Do children care enough about their elderly?

Elderly couple
An elderly couple embracing.

A lovely older couple that lived opposite me for as many years as I can remember were always so very friendly to everyone they encountered. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them. Bill made the most beautiful wooden toys and donated them to children in need. Their own children rarely visited and their grandchildren never visited other than on birthdays and Christmas.

I couldn’t understand it and I thought the behaviour of the children and grandchildren was mean-spirited because the old couple always spoke so very highly of family.

I remember when the old lady was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, her decline was rapid and her passing was gut-wrenching for all of the neighbourhood. We all helped Bill during his grieving, they were so close we were worried he would quickly follow his wife. We couldn’t imagine one without the other, but he bounced back and for the next five years things progressed as normal as they could be for him.

The past couple of years everybody noticed a big change in his behaviour he was becoming quite aggressive and withdrawn.

We all guessed it was dementia; life was getting to be a real struggle for him. The entire neighbourhood wanted to help him, and we did whenever he would allow it, his children rarely visited.

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Sadly he had a fall while he was out walking his little dog, an ambulance was called. He needed hospital care and his decline from that point was quick.

It was during this period his children and all the relatives came out of the woodwork and it was all quite sad to watch.

What they didn’t pack into their cars they threw into the rubbish, they put a bulldozer through his gardens. His children put him into a dementia care home and he is having a lot of trouble settling into his new routine mainly because he had been so very active over the years.

Every day he would spend hours tending his garden. Nobody knows what happened to the dog. Such a sad ending for such a beautiful old soul.

Have you ever encountered this type of situation? How did it make you feel? Do you think children care enough for the older generation?