Son jailed for letting mum die

When the caregiver doesn’t care

Son jailed for letting mum die

A 26-year-old man from Geraldton, WA, has been jailed for 15 months after failing to get help for his 46-year old mother as she lay dying on the floor of their caravan. Corey Pierce was the full-time carer of his mother, Wilhelmina Pierce, who spent four days on the floor of their cluttered caravan before dying in March 2011. The claim by the prosecution was not that the son intended to hurt his mother, but that, in failing to seek medical help, he hastened her death. Pierce claimed that he tried to move her, but the clutter in the caravan prevented him doing so.

The sentencing judge acknowledged that Pierce loved his mother, but stated, "Clearly it reached the stage where your mother wasn't aware of what was going on and the law imposed upon you the duty to provide the necessities of life, which included professional medical help and assessment.”

Mr. Pierce will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence.

Read more at the ABC News website.

Read more from Perth Now.

Check out the crowded caravan.

Opinion: Who cares? You should

In a recent survey YOURLifeChoices asked its members if they would prefer to age in their own home with on-call assistance? And 92.6 per cent of respondents answered yes. When asked if they expected their family would look after them as well as they have looked after the family, 53 per cent said yes and 47 per cent said no. So the vast majority of us wish to age at home and nearly half of us think our family should help us do so.

Surely this isn’t an unreasonable expectation? For those who have children, the sacrifices of time, care and financial investment are huge, so expecting some similar support in old age is only fair?

Or perhaps not. It seems that, for every family happy to help older relatives, there is another which doesn’t seem to think it is their responsibility. Every case varies and who would really know what happened in that appallingly overcrowded caravan in Perth? But the idea of a human being stuck on the floor for four days is very hard to accept. This is no way to end a life. Surely we all have sufficient compassion to help anyone in need, (in this case in truly dire straits) regardless of whether they are family or complete strangers?

Now I love animals as much as the next person, but I find it very difficult to understand how universally abhorred is the ill treatment of a pet, while similar treatment of people, particularly the elderly, can often be overlooked or underestimated in its callousness.

As our survey revealed, there is mixed expectations and certainly no guarantees that our children will take good care of us when we reach a time of increasing dependence and frailty. But even if they choose to totally disassociate themselves from our wellbeing, it is to be hoped that broader society cares enough to make sure that no one is left unattended in their time of greatest need.

What about you? Do you think it is your children’s duty to make sure you are safe and secure as you age? Or is this too much to expect?





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Nightshade
    25th Sep 2013
    12:30pm
    All a parent wants is for their children to be happy.

    I told them don't marry until you know who you are first.
    Don't have children unless you can afford them.
    Think about it very carefully because it is forever & it costs big time, in every way.
    One of my 5 children married & the deal was "only you, not your family"
    He married her whole family & there are lots of them, so he is good.
    You can choose your friends but you get stuck with your family.

    When my children got old enough I became a nanny & I adore children, I am 5 years old at heart & lot's of fun to be with, you see.
    His kids do not know me, we have met, maybe only 20 times in 6 years.

    My eldest has a partner, with these women it is as though they have stolen "my men" away from me, like the other woman steals ones husband. I saw it a gaining a daughter & hopefully some new friends in their parents. I find this attitude disgusting, it implies incest, "something very wrong here" what are these women ?
    I was glad when the kids moved out one by one - peace & privacy at last.
    They will not look after me & I do not trust them to.
    Only some people can be carers because they are up to it, but it takes several people to look after just one person - how can this happen.

    I will also organize my own funeral & have an outside party oversee it. I know what I want & each one of them have their own ideas, sorry mate - no deal.

    I also worked at Harold Mack / City Missions, a very good nursing home for a few years, I also love old people, but it will not be a nursing home for me, sorry.
    While I was there the Paul Keating funding cuts hit the nursing homes - may he die screaming in prolonged agony.

    It is a shame that we get old
    It is a shame that we are in pain 24/7
    But even the doctor does not care
    The government certainly does not care
    Retirement age is now 67 - "the pigs" is all I can say
    It costs more to service a person on the DOLE than to give them the aged pension.

    You cannot expect just anyone to know how to be a carer, it is like expecting everyone to know how to sew or fix a car.
    sandyfaye
    25th Sep 2013
    12:37pm
    I'm intending to stay at home until they carry me out. I live in a Villa so it is in a complex where people are friendly and notice who is missing. My intention to be on the dance floor when I am 90 may not be reached but I'll certainly try.
    Home assistance is much better these days even though my family don't live nearby. I don't expect them to travel interestate to look after me. I'll manage with a little help from the Govt..........
    aussiebill
    25th Sep 2013
    12:40pm
    I personally can elate to a lot of what you have said Nightshade. I had 2 children by my first marriage (they are both over 40) Neither of whom really care about my current wife and I and quite frankly I have reached the position I really do not care anymore based upon their behaviour and attitude over the years.

    I too will be making my own arrangements for my funeral. I get more consideration from my four step children than I ever have from my own and have for over 20 years.
    TicToc
    28th Sep 2013
    12:42pm
    Hi aussiebill, Have to agree with you on making own arrangements for your funeral. I have just arranged a pre-paid funeral (hopefully not expecting to use for some time yet :-)) but had a great sense of satisfaction afterwards, as not only did I feel that I at least had a 'bit' of control over my last hurrah (!), but it also means that my 2 adult children, who have their own families, don't have to try to sort out those details at a difficult time. Regarding others behaviour, I find the older I get (66 & still working), the old tolerance level is lowering, but as long as others treat me with respect I will respond similarly. It's good you have a wonderful relationship with your step-children, you obviously have a great second marriage.

    25th Sep 2013
    12:46pm
    We have a habit of treating animals better than people.
    Its illegal to allow an animal to suffer unnessarly, we are required by law to put then down rather than let them continue to suffer.
    With a human we are required by law to keep them alive irrespective of the suffering or their wishs.

    I have seen nursing homes where the clients who are unable move themselves spending every day sat in front of a TV with the volume turned down. (the volume is turned down to stop clients complaining?)
    The only times they are moved during the day is for food or toilet.
    They call that care, I call it torchure.

