Saturday, April 5, 2014

E ~ Elderly

The elderly are a very important part of the Amish community, often looked to as those that can offer wise counsel.

A lot of Amish homes have an attached "Dawdy haus"  consisting of a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and one or two bedrooms for grandparents to live in. Small and cozy, a Dawdy haus to me was always such a happy inviting place.

If extra care was needed in cases of Alzheimer's or being bedridden they were often moved from the Dawdy haus into the main house living room area where they had round the clock care.

Sometimes if the person being cared for is especially cantankerous or difficult, their children will take turns providing care for a month at a time.

If the elderly happened to be childless or single, nieces or nephews would step up to give them a home to stay in.

The golden years for elderly Amish are truly golden. Surrounded by loved ones and no fear of ever being put into a nursing home.


  1. Isn't that how it should be? Sadly the culture in UK of 'putting them in a home' is prevalent. I could never do that.

  2. A wonderful system. So many elderly people here are left struggling alone or farmed out to care homes.
    My mother is 91 and lives with us. The benefits far out-weigh the occasional bout of her being grumpy! Most of the time she is fun to live with and I am still asking her for information about the family, help with small household tasks etc.
    Sadly, many of my friends, now in late middle-age themselves and professing to be Christian in outlook, think we are a little crazy to have Mum here. They think elder care an unnecessary burden, but we lose so much by neglecting the elderly.

  3. That's how it has been in my family for generations, and how I hope it will continue to be for generations to come.

  4. This truly is a wonderful system. The elderly should be revered and respected. It must be such a relief to not have to worry about the future! Sometimes families don't want to care for their elderly but sometimes the elderly don't want to be cared for by their family. We offered to build a small apartment when we built our new house, but my in-laws were not interested. They were afraid we would restrict their freedom.

  5. This is a wonderful thing. I wish it were done more in the rest of society, but the "put them in a home" mentality is so prevalent. We would be so much better off learning from our elders.

  6. I also believe that's the way it should be. I moved my mother in with us when she became ill and needed constant care. She was with us until she died. I'm in my 60's but I've told my family I never want to be a burden on them. I don't like the idea of a nursing home, but at the same time I don't want my daughters to have to take care of my personal hygiene.

  7. Beautiful system. May the Lord give us all wisdom as we travel this path at one time or another. Blessings, Camille

  8. Although my Dad is adamant that he go to a nursing home so as not to be a burden on me and my family (I'm an only child), our sincere hope is that he and my mother will live with us. We are specifically looking for a house with either an easily accessible in-law suite or a main floor master bedroom suite with a sitting area so they have their own space. I have a really hard time with the idea of sending my parents to a care facility, I'd rather have someone come in and help if we need it!

    Thanks for sharing - this is such a wonderful idea!

  9. Sometimes a nursing home is the only solution. My sister had ALS, and although my brother-in-law took the best care of her could, SHE realized there were things that needed to be done which he simply wasn't capable of doing. She insisted he find a place for her in the local Lutheran home.

    While she was at home, he could not leave her, for fear she'd choke. Friends from church took his shopping list to the store, but he couldn't even go to church and leave her alone. Getting a "sitter" was difficult because not everyone knew what to do if something went wrong.

    He would flatten out her wheelchair and put it beside the bed, and cover her with his blanket, so they were still sleeping together, so to speak. This also let him know if she was in trouble. When you are alone, no matter how much you love someone, you can't be "on duty" 24/7.

  10. What a blessing! So many families are looking after their parents at home, even in the U.S. at large, but there are not the coordinated social support services to make it sustainable or even possible for many others. People get overburdened, isolated, and emotionally and financially drained. You paint a beautiful picture, although I'm sure that it isn't always easy, and it may be that one person (the woman, disproportionately?) ends up taking on most of the responsibility for the care rather than having it shared among all the members of the family.
    Thank you for presenting this ideal; it's certainly something to aspire to.

  11. That seems like a wonderful system to protect and respect the elderly.

  12. What a beautiful testimony of love!

  13. This is beautiful...and the way all elderly should be cared for in my opinion...although as you point out, it can be hard sometimes, and requires a family effort. Most (not all) U.S. families are too disjointed for this to work, which is why I guess we need nursing homes. The Amish set a good example. Shells–Tales–Sails

  14. What do you do if a person with Alzheimers becomes dangerous? My grandmother went to an Alzheimers home when she started waking up in the middle of the night and lighting fires in the house while everyone else slept.

  15. Mackenzie, LV's grandfather had Alzheimer's and required a lot of care. He also had a fascination with fire. They made sure there were no fire starting options available for him to get his hands on.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.