It is the responsibility of adult children to care for their aging parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
In some cultures, it is expected that old people are cared for by their adult children. In other cultures, families are not expected to bear the full responsibility. There are many factors involved and in this essay I will discuss these to support my opinion that families shouldn’t feel the full burden of caring for their elderly parents.
The first factor is the culture. In some cultures, for example Middle Eastern and Asian, there is great honour attached to looking after one’s family. On the opposite side, there is possibly great shame attached to not looking after them. Therefore extended families live together, and grandparents often look after their grandchildren. It is considered a win-win situation. In more Western cultures, there is greater priority on financially providing for the elderly rather than looking after them directly. In addition, often both parents work, so it is difficult for the adult children to take care of their elderly parents.
Another factor is the age and health of the parents. If they are very old or sick they might need medical assistance to help them conduct their daily routines. Perhaps these elderly people are better cared for in a nursing home where they have easy access to professional help. Being at home with their children may not be the best place for them.
Finally, there is the availability of the adult children. Many adults in their 40s and 50s still have their own responsibilities to their young children, their employer, or their work may need them to travel extensively. So the expectation to directly take care of their elderly parents becomes an obligation and a source of stress. Sometimes the elderly parent may feel much guilt for being such a burden.
In conclusion, I agree that elderly people need support and connection to their children and grandchildren. If adult children choose to be the primary carers of their parents they should do it out of love, not out of obligation or expectation. And if they are not able to care for their aging parents, there should be other sources of help like the government and community groups.