    I have no relatives left alive and I am sincerly hoping I die before being forced into a so called care facility or nursing home.
    Foxy
    25th Sep 2013
    2:13pm
    ..agrees totally - my friends Mum (aged 81) has been in one now for 2 years and this particular home is meant to be "one of the best" - really?? Well I'd hate to see what is classified as the "worst"! The thought of a nursing home existence is absolutely terrifying - especially after seeing the documentary on Four Corners earlier this year - almost scared me to "death" - ( 'scuse the pun) - Anyway Rat - us "critters" will be ok ...cause we'll get treated better - lol - (just kidding) - should have the wonderful Euthanasia clinics that were in" Soylent Green" - that will happen in the near future........the world is heading that way! Cheers....
    Foxy
    25th Sep 2013
    2:23pm
    we should all have the "right" to end our lives with dignity and of "sound mind" - why should anyone (doctors/health professionals etc.) total strangers basically - have the right to tell us what we can and can't do??? It's OUR life !!! Bring on the Clinics! :-)

    25th Sep 2013
    3:11pm
    technically you can't choose to end your life while being of sound mind because having a desire to die proves you are not of sound mind(at least according to the mental health act). Expressing such a desire will get you locked up with out trial (in a nut house) until you prove you are not a danger to yourself.

    Being unable to look after yourself or expressing a desire to die are two things that will result in you losing any rights or freedoms you may think you have.

    Criminals have real rights that can be defended in court but the old, the "febble minded" and the disabled only have them on paper. Any "health professional" can take these away with a stroke of a pen.

    Taking 4 days to die on a caravan floor bad.
    Taking years to die in a nursing home hell.

    Die at home let your pets eat you .
    I would recommend rats over cats as while both will happly eat you. Rats have the added advantage that afterwards they will chew through the walls and harrass your neighbours (serves them right for ignoring your absence).
    Foxy
    25th Sep 2013
    5:13pm
    ...ewwwwwwwwwwwwww nastyyyyyyyyyyyyyy - least my cat has class then ? :-) Did you see the Four Corners show two weeks ago about the 30plus son who wanted to end his life and had the support of his wonderful mother who got the "green light" to go to Switzerland and end his life peacefully? Sad but so heartfelt!

    25th Sep 2013
    6:15pm
    Classy

    Sorry don't see much TV since the corperate body refused to replace the TV antenna it seems that only one Villa doesn't have cable and nobody likes the owner.

    Karni Mata
    tia-maria
    25th Sep 2013
    6:27pm
    Foxy, its up to the indivual to choose the right to live or die (no Politicians)...Foxy I agree with you............... and Rat just look on the side of some one who has chronic pain and suffering and dying of cancer,they have loss all their self respect (No Bladder or Bowel control) relying on their love one take care of them...(How would you feel)?????? This is a true story that happen in our family in Darwin after years of suffering Dr Niskie help his first patient to die with diginity it was his choice and bloody hell I remember how hard it was on him and his family.........Bring in the right to die especially for the chronic suffering of patients..........

    25th Sep 2013
    6:58pm
    tia-maria
    All my silliness aside

    This is increasingly important not just for individuals but for society as a whole.
    We as people should have the right to live and die with dignity.
    We should have the right not to be exploited or shoved into hovels when we become inconvient.
    We should be able to set down our wishs in a living will when we are healthy and know that these wishes be carried out when the time is right as set out in that will.
    We should be able to die quitely and peacefully with our loved ones around us at a time and place of our choosing.
    We should have more rights than animals not less.
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    8:46am
    I agree with most of what you have said Rat
    With the exception of "We should have more rights than animals not less"
    For some strange reason people hold themselves above animals when they are the scourge on earth.
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    12:56pm
    Rat - TV antenna's are like $189 - why can't they replace it? What sort of place you living in - sounds weird to me?

    26th Sep 2013
    6:10pm
    Foxy,
    8 out of 17 villas belong to the one extended family.( 7 years ago they only owned 2.)

    Majority rules so what they say goes.

    The average sale price of a villa in the strata has droped from 310k to 24Ok in that time and the last place they aquired cost them 145K.

    yes its weird.

    Oh and just to be on topic that family includes 2 very frail elderly ladys who are extemely well cared for. So that one way to go. Have lots of kids and never let them leave home. One or two will not do.

    Abby
    Yes we are the scourge of the earth and if we keep on at this rate all the planet will be fit for is cockroaches that live of bacteria, rats that live off cockroaches and bacteria that lives of rotting rats. Plus they will all glow in the dark and have lousy cell phone coverage.
    If the animals want more rights than people they can start a petition or form a political party.

    In the meantime lets not deny the rats a glorious future.
    KSS
    25th Sep 2013
    12:51pm
    Let me say up front I do not have any children nor any other family in Australia so have no expectations.
    However, it seems to me that if adult children expect to inherit, they should also expect to work for it. If they are so wrapped up in their own lives they have no time to look after elderly parents, then the parent should spend their money on paid carers including accessing the full equity in any property if necessary. If there is anything left after they are gone, then fair enough spread it around to whoever and wherever you choose including the dogs home if you like.

