he gave me growing up, in terms of care.

    BUT...it got me thinking about my own kids. Do I want them doing the same for me? No!

    Be it stroke or anything that leaves me incapacitated, then I do not want to be around...I know it opens the big question.

    I agree with this.It also begs big questions of our society and our health system that it is assumed someone from the family will have to "look after you" when you get old.I would not expect this of my children at all.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 44,018 CMod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    if i get dementia, i want my body, naked and covered in mustard, to be dropped onto bertie ahern from several thousand feet. it's a grand way to go.
    i know that's an absurd idea though, he's 25 years older than me so by the time i get dementia he will almost certainly have shuffled off this mortal coil.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,828 ✭✭✭✭ Galwayguy35


    If I know I'm going to have something which will leave me unable to look after myself I'll be making plans to make sure I'm gone before it gets to that point.

    Saw it with the old man and don't want to be like that in the end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,889 ✭✭✭ kravmaga


    Faith wrote: »
    It's one we've all heard, but what are your thoughts on it? Is it something that worries you? Have you ever actually thought about your life as a childfree older adult and how that might look? Do you have it all planned out?

    1. Is there any guarantee that your children will look after you in old age, they may not care or they live abroad, far away or the other partner may be selfish and not want to share or help.

    2. What if your children are not healthy and is not fit to look after you in old age or have the means to do so.

    3. Is it the purpose of life just to have children just for the sake of it , why would you assume that people with no children have no meaning in life.
    Some people will contribute more to society as a solo person without children then vrs some people who have 5 or 6 children who cant even bring them up properly.

    4. Your children may pass away before you or they may have a disability.

    Finally there is no black and white in life when it comes to children or lack there -of, we should not be judged for the choices or how we choose to live our own life.
    Im not childless by choice, it just never happened, but im not upset about it, Ive a great life, great partner and we are a great team, we are mortgage free , own a few properties outright, have 2 cars and are financially secure , Im in my early 50s.

    Just my 2 cents worth OP, thanks


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 44,018 CMod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    my grand aunt, when she was 91, slipped some discs in her back (she'd been walking 8 miles a day till that point), but when her kids mentioned the idea of putting her in permanent care, she burst out crying, so they swore to her they'd look after her. she lived nearly another 14 years; and for about five years of that, the nearest of her children was living in the south of spain. three of them took turns to fly to london where she lived for six weeks at a time to look after her. they basically had to put their lives on hold - while in their 70s - to look after their mother.

    i know that's an outlier, but it's also an example of when things can go awry in that situation, they really can go awry.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,674 ✭✭✭✭ beauf


    kravmaga wrote: »
    ..Is there any guarantee that your children will look after you in old age, .....

    I think bogus argument that the majority people have any expectation like this of their children.

    A small minority might in certain cultures and poorer countries. But the majority of people in Ireland will not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,880 ✭✭✭ Tzardine


    I have been asked this question a few times.

    Although I imagine that I will be financially independent to pay for my own private care, my response is usually that I will have the State look after me. The money they have saved by me not claiming childrens allowance, the cost of bringing children to the public healthcare services, paid paternity leave, public schooling etc will more than cover the cost of putting me in a care home should I need one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,196 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    I'm in my late 30s and very much childfree. However, my parents are 73 and 74 and are the only ones left of their generation. My mum has just been diagnosed with Parkinsons and is likely to require all the care that that involves. My dad is 74 and is in good shape apart from his knees.

    If he dropped dead tomorrow I'd be solo caring for my mum from the day after, and likely having to give up my job to do it. I am literally the only one who is available to care for her; nursing homes will come into it but she's not far enough advanced for us to really start discussing that.

    It all makes me think of myself, and what I would do childfree in my 70s with a Parkinsons diagnosis, or cancer, or something like that. There will be literally no-one to look after me, as trying to find a girl who is also childfree has never worked - all I've met have been bonkers for children to the point where relationships have broken up because of even the slightest hesitation on my part.

