I left the Philippines in 1979, and I have not been back, so it was a different time when I was there. But I think, from what I hear about some of my aunts and uncles, they don’t stay in (nursing) homes. For one, they are not that common; maybe people who have money could afford it but most just stay with relatives. So a household usually is an extended family. You could have as many as three generations under the same roof, even four sometimes, since adult children don’t commonly leave home until they marry.
I don’t have the expectation that I would be staying with my children in my old age. My kids will have their own lives.
My children were raised here [in the U.S.], and this is a different culture than where I grew up. In the Philippines, old folks stayed with their children until they die. That is not the custom here. I’m not making a value judgment, but it just doesn’t seem to be the custom. So my kids grew up with kids here and I’m sure they absorbed some of the values, some of the culture. I don’t have the expectation that I would be staying with my children in my old age. My kids will have their own lives. It’s a different place, a different time, and a different culture. Vicente Concepcion. Jr.
I grew up in a home where my grandparents lived too—an extended family. I had a spinster aunt who grew old and died in my home. I considered her my second parent, other than my mother. I never thought of her as a separate entity from my family. She retired with my parents. They were a threesome, rather than just two. She traveled the world with my father and mother when she was already old. She came to my wedding in a wheelchair from the Philippines to Pittsburgh. I was very close to her. We lived in the same home for years. My grandparents and I had a very close relationship until they died. So I grew up in an extended home. It was not so much an expectation as much as a given. It’s done everywhere, where you grow old with that generation.
The children in the next generation see all the stages of aging.
The children in the next generation see all the stages of aging. They see right in front of them what disease in aging people means and what weakness is, and what forgetfulness is. There are problems with that too, because kids tend to get spoiled by grandparents, but in the long run, I think relationships with a different generation are a very important thing. It’s a very enriching thing for the next generation. - Kayalaan Concepcion
These comments were taken from original interviews for the Embracing Aging documentary and have been paraphrased slightly for readability.
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