    But stop with the financial expectations.
    Bron
    25th Sep 2013
    1:17pm
    This is such a sad story, and I wonder why the son was unable to conclude that he needed to call for help with his mother. It also makes you realise just how alone people are even when they live in a crowded environment like a caravan park. My father is very independant, well wants to be, but in the last few years has needed more and more help. Even though he lives an hour away, I have made it clear that anytime he needs help I can come. I have also made sure he has a care package suitable for his needs, an emergency phone etc etc. He is in a caravan park but the neighbours are very good and look out for each other without being interfering, even though they generally avoid my father because of his arrogance, they still keep an eye on him.
    I believe it is my duty as his child to make sure he has all the care needed.My parents were always there for me. Earlier this year his POA and I had to make a decision for him to go into a nursing home for a while. It was not something I wanted to do but because of his health, he wasn't able to be looked after at home. Fortunately he did get well enough to go back home but hasn't listened to advice about his health so is now not doing so well, but he says he will not go back into a nursing home. I respect his decision but worry because his quality of life is not as good as if he were in a nursing home. As for living with us, he flatly refuses to do that either.
    As for financial expectations, the term "spending the kids inheritance" is one that really grates on my nerves. Why should the kids just expect the parents to hand over their hard earned money. I would much rather the parents enjoy life as much as they can.
    talofa
    25th Sep 2013
    1:45pm
    KSS I ttotally agree with you plus I also have NO relatives anywhere...I never married or have
    any children instead I backpacked 3 times around the planet...much more fun
    now that I am over 70 I read a lot play 1 of my hundreds of DVDs...british houmor/opera
    plus international film...no us-American at all
    sometimes I 'phone my friends who are all over Australia & Europe brigid
    scorps
    25th Sep 2013
    6:20pm
    would love to hear your stories of backpacking around the planet 3 times Talofa! have been thinking of doing a little of that myself but at over 60 am not sure am brave enough..
    MITZY
    25th Sep 2013
    1:58pm
    Kaye: How can anybody in a fit state of mind leave their Mother on the floor of a caravan for four days before she died? I read all those articles you suggested and I can't believe the state of the caravan. I don't know how the son found the space to even put his Mother on the floor for the last few days of her life. Apparently she was an aggressive woman and he a very compliant son, who did whatever she asked. Commonsense would tell anyone to go and call for an ambulance and let a responsible organisation take charge.

    As to whether family members should look after ailing parents etc. or whether they should be responsible for themselves, is entirely up to them to make their choices. I was a carer to my husband for 24 years until July 2012. I looked after him until two days before he died and even then when he went to hospital, I was hoping after a few days there he would be back home with me again, but it was not to be. I wouldn't have done anything different in my caring duties. I was also a carer to his father for two years and his mother for ten years (at the same time as looking after my husband and their son) before they passed away. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were eternally grateful to me and praised me to all and sundry. They had a daughter who, when I said I was willing to take on looking after her parents, indicated why would I want to do that, she's not your Mother, I wouldn't do it for my Mother-in-Law!!??

    I miss them all greatly and even though I think I'm a basically sensible and intelligent individual, the past 14 months I have found it difficult to make some decisions. I cogitate and cogitate, I often say to a very close cousin, the biggest obstacle in my life at present is making a decision. At the present time I can't make up my mind whether or not to take on a three year old dog that has been saved from the pound!!?? But, don't find it difficult to have an opinion here at YLC!!!! Ah well, such is life.
    dippity
    25th Sep 2013
    2:14pm
    I can understand how you feel Egyptian. My dad felt lost after Mum died and the only thing that kept him going was the routine they had had for about 25 years of retirement. I could see how lonely he was and how much he missed my mum, but I couldn't alleviate that for him. We were in contact every day and I know he looked forward to those conversations. He also looked forward to sitting in the sun reading the paper and telling Mum what the news was, which he continued to do, as she was sleeping in the garden.
    I hope, Egyptian, that everything settles down and your decision-making becomes easier for you. It is difficult when you don't have to consider the needs of anyone else. That, at least, gives you focus. Time to look for a new focus for yourself; maybe that should be yourself. Good luck!
    Foxy
    25th Sep 2013
    2:31pm
    ...get the dog! There - I've made the decision for you - (a total stranger) - you sound so lovely that having a pet would do you the world of good and bring such happiness into your life - Good Luck whatever your decision.........
    MITZY
    25th Sep 2013
    2:45pm
    Thanks dippity for your kind words. I do have a couple of groups I belong to and have made a new friend who lost her husband about a month before me. My cousin is my very best mate and we have been together since we were kids. I spend most of my week-ends with her and her husband. I have my affairs in pretty good order (several power-of-attorneys) and my cousin's son will be looking after whatever happens to me healthwise/demise.
    So, as you say, I should possibly be focusing on myself. A case of dust yourself off etc.
    MITZY
    25th Sep 2013
    3:00pm
    Thanks Foxy: I'm 72 this Saturday and the dog (a Tibetan Spaniel x Mix x Mix) is just about to turn three. Although I keep telling myself I'm fit and healthy (which I am) and as I used to say to my husband ... we're not going anywhere, we're living forever!! .... this doggie is a smallish size and they can live up to 15/16/17 years (i.e. another 12 years). That takes me up to 84/85/86.
    I'm definitely warming to the idea and the current carer of the dog wants me to make a decision by this week-end.
    Foxy
    25th Sep 2013
    5:26pm
    well I hope you have a wonderful 72nd. birthday and what more fabulous a gift can you give yourself and this lovely little dog than making your birthday such a "special one" and making two people happy! You and your new "furry person" - smiles - I think you have already made your mind up and will be very happy - let me know the dog's name next week!!! If I don't come back before Sat. - HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM MELBOURNE !!!!! Cheers - Foxy.
    Frog
    25th Sep 2013
    7:59pm
    Egyptian, give yourself a wonderful birthday present - get the dog! But don't make it live outside, let it become your furkid. They are the most wonderful companions.
    dippity
    25th Sep 2013
    2:04pm
    I'm with you Bron. My dad died a couple of years ago, 3 years after my mum. Mum had been in poor health and Dad had been her carer. I live 2 hours away from where they were living. I was called on to look after Mum while Dad went to hospital for surgery. At this point he had a heart attack and needed further surgery, so Mum and I had an extended period together, Mum always worried because she wasn't well enough for the trip to see Dad. Dad had soldiered on for about 4 years before Mum succumbed to her illness, but once she died he went to pieces healthwise. I spent short periods with him, when circumstances allowed, and was pleased to do so, encouraged by my new husband. Dad was alone at home when he had a fall from which he later died. He had an alarm for just such a problem and I am thankful neighbours were called and were able to spend time with him waiting for the ambulance. That doesn't lessen the regret I have for not realising how ill he really was.
    It is difficult for independent people such as my parents to ask for help when they need it. I pushed myself onto them at times when I could see they weren't coping very well. I am glad they spent this kid's inheritance on enjoying their retirement when they were still young enough. Their enjoyment of their memories was obvious and lovely to share.
    We aren't all meant to care for people. I didn't see it as my duty...it was something I could do to help when it was needed.
    I don't expect my sons to move me in with them when I get old and doddery. I too am independent. But I expect them to visit me in my nursing home!!
    Greibel
    25th Sep 2013
    3:01pm
    This is such an emotive issue. I can only see the care of the elderly getting worse over time not better. We have a few sensible, forward thinking ideas about assisting people to age in place but these initiatives aren't well-funded enough to make a dent in the huge (and ever increasing) numbers of people who need assistance. Our new federal government, with its lack of a Minister for Ageing, has made it abundantly clear that we have to look after ourselves.