    All a bit rambly, but childfree by choice does worry me a touch for when I'm older my self.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 118 ✭✭ bunny_mac


    All a bit rambly, but childfree by choice does worry me a touch for when I'm older my self.

    Same. But I'm praying that assisted dying will be legal by the time I'm that old, or if not I'll do away with myself before it gets to the point that I can't cope on my own anymore. Bit grim, but I'd still rather that than have children! :pac:


  • Posts: 18,752 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]



    All a bit rambly, but childfree by choice does worry me a touch for when I'm older my self.

    You're expecting if you did have children that they should and/or would look after you.
    Which is kind of selfish and absolutely not a given anyway.
    My father will have no-one to look after him, even though he has plenty of kids!

    I'm mid forties, no kids, and when I'm too old to look after myself or too sick, I will have enough money so I can pay someone to look after me, or it will pay for a good nursing/retirement home.
    That's my plan.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25 hustlenbustle


    Im without children - not by choice but by chance. It's just how it happened. I don't lament it or anything - it's just as it is.

    As regards growing older and the question 'who will mind me' this has come to mind occasionally among myself and single childless friends.
    Firstly I hope to have my house paid off in the near future! It's always a relief not to have to worry about a roof over my head.

    Secondly I'm making a big effort to become stronger / fitter. Many older people go downhill after a fall, so I believe that along with physical exercise you must to some strength training for legs and arms especially.

    Thirdly I'm making an effort to increase savings /pension. I'm saving a little more. not so much that would make my life miserable now but enough so that I won't be short when the salary drop comes at pension age.

    Next I'm trying to keep up communication with all my friends and family - you need people in a disaster and a good friend or family member will help when youre stuck.

    Finally -only now- I'm looking into hobbies that will keep me active in old age, something I must admit I've neglected.

    Long and short of it I hope to mind myself in old age by remaining fit and hopefully healthy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,377 ✭✭✭ lainey_d_123


    No, because there's absolutely no guarantee that a child will be there to look after you when you're old. They might die before you, they might not be capable of it (for example if severely disabled) or they might just be selfish and mean and not want the bother of it. The people who worry about this would be best placed making sure they have a decent pension or their house paid off by 60 than assuming a hypothetical future child will care for them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 614 ✭✭✭ notsoyoungwan


    I work with older people and I see so many whose children have very little input into their care. Anyone who thinks children will look after them when they’re old is naive at best.

    In my own family, I have seen siblings of mine run and hide from providing even basic levels of care- I’m not talking emotionally or physically taxing things, rather like practical support on an organised rotating basis, so nothing too frequent,yet they come up with excuses that frankly hold no water.

    If I reach old age and need care, I expect to have plenty saved to enable me stay in my own home with paid carers. Failing that, if I need nursing home care, after my funds run out I think I have saved the state enormously and have contributed hugely to state coffers so have no qualms in needing state assistance at that stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,196 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    bubblypop wrote: »
    You're expecting if you did have children that they should and/or would look after you.
    Which is kind of selfish and absolutely not a given anyway.
    My father will have no-one to look after him, even though he has plenty of kids!


    Fair enough, point taken on that one. I guess I'm coming from the perspective of my own mother will be needing care in the medium term, I'm helping out with bits and pieces at the moment and will help out more in the future. That said, with a full time job and no other siblings it just won't be possible to be a full time carer :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,438 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    If you need a carer, you’ll qualify for a care package.

    Carers job is meal preparation, medication prompt, light housework , personal care, companionship..

    One of my friends is a carer, she also does shop runs etc...for her more likable clients... ie. will pick up having received a message....essentials like bread, milk, tea, bathroom stuff on her way in once a week, she’ll take maybe 10 minutes off the call which her employer and client will be happy with. Prob be 20 mins parking up and doing the quick shop but she always likes to head early just so not to run the risk of her kindness being taken for granted..give an inch take a mile etc.

