Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Would you diaper your parents?

  1. Aug 21, 2004 #1
    Face it: a lot of families - due to lack of funds, love for their folks, and serious medical conditions - do diaper their adult loved ones several times daily. What would you do when confronted with the need to change a senior, perhaps with the prospect of having to perform this task for many years? How long can we rich in the U.S. rely on Third World workers to care for these most humbling needs of the disabled and elderly, anyway?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2004 #2
    If they were alive, yes. I will go you one better; would you administer a life-sustaining suppository to a parent, if the only way possibly to do so was by use of your tongue? Allow me to answer; yes I would, and I'd expect to joke with them about it later, haha. My example is about life and death, folks, and the life of someone who is hopefully very near and dear to you should, imho, be far and above any consideration to foolish social taboos. But, each to his own taste! :biggrin:

    The prospect of doing this for many years would certainly become quite burdensome (did Nancy Regan have to diaper her husband, btw?), there’s just no doubt about that. It involves both personal and economic decisions to be made so would have to be considered case by case.

    Dunno, but this seems like a different question entirely.
  4. Aug 21, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Basically, in life, you just do what you have to do. It's not a pleasant task and nobody looks forward to it, especially the parents who require it, but if it has to be done, you do it. Of course, it isn't something that someone could do every day, several times a day, without any breaks or relief or support. This is a big issue, getting support for caregivers. At some point, you need to be able to have another family member help out or hire a nurse or home health aide to just give you a vacation.

    Fortunately for me, my parents know the burden this would put on their children, and are okay with the idea of moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility if they get to a point where they can't take care of themselves. It's good that we had this discussion long before the point when the actual decision needs to be made so everyone is comfortable with the choices.
  5. Aug 21, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I had to diaper my wife toward the end before she died. It wasn't by far the worst thing about her illness. We are all finite beings and I will probably have to be diapered someday in my turn; so will you.
  6. Aug 21, 2004 #5
    I'd do that if it were a last resort. I'd more likely pay someone to do it if it was possible.
  7. Aug 21, 2004 #6
    I think it's different thing doing such things like changing diapers for your parents than it is doing it for your wife or husband. I mean couples already share some form of intimacy because of this I don't think it will even be an issue for someone to do this for his husband/wife. But it no doubt is different when it comes to parents.

    But then I don't know because when the time actually comes and your parents need to be diapered, you may actually not mind doing it, when you come to think that they had to do this to you when you were a baby too!
  8. Aug 21, 2004 #7
    It's not just about diapering though. A baby is a reminder of life and positive things while a parent needing to be diapered would be a depressant. I'd definiately agree that it would be different with parents rather than your wife/husband.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?