    But, should we expect our children to help? At the moment my eldest daughter says she will move heaven and earth to make sure I stay at home and near to her. I assume she also intends to look in on me regularly. I wonder, though, how she will feel when I no longer know who she is and all she has to look forward to is cleaning me up!

    My in-laws went into a residential home almost two years ago, and my father-in-law died this time last year. If my mother-in-law wasn't in the home I don't know how we would manage. I know that I could never do the things for her that the carers in the home do. I'm not sure I would do it for my own mother. My husband and I visit every weekend but that's not enough. Mum wants to see us every day but it's so hard being with her as her mind has started to slip. My two brothers-in-law live in the eastern states and have visited their mum only a couple of times in the past ten years. I feel very resentful that any care outside of what the home provides always falls on my husband and me. My husband says I shouldn't feel that way but then he's not the one who spends endless hours in hospital and specialist waiting rooms. I don't ever want our daughter to feel the way I sometimes do about my mother-in-law. At times, I do feel like a real sh$t for not caring enough to want to look after my mother-in-law.
    dippity
    25th Sep 2013
    3:13pm
    Don't beat yourself up Greibel, we can only do what we can do...your husband sounds lovely. I'm sure your daughter will know when the time comes to get extra help, so don't stress about her not being able to cope. Just let her know your ideas about staying at home and going into care. That is what most don't do, discuss with the family, then it is easy to feel guilty about not "doing enough" when you really don't know what the patient considers to be enough.
    tman5491
    25th Sep 2013
    3:04pm
    My mum is the statue of independence at 85, living in squalor with a house that should have been demolished 30 years ago. Doddery as hell but any attempt to get her to sell up and move to better accomomodation causes her to go on a ballistic defence. My other siblings have all moved interstate, out of the country or bludging on compo for fabricated stress injuries. None of that stops them from calling her and wanting large sums of money for themselves and now their grown children on a regular basis. Constantly she caves in and gives it, usually three and four figure amounts. I do everything I can with her health care appointments and house breakdowns but I'm now 65 and in bad health myself. I speak to mum every day by phone to monitor her well being but knowing my family.........when she does pass and after they've spent their inheritance, it will be all my fault for not doing much more.
    Tom.
    Nan Norma
    25th Sep 2013
    6:39pm
    I know the feeling. My youngest sister took my mother to live with her when she was widowed. But for nine years until she died my sister fleeced her for all she could get.
    rtrish
    25th Sep 2013
    3:12pm
    People want to age in their own homes (and I can share this view) - until the time comes when this is no longer possible. Often this situation comes about suddenly. Then efforts have to be made, often in haste and stress, to find a place. We need to be realistic.
    Sue L
    25th Sep 2013
    4:44pm
    I agree with rtrish, as I am currently going through this very thing with my mum who is almost 82. She lives alone in her own home and is in the early stages of dementia. It is no longer safe for her to live at home alone, even with caregivers coming in each day. Dementia causes confusion and distrust even of family members. We now have the arduous task of arranging low care accommodation, selling or renting out her house etc. Only my sister lives in Perth, an hour away from my mum and she is working full time.
    My brother lives in Sweden and spent 2 months in Perth in July/August trying to sort things out. I live in NSW and have spent the last two weeks over here in Perth trying to help my sister as much as possible to organise initial accommodation and services for mum. My mum is borderline dementia but it is still unsafe for her to live at home alone.
    As much as we would like my mum to stay in her own place it is just not safe and we have our own lives and responsibilities (I work full time and have four children, two grandchildren - two of my daughters have mental health issues and they need a lot of support.)
    iamnotold
    25th Sep 2013
    5:12pm
    I have no intention of ever going into a "detention centre" for old people.
    Nan Norma
    25th Sep 2013
    6:43pm
    All aged care isn't bad. I once visited a lady in aged care who who told me she had never been so spoilt in all her live.

    25th Sep 2013
    7:21pm
    I had a great Aunt who used to say stuff like that. She was saying it right up to the week she died. She died as the result of a infection in an untreated bed sore. According to the staff it was just one of those things.

    I really hope the story was different with your lady.
    Nan Norma
    25th Sep 2013
    7:28pm
    I really do believe she spoke the truth. Also at another place I got talking to three ladies out of hearing of any staff. I asked them "If you could change anythingll here, what would you change" They tought about it for awhile then shook their heads. "Can't think of single thing" they all said.