    Any fûcking around by the client though or complaining she just says ‘nope, been told I can’t do that anymore it’s ‘home’ care’ not shop care, but it only happened the once...


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 Mollydog123


    I work with older people and I see so many whose children have very little input into their care. Anyone who thinks children will look after them when they’re old is naive at best.

    I saw this when my mother was in the nursing home in Dublin. I was her only child and travelled from Sligo to Dublin every week to bring her to mass. Her best friend in the home had seven adult children and had maybe 2-3 visits a year. Childless myself and happy. The one thing I did was make my will at 40 to take care of the people I love. No close relation's so dont want it going to the state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭ Addle


    Seeing the way kids are raised now, how do their parents actually think they’ll look after them in their dotage? Unless they just think they’ll pay for their care?

    Some parents are setting themselves up for devastating disappointment if they expect their children to look after them. From experience, I know some children don’t even visit, never mind care.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,787 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34


    My answer to that is always the same...

    "Your kids will."


  • Registered Users Posts: 614 ✭✭✭ notsoyoungwan


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    My answer to that is always the same...

    "Your kids will."

    Love it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 frejaya


    Faith wrote: »
    It's one we've all heard, but what are your thoughts on it? Is it something that worries you? Have you ever actually thought about your life as a childfree older adult and how that might look? Do you have it all planned out?

    Ya, it scares me to think of ending up alone and destitute with no children to care whether I’m still alive. But I also 100% think kids should have complete freedom from their parents when they grow up and not feel obligated or tied down, so it wouldn’t matter if I had kids. I will plan ahead and have the proper paperwork in place to make sure everything is taken care of in the event I am no longer able to take care of myself. For the loneliness, making friends early I guess!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ whatever99


    It’s not so much taking care of me when I’m older, but even things like visits, maybe collecting medication etc. The thought of being alone and lonely, something which a lot of us have experienced during lockdown, is scary when you throw old age into the mix. It’s ok when you’re younger and fit & healthy, but I do worry about what would happen if I got sick or was infirm when I’m older. I don’t trust that the state will take care of me, or take care of me well enough. The thought of languishing in a state run nursing home, with no one to advocate for me if I’m getting a bit forgetful etc., no one visiting....it’s depressing. Yes, that could be the case for someone with kids, but at least there’s a chance that they’ll visit!

    I’m the only one of my parents’ children who live near them, and I visit them regularly, do their shopping etc. There’s some personal care involved, but the main thing is visiting them, or bringing them to medical appointments sometimes, or supporting them through same. The thought of not having anyone to do that for/with me when I’m older is a worry. I have friends and relatives, but sure, they’ll all be old too, and have their own families to deal with.

    Like another poster said, I’m trying to keep myself fit and healthy, so I’m well able to mind myself and remain mobile for as long as possible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,549 ✭✭✭✭ Igotadose


    whatever99 wrote: »
    It’s not so much taking care of me when I’m older, but even things like visits, maybe collecting medication etc. The thought of being alone and lonely, something which a lot of us have experienced during lockdown, is scary when you throw old age into the mix. It’s ok when you’re younger and fit & healthy, but I do worry about what would happen if I got sick or was infirm when I’m older. I don’t trust that the state will take care of me, or take care of me well enough. The thought of languishing in a state run nursing home, with no one to advocate for me if I’m getting a bit forgetful etc., no one visiting....it’s depressing. Yes, that could be the case for someone with kids, but at least there’s a chance that they’ll visit!

    I’m the only one of my parents’ children who live near them, and I visit them regularly, do their shopping etc. There’s some personal care involved, but the main thing is visiting them, or bringing them to medical appointments sometimes, or supporting them through same. The thought of not having anyone to do that for/with me when I’m older is a worry. I have friends and relatives, but sure, they’ll all be old too, and have their own families to deal with.

    Like another poster said, I’m trying to keep myself fit and healthy, so I’m well able to mind myself and remain mobile for as long as possible.

