In the past, parents were reluctant to have a girl child because caring for parents during their old age was viewed as a son’s responsibility. A daughter was expected to get married and move out with their spouse. Moreover, the percentage of financially independent women was very low. Why can’t daughters provide for their parents once they are financially independent? Why should their marriage hinder them from providing financial, physical, and emotional care for their parents just as sons do?
Millennial and Gen Z women have started raising these questions and have begun to break the patriarchal conditioning. They are educated, self-sufficient, and aware of their rights. Today’s women have realised that they are on par with men, and it is equally their responsibility and right to care for their elderly parents. Here are tidbits from daughters who provide hands-on care for their elderly parents.
Daughters On Taking Care Of Elderly Parents
“As a millennial woman, I’ve taken complete reign over the family’s savings, investments, insurance, and documentation responsibilities. I ensure I’m financially literate to make decisions on where to invest, maintain emergency funds, and buy the right insurance—from medical to motor to term insurance, I’ve got it covered. My financial stability helped improve our standard of living and also ensured my dad could relax a bit after his active working years. There’s a long way to go, but one financial document at a time, I hope I’m breaking the myth that women aren’t cut out for this,” said Deeptha Sreedhar, a media professional who lives with her parents.
Shahana Narendran, who works for an MNC in the US, said, “I’ve moved abroad to pursue my career, but I have been trying to support them as much as I could. Despite the fact that I couldn’t physically be present, I planned a surprise party to celebrate their wedding anniversary, inviting all of my relatives and friends. Apart from that, I keep track of their health condition and make sure they have taken the required medication. Also, I make sure that I am financially stable to take care of the family.
“I lost my father two years ago, and I had taken over his business and all financial responsibilities since then. I reside with my mother, and I’ve been taking care of her in all ways. I also encourage her to have a social life, and I enjoy taking her to the movies and to dinners. I make sure her needs and expectations are met,” said Anne Jacob, a single daughter and freelance writer.
“Though I don’t take care of my parents financially, I take care of them in all other ways. I do have a younger brother, but I feel I have an equal responsibility to take care of my parents. Dad had a kidney transplant, and mom was the donor. So I’ve been my parents’ caregiver for almost a decade now. I have taken on responsibilities with respect to their hospital visits, and I also manage the family business,” said Bhawana Bisht, a journalist who resides with her parents.
Subashini Sreeram, an IT professional who lives with her parents, said, “Monetarily, I take care of all the household expenses, and I have taken out medical insurance for both of them so that if anything unplanned happens, I’ll be able to provide for it financially. I also shared a part of my wedding expenses so that the entire burden didn’t fall on them.”
“I have moved to Canada to pursue my career, and my parents are in Chennai. Being their only daughter, I made it clear to my spouse before marriage that I’d continue to care for them. Apart from the fact that I’m not physically with them, I make sure I support them financially and emotionally. From handling the household expenses to making investments, I do everything from here and make sure they get to relax,” Kiruthiga Elumalai, an IT professional, said.
Sruthi, a bookstagrammer and entrepreneur, said, “My parents aren’t as progressive as I’d like them to be. They still feel they shouldn’t be the ones spending their daughter’s earnings. However, this enabled me to spend money on luxuries that my parents would never consider purchasing for themselves. Thanks to e-wallets, things have changed in the last couple of years. Since I can handle online transactions better than them, I end up paying the electricity bills, or for theatre tickets, train tickets, and the food we order in.”
Happy National Girl Child’s Day to every daughter out there who is caring for their parents physically, emotionally, and/or financially. We should be proud of ourselves for being the generation that is breaking the system and bringing about a change. If we don’t, who else will?
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.