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Nuclear Family Back To Late-start Joint-family

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by startinganew, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    From Indus ladies, as well as from some of my friends/family circle - many nuclear families are planning to have their parents move-in (i.e. their kids' grandparents) when they begin to need help (or would like help) for their daily life. I am wondering how the dynamics will work?

    I thought, the earlier the joint-family (with it's own share of plusses and minuses) worked because during their 50s and 60s (and sometimes even 40s), grandparents were active contributors to these families - helping with cooking, grocery shopping, raising kids, income, culture, experiential wisdom, etc. This integral contribution to running the household would have made it easier and more natural for the 2nd and 3rd generation in the household to provide as much physical and emotional support when needed most by the aging grandparents in the household. And most importantly there were many hands to help. Also the acknowledgement, appreciation and importance of the grandparent's contributions is fresh in their minds and makes it easier to perform their care-giving duties. (I say the joint family system "worked" not that it continues to work well because it has been on a decline for various reasons which speaks of its impracticality in current circumstance)

    But if there is now separation and independence in these peak years (50s + 60s and even early 70s) - how can we expect a "healthy give-and-take" in this relationship? Or what can be done to foster a healthy relationship? I know it is not a business transaction for "give-and-take" to work. I also am talking of the cases where the relationship is reasonably OK - with the trials and tribulations that most relationships have to endure (and not one in which there is intense discomfort/hurt and pain between the two parties).

    Do you personally know of families where the two generations were independent for a couple of decades (with occasional visits and such) and then they moved in together without much issue? I know it's hard to say from afar as a third person - but just asking to see if you've across families where it worked and where it didn't work.

    Do you plan to do this in your family?

    If yes, how will the kids - possibly teenagers at the time of the late-start- bond with the grandparents? (especially given the generation gap between parents and kids themselves is wide enough).

    What if the kids have left for college? How will parents who are recent-empty nesters handle this care-giving?
     
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  2. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    I am hoping to do this in my family. But I have no idea how it will work and how well it will work - and hence my question to see how others are looking at this.
     
  3. Thoughtful

    Thoughtful Silver IL'ite

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    The equation is simple. If the older generation controls the money, the younger generation will adjust. If joint families worked, its 'cos the older ones had money / power. Even in mythology, when the king had to give his thrown to his heir, the king and the queen retired to the forest to spend the rest of their lives.

    Two swords in one sheath will not work. Older are old enough to learn new tricks. Youngsters don't have a reason to give in, with their hot blood.
     
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  4. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    The stage when one or both of them begin to need help for their daily life would foist a heavy burden on a nuclear family, especially if both parents are working, and the children are stay-home students in highschool or college. Home-care is expected to be a big business in the west (people living longer, and younger population declining), and in India too one could hire part-time nurses to come home and help with the older gen.
    True. In modern times, when nuclear families of children are living in different cities, near and far, the older generation has to move there. Moving the older gen to a new living situation could be very stressful for all. Someone who had lived in Karnataka all their lives, would find living in Chennai or Delhi in their old age (especially if they need help for their daily life -- and need to struggle to communicate with the home care giver ) a difficult thing to do. However, this happens, and people muddle along.
    I know this had happened to many when widow(er)hood comes about, and the one who is left behind is not altogether prepared to deal with independent survival. The single widowed parent moves in with the nuclear family of the child, and they manage to adjust. In many cases, there isn't another choice, because of finances or other emotional factors.

    No. We plan to live in retirement home. Our parents (both sets) did that as well.
    This is not a good idea, unless the empty nesters are very healthy, and the older gen is well-adjusted. One has to be financially able to hire home care givers.
     
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  5. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    • Everybody in your household has to stay fit and healthy.
    • Delay the collective as long as possible, such that you'd end up taking on just one, and not both.
    • Save money.
    • gather info on retirement homes in your community. 5 minute walk from home to visit a parent could preserve the mental health of all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  6. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you for bringing out this perspective - the power struggles appear to underlie many of the issues shared here in parent/IL relationships.
     
  7. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks a lot for the detailed response, @Amulet. Your frank sharing gives me a lot to ponder about. :)

    Only recently, I did hear of the costs of home-caring. In a big-city in India, for my grandmother, 24-hr in-home care costed about 10K for the day and 12K for the night. In my city in the US (relatively high cost of living), my colleague pays 2000$ for someone to come in for a few hours of the day to help his 90+ mom-in-law with morning routines, administering medicines and also checking of some vitals. That is a steep cost for just a few hours a day. The funny story about his (a non-Indian) MIL was that she had bought her own home up in the mountains and was driving a dangerous car up and down the hills and then also getting herself into trouble with home chores. So they packed up her "retirement" home and asked her to move in with them for her safety.
     
  8. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    Hats off to their progressive choices. I wish the conversation was like:

    Lady of the household: Mom, I think it's time you moved in with us.
    Grandmom: No way, I don't want to eat the salad you make for dinner for everyday. At my club, I can choose between rasam-saadam, ragada-pattice and ravioli on any given day.
    Lady of the household: Mom, but that isn't good for you. I will let you go, only if you choose salads-on-weekdays meal plan.
    Grandmom: No, you don't sweety. Residents get to veto children's meal plan choices. Fist-bump.


    On a more serious note. I personally don't know anyone who chose the retirement home route, so a question for you:

    Amongst your parents - I am guessing there were some pros and cons that they may have voiced about their experience. What did they like about the experience? And what did they not like about it?

    At any time - you can yell: "stop-asking-me-more-questions". :)
     
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  9. hermitcrab

    hermitcrab Gold IL'ite

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    I have been thinking about similar things recently. Will follow thread
     
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  10. rgz

    rgz Gold IL'ite

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    All the logistics of "building inlaws separate" quarters and "separate kitchen" aside - there is an emotional part.
    These are parents (yours or DHs) who nurtured us, and at some point, they are going to live the last few years in this planet earth.
    Have them be part of you inside the SAME quarters? or is there a clinical discussion of "separate inlaw quarters", or senior living center?
    Now, if parents have grown with that mindset (more common amongst our generation) - then that can work fine. But if they are the typical 1960/70/80s parents, depends on the setting you grew up in.....some are ok with in-law quarters, some prefer to live-together same quarters, some may want senior citizen home.

    Bottomline: You'd want them to feel emotionally happy that they are with you during the last some years.
    And while you dont know the future of "when"/timeline - certainty is they will breathe their last.
    In general - Do what it takes to make this bottomline happen - rather than split hairs on the trouble we need to endure to make that happen because it is loss of our comfort, tch tch.

    Once that happens, there is no turning time. They are gone - out of your lives in the physical sense forever. We can miss them all we want, but time is up and they ain't coming back. (Spiritually depending on what you believe the soul can go on)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019

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