    And, the bolded part in a nutshell is why the answer to 'who will take care of you when you get old,' is "I don't know, I'll take care of myself or hire someone." Where are your siblings?

    Your kids probably won't. They have their own lives to live. They may not want anything to do with you. And by having bred them to take care of you is pretty harsh don't you think? What if they don't want to?

    One line I used to see a lot in response to this question, is "A burly ex-con or a work-to-welfare gomeril.' (you can google gomeril).

    Where were the children of these seniors stuck up to their chests in water during Hurricane Harvey? Why hadn't their families taken them away?

    https://time.com/4917743/la-vita-bella-nursing-home-dickinson-texas-photo/

    Because you can't make people do, what they don't want to do, except through law enforcement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ whatever99


    I should have been clearer...I wouldn’t have kids just to have someone to take care of me in my old age - that’s a terrible reason of course, and my parents don’t expect me to take care of them. I was just chatting about the subject in general. I can see how it would be of some comfort though for people who do have kids, that there is someone there who will potentially help out a bit when they’re older (as opposed to being a full time carer, which no one should ever expect!), but I realise that it’s not guaranteed, for multiple reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik


    I just don't understand the concept that anyone would expect their children- or anyone else's children (as adults) to look after them in their old age.

    I know where I'm going to be living when I'm elderly (helpfully I own it already, I inherited it from my own parents)- and it requires little/no modification to make it user friendly for someone with mobility and/or other issues (kind of helpful seeing as though I'm only in my 40s I already have arthritis, Crohns, Sarcoidosis and a list of other chronic conditions).

    I don't understand why anyone would place an obligation on children- or anyone else, to look after them.

    I accept there is a fiercely independent streak in me- however, I cannot get my mind around how/why anyone would expect their offspring to look after them in their old age, its just an alien concept to me.


    This.
    The last thing I want is for my children to be stuck looking after me.
    Let them go off and live thier life.
    They dont need to be changing their parents nappies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,549 ✭✭✭✭ Igotadose


    whatever99 wrote: »
    I should have been clearer...I wouldn’t have kids just to have someone to take care of me in my old age - that’s a terrible reason of course, and my parents don’t expect me to take care of them. I was just chatting about the subject in general. I can see how it would be of some comfort though for people who do have kids, that there is someone there who will potentially help out a bit when they’re older (as opposed to being a full time carer, which no one should ever expect!), but I realise that it’s not guaranteed, for multiple reasons.

    Yeah, and when it's waved in front of you as a reason to not be childfree, you know it's a lie.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭ cocker5


    There should never be an expectation for a child or family member to care for someone when old or sick .. unless they wish to do so ... however it’s often the case!

    People also seem to forget not all kids / parents have good adult relationships.. infact most families I know have somewhat fractured relationships with one of their kids (at least) .. let’s face it .. it’s not surprising... families are mad!!

    For us .. who will look after us when old?
    We’ll have each other until a time where one of us is alone .. hopefully pensions / savings / fair deal will keep us cared for .. either way if I have a terminal diagnosis I’m off to dignatas so that sorts that out ..

    Life is too shot to dwell on what ifs etc .. we all only get one life .. however you choose to live it .. with kids or without.. LIVE it .. enjoy it .. and don’t allow anyone or society to dictate what’s right for you!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,196 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    There are a lot of parents though, who say "well I paid €250,000 to bring you up when all is said and done so the least you can do is look after me in my old age".

    The trouble is caring responsibilities creep. I'm finding that out. From helping by making the occasional cup of tea when someone is tired due to a long term illness, to getting stuff down from high shelves, to now having to replace the dripping tap because one parents is caring for the other, and all of a sudden the second parent dies and you have to help the first shower and wash because she can't anymore.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,946 ✭✭✭ Deeec


    Nobody has children just for the reason to have someone to look after them when they are old but the reality is if you live to be elderly chances are you will need somebody to assume that role. Alot of single or childless people people dont seem to plan for this. Most people seem to think if they have savings/good pension/ fair deal scheme all will be grand - this is not the case. Remember when you need care you may not have full capacity to organise your own finances or care needs - this is hugely important to remember. You need to discuss with who you want to be your carer should you need it and seek legal advice to ensure that they can sign documents for you should you need to avail of the fair deal scheme etc.