    25th Sep 2013
    8:23pm
    I'm really glad there are some descent places out there. Alas from what I've seem I suspect they may not be in the majority at least in my price range.
    HOLA
    25th Sep 2013
    7:27pm
    iamnotold -- I have just sold my home and am thinking about moving into a retirement village. A friend offered to drive me to one the other day to check it out. I thought the same way as you did, it seemed like a "detention centre" for old people. It was quite nice but I could not see myself staying in one. I know some of the better ones are great but the villas are as expensive as buying a house, and I was told you are not buying the villa, only lending the people an interest free loan, they end up taking about 48% of what you came in with. A bit too one sided for me. I'll keep looking.I'm still not 70 and maybe I'll take that overseas trip that I have been dreaming of for years.
    Nan Norma
    25th Sep 2013
    7:37pm
    HOLA, You do have to look very carefully before buying. Find one where centrelink gives you rent allowance. If I ever become a widow I will go in a village. I have several friends living in retirements villages and they are very happy.
    Frog
    25th Sep 2013
    8:10pm
    Hola, take the trip! I am 70 and I went to the Europe and the UK in 2005 and to Italy via China in 2011, 3 months after I had a new right hip. I have been to NZ 4 times since 2003. I had thyroid cancer in 2003, breast cancer in 2009 - I believe that life is to be enjoyed so go for it. Don't forget the old saying 'travel broadens the mind' :-)
    HOLA
    25th Sep 2013
    8:27pm
    FROG - - You really inspire me. I think I really need to get away from all the stress I have been going through these last few months. I know I will be a little afraid about going alone but maybe I can team up with a travel group. I have been following Journeywoman on the internet which is for women who travel alone. Wish me Luck!!
    catsahoy
    26th Sep 2013
    12:21am
    HOLA, if you want to take a trip but dont want to go alone, go with one of the tour groups, my daughter recently went on one to VIETNAM, she and her husband had always travelled together, but after her marriage breakdown, had no one to go with, she said she had the best time with the group, you dont have to stay with them all the time, if you want to go off and do your own thing, thats ok,. she met people who she has caught up with since she got back, give it a go,
    HOLA
    26th Sep 2013
    6:35am
    Thanks all you lovely people for giving me inspiration. It is a scary time in your life when you have to make decisions, as EGYPTIAN says she finds herself cogitating trying to make decisions. My sons say "just do it Mum"', but I ponder and think and think and then sometimes it's too late and I only think," Why didn't I do it.?" Well here goes, jumping in at the deep end, I will either sink or swim. I'll keep you all posted.
    MITZY
    26th Sep 2013
    11:23am
    HOLA: Two and a half years ago my husband and I decided to downsize from a large single-level home (4B+Study+2Lounge+2 Dining etc) very large garden land size 850sq.m. At the time the NSW Govt was suggesting retirees downsize due to the housing shortages and offered an incentive (i.e. No Stamp Duty) if you had owned your own home for more than 12 months and would downsize into a brand new unit/villa/etc. We did this and bought a single level duplex (strata-titled). It is in a cul-de-sac of approx. 14 normal size homes and land. It was a good move for us because I was finding it very difficult to maintain the other home and look after my husband's advanced MS.
    The duplex is divided by a high brick wall at the rear and a low one at the front dividing the two units garages. Three bedrooms, main with ensuite and W.I.R. the other two with built-in robes. Large living area, oversized single garage, separate bathroom and toilet etc.
    My next door neighbour moved in 4 months after us and she had also lost her husband to skin cancer just prior to the move. We get on very well, but are not in each other's pockets. In the past 2 years we have been to the movies three times with each other and had each other around for dinner twice (each).
    Now, HOLA, she is 72 the same age as me and after looking after her husband for quite some time, she has decided to go on some tours overseas. Last July she went on the river cruise through various European countries. Currently (she left on her 2nd trip on 23/9/13) she is travelling through European countries again but entirely different ones, starting in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Tunisia, Florence, Monte Carlo, Barcelona etc. Part of the journey a couple of days in Dubai at the beginning and a wind-down with 5 days in Bangkok before arriving back on 20th October.
    For her first trip she approached the travel agent to see if they could come up with a travelling partner to have a twin share accommodation instead of paying more for single accommodation. This worked out so well last year (they met about 4-5 times prior to booking their trip to get to know one another) that they have become good friends and are now doing this second trip together.
    You have a few ideas now to think about, so all the very best and enjoy yourself. I agree with you that if you think about something for too long, it often is too late to do anything about it.
    MITZY
    26th Sep 2013
    11:33am
    HOLA: Forgot to mention also with moving from a large to a smaller home and it also being new, I will have no great expenses for quite some time as far as maintenance goes. It's such a good set-up for my neighbour and myself, and of course it will appreciate in value. Because it is the only duplex in the cul-de-sac and had been strata-titled before we purchased it, we manage everything ourselves. We only put $125 each in May and November into a CBA strata account for future maintenance. We pay for our own lawns (med.size) and maintain the small gardens ourselves. The other expenditure is building insurance shared 50-50. In the future another shared expense will possibly be pest inspections etc. So, we are both very happy with our territories!!

    25th Sep 2013
    8:17pm
    If anyone needs it NSW Elber Abuse Helpline :1800 628 221

    25th Sep 2013
    11:55pm
    For "Elber" read "Elder"
    Nan Norma
    25th Sep 2013
    8:33pm
    Acually, it's a very small percentage that go into aged care. A retirment village is not aged care.

    25th Sep 2013
    9:15pm
    RIP Wilhelmina Pierce
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    10:30am
    ....excuse my ignorance but - who?
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    10:34am
    .....ohhhh apologies - the lady in the caravan - sorry.
    catsahoy
    28th Sep 2013
    10:32pm
    EGYPTIAN, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOPE YOU HAD A WONDERFUL DAY, CHEERS CATSAHOY,
    Helen-gran
    26th Sep 2013
    9:37am
    I can't understand why people want to stay on in their old, not age-friendly houses! We are being encouraged to "plan our funerals", with which some people here seem to agree, but why not take more responsibility for your ageing & look around retirement villages to see what's on offer in an area where you would like to live while you can still get around easily? There are many with 3 levels - self-contained, some assistance & full assistance - then you can move from one level to the other as required. You hear bad second-hand stories, but many people I have spoken to are happier with retirement village living than they've every been! I'm looking forward to moving into my carefully researched selection unit next month!
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    10:32am
    Possibly some people on here are getting the two mixed up - I thought we were talking "aged care" - not "retirement villages" ??? Or am I mixed up? Huge difference between the two!
    Nan Norma
    26th Sep 2013
    1:48pm
    Foxy, We are supposed to be talking about children taking care of their perants
    Nan Norma
    26th Sep 2013
    1:48pm
    Foxy, We are supposed to be talking about children taking care of their perants
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    1:53pm
    The topic was "Do you think it is your children’s duty to make sure you are safe and secure as you age? Or is this too much to expect?"
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    2:52pm
    ....ooops = you are both right - I got caught up in reading other people's comments which kinda led to either being "at home" or "in a home" - I stand corrected! :-)
    Peepo
    26th Sep 2013
    10:42am
    After four and a half years travelling the roads of Oz we have just bought a park home in a small country town that has everything for seniors, including low and high care.
    We are very happy about the fact we won't be a burden on our kids busy lives. They just have to drive 200km to come and visit.
    We love them all dearly and they love us.
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    11:13am
    Perhaps a law is required like that introduced in China

