Tag Archives: Burdens on the Caretakers

The Mother from the Murdering of His Own Cerebral Palsy Son: We Couldn’t Get Help Anywhere

The “follow-up” of yesterday’s tragedy, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

The man, He, was suspected of strangling his own son with cerebral palsy to death, after the Taipei District Attorney’s Office took the man into questioning yesterday, they’d turned He to his own wife’s custody, and mandated house arrest for him.  As He’s wife went to the D.A.’s office to pick up her husband, she’d stated, “I hope he (son) won’t have this sort of torture in the next lifetime, and be a healthy child.”

He admitted to what he’d done, and, after the court case came into session, the D.A. believed, that he was not at flight risks, that he wasn’t going to weasel his way out, and that he was the primary source of income for his family, and so, they’d placed him into his wife’s custody, and asked the city of Taipei’s domestic violence call center, to help He get to the hospital for an evaluation, to assess his mental states, as well as the family’s situation, to decide the treatments, the counseling that comes afterwards.  As for the precise cause of death of his own son, the D.A. will wait for the autopsy results.

He’s wife said, that everybody had gotten ill, after taking care of her son, in the second year of the son’s high school year, the entire family helped to find a place for him to go, but, as the institutions and the schools saw how severely handicapped the son was, they’d not taken him, and, as the son went into his last year of high school, he’d felt, that everybody was singling him out, and, he’d blocked the world out since.

He’s wife said, that the Social Services Department had sent people to their house to help bathe, feed, and care for her son, but, after her son graduated from high school, the services weren’t continued, she’d once used how she had spinal injuries, with a heart condition, how her father-in-law is elderly, how her husband works, along with other reasons to file for assistance for her son’s sake, but, the Department of Social Services told them that they couldn’t manage to get more people to them, “We’d still relied on ourselves in the end.”

He’s wife said, at first, her son didn’t know his own conditions, but slowly, he came to realize, that he couldn’t walk, couldn’t write either, and, starting in middle school, he’d started, mutilating himself, “He (the son) had even told me that he’s sorry he couldn’t walk.”

He’s wife said, “My birthday was on March 21, and, on the 22nd, it was, the date of my own son’s death, I really don’t know what to say.”

And so, had the social services department not withdrew the assistance from this family, then, this tragedy could’ve been well avoided, but, there’s NO way that the government can provide for the cares of the handicapped people indefinitely, there’s this lack of human resources, as well as the lack of funding.

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Filed under Awareness, Cause & Effect, Children Murdered, Children that Didn't Have to Die, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Choices, Cost of Living, Despair, Downward Spiral, Issues of Morality, Issues of the Society, Knowing the Law and Breaking It, Life, Lives Lost, Loss, Love Became Murder, Murder, Observations, Tragedies in the World, White Picket Fence

Taking Care of Demented Elderly, Who Can Help Share the Burdens of the Family Members?


Awhile ago, the Catholic Dementia Foundation invited a lot of the families along with the elderly who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to see the movie “Still Alice” with Julianne Moore.

The main character, Alice Howland was a namely linguist, intelligent and independent, with outstanding scholastic achievements, a family of bliss too.  But at the age of just fifty, she was diagnosed as having the early onset form of Alzheimer’s, which is highly hereditary, now only did she have to cope with the fact that she’s losing her basic living skills, as well as her job, she’s also heartbroken over how her own daughter too, had inherited the early onset form of the illness.

That day, I couldn’t help but wonder, I seemed to have become a person with dementia who was watching this movie, because there are some shocking similarities between me and the character, we’re both fifty years of age, and, gone through our master’s program and doctorates in Columbia University in the U.S., the buildings of the school resembled that of ancient Rome, people can easily lose their ways.  I too, am a college professor, and if I’d forgotten what I was lecturing on in class, I would’ve totally gotten bad remarks from the students’ end-of-year evaluations.

The female main character started consciously dealing with her own dementia, which is what I’d told my daughters, “if one day I became demented, you must always remember, that I love you so very much.”

In recent years, I’d worked in the dementia and Alzheimer’s prevention, and I got the chance of observing the troubles of the families with members who have this kind of early onset; especially direct next of kin such as a spouse, or children.  The time when the signs started showing up is usually in the fifties, and the caretakers who are usually the spouse or children, are still in the stages of their lives when they are working.  Just like the husband of the main character in the movie, as a doctor, he’d finally gotten an opportunity, to work at a namely clinic, that he needed to travel to a distant place, and he was faced with the decisions of whether or not to take his wife with him, or give up on the job opportunity.  In the movie, the husband chose to accept the new position of work, and, the youngest daughter who works at a theatre in California came back home to take care of the mother in New York.

This is prevalent in Taiwan, a lot of the caretakers can no longer put everything into work anymore, and are either forced to, or volunteered to reduce her/his workload, turn down the offers of promotions; and were forced to accept that one is no longer as able-bodied, getting demoted, and had even quitted ones’ own jobs.

And, this is the hardships that the caretakers, the family members of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia must adapt to, and, the article gave ways to keep the diagnosed elderly family members healthy like taking the elders to the parks, to increase the contact with the outside world, to socialize more…

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Filed under Awareness, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Family Matters, Issues of the Society, Social Issues