    I found myself a reluctant carer for my elderly uncle who developed dementia ( by reluctant I mean noone else wanted to assume the role ). I tried as best I could to look after him until he went into a nursing home. I then had to try and piece together what property he owned, did he have any income, what bank accounts he had etc for the fair deal scheme but he was unable to give me any information due to his dementia. I also didnt have access to his house to get bank statements etc. It was a horrible process from start to finish. I couldnt get some of the information because I am not his next of kin - his elderly brother and sisters is seen as his next of kin. I cant sign documents because Im not his next of kin. His next of kin all are elderly and themselves dont have full mental capacity to sign the docs so its a complete mess. Im contacted weekly by the HSE regarding this but they dont seem to realise that I am powerless to sign off on this. After taking legal advice on this it seems the only way around this is to make him 'a ward of court' which means the courts will decide his care needs and organise the sale of his assets after death. I am also personally out of pocket because of all the costs I have faced during this process.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,643 ✭✭✭ R.D. aka MR.D


    Deeec wrote: »

    I found myself a reluctant career for my elderly uncle who developed dementia ( by reluctant I mean noone else wanted to assume the role ). I tried as best I could to look after him until he went into a nursing home. I then had to try and piece together what property he owned, did he have any income, what bank accounts he had etc for the fair deal scheme but he was unable to give me any information due to his dementia. I also didnt have access to his house to get bank statements etc. It was a horrible process from start to finish. I couldnt get some of the information because I am not his next of kin - his elderly brother and sisters is seen as his next of kin. I cant sign documents because Im not his next of kin. His next of kin all are elderly and themselves dont have full mental capacity to sign the docs so its a complete mess. Im contacted weekly by the HSE regarding this but they dont seem to realise that I am powerless to sign off on this. After taking legal advice on this it seems the only way around this is to make him 'a ward of court' which means the courts will decide his care needs and organise the sale of his assets after death. I am also personally out of pocket because of all the costs I have faced during this process.

    You are so right, people need to take the legal steps to ensure their wishes will be honoured if they are incapacitated.

    It is definitely something that I would be clear with any remaining family about. I saw it with my own family, despite my grandmother being very clear about her own wishes, once she got dementia everyone just ignored what she had been saying for at least 30 years. They continued to do their best to care for her at home which is what she never wanted as she had done similar for two family members in her youth and did not want the same for herself. It was horrible to see her treated as a burden, the only saving grace is that I hope that she was so far gone that she didn't notice.

    That is why it is important to try to have some instruction for a trusted person to either look after your affairs if they wish or make the necessary application to make you a ward of the state.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Doingitall


    Important to note that if u have kids don't assume they'll care for u. I'm in a situation where I work full time away from home, the youngest of 7 kids, middle aged and "live" in same house as my elderly disabled parents. When one of my parents became ill I was asked would i move in. I had no children of my own (still don't) so I said yes. My siblings now use that as an excuse for me being the primary carer, organising and bringing to all medical appointments, shopping , home making etc. Also the hse seem to assume just because I have no dependents of my own and sleep in the family home that I should bear all of the caring. One parent has hse provided home help, the other doesn't ( because I'm in the house). There's a disconnect between what "family" think their responsibilities are and what actually happens. In 90% of cases it's the youngest sibling left to deal with everything and if they don't have their own children it's assumed their life is not as important as those who have.Also the hse seem to assume that if u sleep in the same house as an elderly person you're available 24/7. Which is not the case. My point of the post... Don't assume that children will look afyer the elderly equally. And dont rely on anyone but yourself.


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