    "A new law in China requires adults to provide mental and financial support to their aging parents. If adults fail to honor this responsibility, they face fines and other punishment. The measure became law earlier this month. It is placing hardships on children who struggle to live up to traditional values of family loyalty."
    Nan Norma
    26th Sep 2013
    1:40pm
    In China there are no pensions. In the past children in China always cared for the parents, now being one child families the children have become a liitle selfish. Plus a couple now may have to care for four parents.
    dippity
    26th Sep 2013
    1:46pm
    just recently visited China; not sure about the law you speak of, Abby. The tour guide we had was living in an apartment, very small by our standards, that both sets of parents had helped them to purchase. She was quite adamant that they would never be able to afford an apartment without this help, and the babysitting she counts on from the parents for their obligatory one child. They are quite close to their parents, but live in Beijing. The parents live in a rural area. Just living, in the cities in China, would be difficult. Interesting to visit, but I don't plan to move there any time soon. Couldn't afford the $1million+ AUD to buy a small area in a huge high rise...not for me
    That law probably is trying to address the fact that there is only one child to provide for 2 parents these days.
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    4:31pm
    Nan
    In the past children always looked after their parents.
    Not everybody here gets a pension either - only those who did not mange to provide for their old age.

    Dippity
    Thanks for sharing that personnal insight you gained from your tour.
    I would detest living in that sort of overpopulated environment.
    Guess Nursing Homes remind me of that.
    We should be allowed to determine our use by date.
    toot2000
    26th Sep 2013
    11:43am
    It would be a shame if we had to have a law to make children care for their parents but expecting a child to care for an incontinent parent with dementia would be far above and beyond the call of duty. Not knowing what's ahead for us in our last days, we just have to hope we can remain independent in our own homes until the end.
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    11:55am
    Strange how most people think they would not like to be dependent on their children yet are quite happy to be dependent on the taxpayer ???

    Yet until more recent times 3 or 4 generations lived together. Perhaps the whole family situation should be re-visited.

    The mother looked after the children who were incontinent
    Was that above and beyond call of duty ???
    One mother can look after 5 children and yet 5 children cannot look after one mother - that is what I see as a real shame of the modern times.
    toot2000
    26th Sep 2013
    2:14pm
    Was mainly speaking for myself Abby, an incontinent parent with dementia would require 24/7 care and that's a very big ask IMO. If it happens to me, I would never expect my children to take that on and going into a nursing home would be fine with me. It wouldn't mean they don't care, it's just too hard and they have their lives to live. I was very lucky with both my parents, mum passed away at home in her sleep and dad died on the bowling green. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best.
    TicToc
    28th Sep 2013
    1:00pm
    Your mum was fortunate that she passed peacefully and your father doing something he loved. My 88 year old mother has lived with me since my father died 11 years ago. She depended on him emotionally, socially etc. and the expectation was that I would take over (which I have). It is difficult as I am an only child, 66 years of age and still working 2.5 days a week. On those days my mother attends a Community Day Care Centre. My mother has mild dementia, frail and incontinent, but manageable with continence aids. What I think is most important in discussions of whether you should/should not/can/cannot, care for elderly parents at home is, if you really feel you want to. I couldn't imagine caring for a dependent parent if you didn't have the 'connection' that you 'wanted to'. Everyone has to make that decision for themselves.... no way is the absolute correct way, just what works best for the person to be cared for and if the carer is able/wants to be the primary carer. As long as care is given with love and dignity, it doesn't matter whether you give it at home, or when you visit your loved one in residential care. Being there and showing respect and love for them is what matters.
    pauline
    26th Sep 2013
    3:05pm
    Yes, Foxy, I am all for dying with dignity. The right to die is a basic human right and hopefully, one day soon, Australia will advance to a stage when we can have a digitas-style clinic just like progressive Switzerland. However as long as we have an anti-Euthanasia PM, this can only be wishful thinking. Still we can live in hope bearing in mind that nothing stays the same and common sense will ultimately prevail.
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    4:47pm
    Wonder if anybody knows whether they would accept customers from Australia ??
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    5:40pm
    Pauline - forgive me if I am wrong - but - didn't the Northern Territory have an euthanasia law for like a year or something a while back??
    Foxy
    26th Sep 2013
    5:45pm
    Abby - yes yes yes! They do take "customers" from Australia providing you have $30,000 grand and a zillion pieces of freakin' paper-work (from Dr's/physchs/etc.) to prove you are not a nut case! Sucks!
    pauline
    26th Sep 2013
    3:12pm
    In some countries like Singapore, they have a law to make children take care of their parents in their old age .
    MiningMagnet
    26th Sep 2013
    5:01pm
    Abby - I think the main issue is less about family vs taxpayers than untrained vs trained carers and consequently the quality/capability of the care & or carer
    "...people would not like to be dependent on an untrained amateur, yet are quite happy to be dependent on trained professionals"...certainly seems a sensible proposition to me.
    No doubt many have experience with patients in this field but for me, the challenging behaviours, anger outbursts and sheer-unreasonableness that often accompanied the aging / dementia / independence to dependence transition was a very scary change to someone you think you have 'known forever'...even when they do recognise you....
    If I'm unable to care for myself, give me trained personnel to deal with (and to deal with me !!). Caring for a recalcitrant adult is a very different proposition to looking after 5 kids who think mum is scary and will obey...at least a little .....hahahaha...incontinence is not the worst thing that can happen...
    Very, very few people are gifted to be good carers.
    The emotional and psychological stresses of 'nursing someone to death' - which for many aged care and palliative care nurses is a not-uncommon situation - require training to manage - and remarkable people to commit to the role
    The days of many generations under the one roof ended as soon as kids could afford their own home a safe distance away !!! ...the 'extended family' condition also contributed to higher abuse rates (in both old and young)
    toot2000
    28th Sep 2013
    1:35pm
    Yes my friend tried very hard to look after her mother with dementia at home but one day she blacked her eye in a temper tantrum. She and her mother's dentist were trying to persuade her to get into the chair. She reluctantly conceded it was time and she went into full time care.
    Abby
    28th Sep 2013
    7:23pm
    I looked after my mum and she was 24/7 and she did not want to go to a Nursing Home

    But I felt it was just part of life you look after your family. Mentally she was bright and alert till she died but her body had failed her.

