Let us ponder for a moment the issue of nursing homes. In many ways, they are a very, very sad thing. Many folks are slightly weirded out going there -- me, not so much, as I grew up in them - my mom was a nurse at a nursing home, and she'd bring me in sometimes while she worked and I got to go and play with the old people. Rather enjoyed it.
However, the fact still remains - they can be sad places. But more than that - they are so often abused by the children who put their parents there. After all, part of the reason for children to exist is to care for their parents in their old age - that is part of why children are a blessing - they care for you when you get old. And yet, we see so many kids in their 40-60s just unthinkingly and selfishly shuffle mom off to the home... when there's no reason why mom couldn't move in with them.
This is wrong and sad. Nursing homes are often overused - and the family is better when it is multi-generational -- living in the same house with my grandparents for a brief time when I was young was one of the great blessings of my life.
So, how do we fix this? The common assumption, the general popular idea has just become "When you get old, you go to a nursing home. That's just how it is." And this gets abused and love is forsaken. How do we fix this? How do we cut off the unkind and uncaring abandonment of parents to lonely isolation in their old age? I can see two options:
1. We denounce all use and forms of nursing homes as wicked and evil and against God's natural design of the human race. It is an artificial, abhorrent thing and must be avoided at all costs.
2. We say, "Part of your duty as a child is to care for your parents, using your best judgment. As such, consider how you handle your parents. Do not just wantonly shuffle them off to the nursing home - but can you care for them, can you still handle their health issues and provide companionship and company for them? Consider more than just financial stuff - and how their care would negatively impact you (for then your fear also clouds the positives that comes from having them around). If to the home they must go - normally because of some health problem that you simply cannot care for - so be it. But think, consider your duty as a child, and seek first to show love to your parent."
I would argue that the second approach is more in line with Scripture. We don't start forbidding things that are not forbidden in Scripture simply because they can be abused in an obviously wicked way. That becomes a matter of us, in our own wisdom, trying to prevent sin by adding to God's Word, rather than using our wisdom in the service of the various people God has placed into our lives.
(and if you don't get what this is also "about" - remember that there are varying reactions to the various false assumptions in this world about the other side of a parent/child relationship)
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Just so you guys know - I in no way endorse "option 1". In fact, that is more an homage to the knee-jerk, overly legalistic view that can often arise to any sin or shortcoming. See also no TV, no movies, no popular music, no drinking, no dancing, no face cards.
Nursing homes can indeed be fine things.