Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Are men taking on more parental caregiving now?; also, fasting and Alzheimer's

A Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post Wednesday, December 10, 2014, p. A20, “Elder care: Caregiving has challenges and rewards, no matter your gender” relates a male “shortcircuiting” his career, without spouse and siblings, to care for his mother in later years, link here.   The letter links to a Dec. 6 article by Frederick Kunkle, “Daughters tend to aging parents more often than their sons, but some are seeking a change.”
The letter points out changing gender roles, but longer life spans are a disability.  I was in this situation for seven years after I came back to “Old Virginny” (2003-2010), and one of the emotions was indeed a sense of humiliation, as I was in my 60s myself.  I landed well enough, but with new questions (another discussion – people wonder why I am not more “sociable” or “personally giving”).  We did hire help here for the last years, and mother had the savings to pay for it, thanks to my late father’s conservative investing habits for several decades (he never took chances with losing principal on anything and still made about 10% a year on what my parents had)  
The growing moral questions, about obligations to parents, taken on an increasingly personal (and gender-bending) nature and even raise fundamental questions about marriage and procreation.  
Update: Later Wednesday

There is a story that intermittent fasting may help forestall Alzheimer's.  I'll look into it further.  Here is an account in Bloomberg.  It was mentioned on WJLA in Washington local news this evening, 

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