    There is no way I would trust her care to a Nursing Home.
    toot2000
    26th Sep 2013
    6:22pm
    I admire Dr Philip Nitschke for dedicating his life to making euthanasia legal in this country. He managed to make it legal once but John Howard overturned it because he was worried about greedy children killing their parents for their inheritance which is ridiculous because if it's handled property, it would never happen. The medical profession hate him and he has the backside out of his pants because he's considered to be a murderer, but he'll be the one I contact if and when the time comes. He recently organized a visit to Dignitas for a 31 year old man on 4 Corners last week who was born without a bowl and after 100 operations, wanted out. He wanted his mum to be there at the end but if he did it in Australia, there was a good chance she would be charged and possibly sent to jail, so that's why he picked the Swiss Dignitas option. Euthanasia is something we all need to think about.
    Abby
    26th Sep 2013
    10:19pm
    Yes Anne
    It is a shame there are not more Dr Philip Nitschkes around and sad his programme got cancelled in NT on a technicality that it was not a state.
    betteroverseas
    27th Sep 2013
    1:25pm
    this is a sad story. I am looking after my elderly mother and I am 50yrs old.

    Things were too hard here in Australia so after 10yrs of travelling back and forth to asia I brought mum there to meet my family. She has been there 6 mths now and absolutely loves it. She plans on spending the rest of her days there.

    Sadly Australian culture is to send the old folks off to a home. Alot of the time this involves in the parents having to sell the family home and most, if not all, the funds going to an aged care facility. This is sad as our parents worked hard to get what they have running a family business that we helped run for many years.

    Luckily we dont have to go down that avenue now. Dad has sadly passed away about 5yrs ago and the last thing I said was: dont worry Dad, I'll look after mum.

    I really didnt think she would love the Philippines as much as she does but its great that she has made the move and it has improved her life greatly. She has 2 well behaved grandkids who love her dearly and helps the local kids with reading.

    She has better social interaction with local clubs and other xpats, world class health care and a lovely house to live in, just outside a lovely small city that has all the modern facilities and beautiful ecology and beaches.

    She has a full time carer and housemaid. My wife is great with her, they sit and chat all day and watch tv when shes not getting her hair done, massages, day spa, beach trips, mall trips and above all great shopping!

    I'm so proud of Mum for turning her life around and becoming part of our family abroad. Shes so much happier. I just wish other families could find the same solution to these problems in Australia.

    I have been looking into aged care facilities in our region in the Philippines and there arent alot, but prices are usually around 30-35k a month. (around $750-$800 Australian). It's pretty cheap really as you dont have to 'buy your way' into an apartment or room that you dont even own then have additional fees to pay as well.

    A friend of mine who has holiday apartments there is considering setting up an aged care facility there to cater for the elderly from overseas. I really hope he does go ahead with it as the Philippino people are so loving and really do care for the elderly there. You hardly ever hear of violent crimes or neglect of the elderly there.

    It sickens me every time I return to Australia and watch the news only to see cowardly acts where the elderly here in Aus are being robbed and beaten and abused.

    I feel sorry for the elderly here with no family to help them. or uncaring families too busy paying off a home, both working with no time for the parents. Its a sad reality that that is what Western society has become...
    Abby
    28th Sep 2013
    7:26pm
    I agree with you it is up to family to look after their loved ones especially in view of the conditions that exist in our Nursing Homes.
    toot2000
    27th Sep 2013
    1:39pm
    Good private nursing homes cost a fortune in Sydney. A friend's mother lived in Sydney's very posh suburb of Mosman. She and her husband had a very successful business and were considered to be very wealthy. She sold the house and entered a nursing home, but went on to live until she was 95 and all her considerable assets got eaten up. When she finally passed away, there was nothing left to leave her children.
    catsahoy
    27th Sep 2013
    8:45pm
    it is all well and good to say children should look after the parents, but they have a life to, probably married, with young children, its a big burden to ask of them, i have 3 children, 2 girls 1 boy. i know they would do anything possible for my husband and i [both 74] but i would not expect them to vertually give up there life to care for me, i would try to get home help with whatever needed to be done in the home, but i would not expect my family to come and change me and clean me, and all that that entailed, they are not qualified carers , also ,why we like to think we would do anything for our children, there are some parents who treat there children woefully, and dont DESERVE THEIRE HELP, the talk here on DR NIETSZKIE, is spot on, we should be able to make up our own minds on how we go, FOXY, your comments on SOYLENT GREEN, yes i saw that, so true, also saw the 4 corners show you mentioned, very moving, but so right,
    catsahoy
    27th Sep 2013
    8:45pm
    it is all well and good to say children should look after the parents, but they have a life to, probably married, with young children, its a big burden to ask of them, i have 3 children, 2 girls 1 boy. i know they would do anything possible for my husband and i [both 74] but i would not expect them to vertually give up there life to care for me, i would try to get home help with whatever needed to be done in the home, but i would not expect my family to come and change me and clean me, and all that that entailed, they are not qualified carers , also ,why we like to think we would do anything for our children, there are some parents who treat there children woefully, and dont DESERVE THEIRE HELP, the talk here on DR NIETSZKIE, is spot on, we should be able to make up our own minds on how we go, FOXY, your comments on SOYLENT GREEN, yes i saw that, so true, also saw the 4 corners show you mentioned, very moving, but so right,
    Abby
    28th Sep 2013
    7:28pm
    One can always find excuses if they do not want to do something
    catsahoy
    28th Sep 2013
    8:51pm
    its not just excuses ABBY,sometimes its just not fesiable for your children to do this, my elder daughter does my ironing for me when she comes down, as my knees go if i stand in one place for to long, and im grateful for this, i dont have to ask, she just does, plus anything else i need doing, she does this willingly, but im talking full care ,when i can no longer care for myself, i would not expect or let them do for me, if and when i need that kind of personal care we were talking about, there are district nurses and help through your council if you dont want to go into care, and im not making excuses, im simply saying i would not expect them to do this kind of care.
    Abby
    29th Sep 2013
    10:52am
    I nursed my mum who was 24/7 for over 6 years and it was my pleasure to do that
    Danielle James
    28th Sep 2013
    4:05pm
    I would never expect my children to look after me.

