If your parents became infirm and the only alternative to bringing them into your home was to put them in a nursing home, would you do so? What about a sister or brother who suffered a permanently crippling injury and–other than your home–had nowhere to go but a convalescent home?
This is going to make me sound like a horrible person, but I really don’t think I’d be able to give them a place to live. I even think I sound like a horrible person for saying that.
But let’s think about this logically… I don’t exactly have a big home. In fact, I rent a place and my name isn’t even on the lease. I’m basically just paying to live in a bedroom in someone else’s duplex. It really wouldn’t make sense for my suddenly infirm mother to knock on my door.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn someone in need away on a temporary basis. I’d give up my bed and be willing to crash on a couch or the floor for a while. But it would have to be with the understanding that they need to find a more permanent solution to their situation within the week.
Am I heartless? I don’t think so. It just wouldn’t make sense for anyone to make this kind of request of me at this juncture. Now, if I were more settled… say I had my own 2-bedroom kind of house… or even if I was married with a family and all those things society says I should have probably had by now… I’d probably be much more likely to invite that infirm family member to stay with me long-term.
What would you do? While you think about it, take a look at this classic clip from The Simpsons where Homer threatens to put Grandpa in a home…
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.