The Guardian

If you have no children, who will care for you when you’re old? | Sonia Sodha

We had to fight to get my grandfather good care. Those of us who don’t have children need a new approach

Few of us are immune from the anxiety that can quickly set in when we contemplate our own ageing. Who will be there for us when us can no longer physically take care of ourselves? Who will be around to remind us of who we were in our moments of lucidity when our minds have started slipping away?

For those of us who don’t have children, these questions take on a particular significance. I had mixed feelings after watching Still Alice, an Oscar-winning depiction of early-onset dementia. It made for grim viewing. But it was easy to imagine the ways it could have been even grimmer: what if the protagonist, Alice, had no children, a partner long departed or divorced, or friends who had drifted away?

Related: Why should older people rely on their families for care? | Catherine Bennett


You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian2 min read
Sky-high Selfies: Japan Warns US Over 'Outrageous' Antics Of Military Pilots
Marine corps pilots took photos and read books while flying, according to a US military investigation
The Guardian5 min readPolitics
‘The Scene Has Exploded’: China Gets Set To Be Leading Global Centre For Art
Shanghai is fuelling China’s transition to world’s biggest art market – despite the thorny issue of censorship
The Guardian3 min read
Scientist Who Takes On Firms Causing Wildfires Wins John Maddox Prize
A scientist who takes on the companies responsible for massive wildfires across Indonesia has won the prestigious John Maddox prize for standing up for science in the face of harassment, intimidation and lawsuits. Bambang Hero Saharjo, a fire forensi