    Also this can be a two-way street. Some parents will leave most, indeed everything, to a favored child, whilst ignoring one that has done the most for them. Many rather not contest wills, believing their parents have the right to leave their estate as they wish.

    Whilst I agree that one should be free to make one's own decision as to whether one lives or dies, I would never want another person involved in the active termination of my life. If necessary i would make the arrangements and carry it out quietly myself at a goodly time.

    In other instances, one can put in a NFR (not for resuscition) request on entering hospital. Or request palliative care instead of treatment for a condition. This means a comfortable death with necessary drugs that can hasten death, instead of prolonging an illness.

    My husband had advanced dementia and had frequent bladder infections. Each time his infection recurred the facility where he was cared for asked the family whether we wanted him to go to hospital (for treatment with antibiotics) or immediately go onto palliative care.

    With a little foresight the elderly can manage their dying and death in most cases. Those of real concern are the young who can end up quadriplegics or otherwise brain damaged through accident; or even children born with birth defects. I know a beautiful 4 yr old who has a birth defect whereby, and having had numerous operations, she will never be able to eat through her mouth, but only via a tube into her stomach. She is a delightful happy child. She embraces life.
    Danielle James
    28th Sep 2013
    4:16pm
    Regarding Dr Nietzskie. One of his patients whom he assisted to die, had had bowel cancer. After having had a successful operation, the symptoms returned later. This is when she sought Nietzskie's help.

    Her post-mortem revealed that the cancer hadn't returned, but that scarring from the original operation was causing the symptoms, she was cancer-free.

    The elderly, like myself, need to take a proactive and aggressive interest in our health. Not be anxious about seeking medical advice before making decisions.
    sensible senior
    29th Sep 2013
    10:29am
    my husband was a sick man who died with cancer of the rectum and i looked after him in a caravan as well as worked for a living it was very hard as i was up until i am every morning and then had to go to work sometime i would get no sleep at all lucky my boss was understanding, my son lived in another caravan in the park and he would look after my husband during the day. this went on for approx 2 months much longer and i think i would have died from sheer exhaustion. after my husband died my health also deteriated so i resigned at 68 years of age. i moved to a house where my son looked after me but i found him to be a very hard person and after years of living with my son i moved into a unit where i have home care and i can manage . i have prepaid insurance for my funeral and i would never think of taking something to put me out of my misery my husband was in a great deal of pain but he fought like hell to stay alive so this is just my opinion it is a no no. i could not go back and live with my son although i know he loves me but he is too hard to get along with so i hope that the doctor who i am under can help me to live a little longer with help.
    toot2000
    29th Sep 2013
    10:52am
    You've had it tough SS, I hope things go well for you in the future, all the best.
    sensible senior
    29th Sep 2013
    10:58am
    thanks toot2000 i really appreciate your kind thoughts but i was not after pity and i know a lot of people are a lot worse off than me my heart goes out to small children dying of cancer but i just wanted to say that things are not always as they are seen.
    Foxy
    29th Sep 2013
    4:47pm
    ...sighs - bottom line and cold fact of day - we sure got a lot to look forward too! (NOT)....I am genuinely sooooooooo sorry for some of the people and their stories on here....try to keep strong and try to keep on smiling - cheers and cyber HUGS - :-)
    catsahoy
    29th Sep 2013
    7:57pm
    ABBY YOU ARE TO BE APPLAUDED FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR MOTHER FOR SO LONG, AND OBVIOSLY SHE WAS HAPPY FOR YOU TO DO IT, I AM SAYING, I DONT EXPECT OR WANT MY CHILDREN TO DO IT FOR ME, IT IS MY DECISION, NOT THEIRS,
    Danielle James
    29th Sep 2013
    8:16pm
    I second your comments, catsahoy.

    I suppose in the ideal world the elderly would be sweet, generous and aware and the young would also be noble and kind. However, this is far from an ideal world and every situation has to be looked at differently. One can't make a blanket statement for every situation.

    For myself, I want independence of thought and action. I don't want my children to care for me, nor feel obligated to do so.

    And .. I am the sweetest, most generous and aware of older women one could find:-)
    Abby
    30th Sep 2013
    6:00pm
    One wonders what our society is coming to - selfish and self centered.
    It should not be an obligation it should be your pleasure. One should feel any moments shared at that time very special and I would not trade mine for a million dollars..
    catsahoy
    29th Sep 2013
    9:09pm
    imsure you are TWILLA, im sure you are, i do know my children are there if i want them, that is not an issue with me, i simply dont want or expect,


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles
    you might also be interested in...

    Retirement Planning

    When retirement planning becomes life planning it is a challenging, fun and fulfilling task.

    Age pension explained

    Anne explains whether you will qualify for an Age Pension and simplifies some of the more complex scenarios you may encounter dealing with Centrelink.

    Cruising

    Got the travel bug or need a break? Take a look at our latest Seniors travel discounts and deals.

    Meal Ideas

    Be inspired by our easy meal ideas. Search through hundreds of recipes to find the perfect one for any occasion.

    Trivia

    Have some fun and keep your mind active with our Daily Crossword, Trivia, Word Search and Sudoku Games.