A lot has been written about caring for aging parents from the perspective of the adult child. There are books about how to care for aging parents and articles about how to cope with caregiver stress. There are tips for helping parents downsize their home and tricks for communicating with their doctor.

The better question is what do older parents really want from their adult children?

Respect Your Elders

In a study published in Research on Aging, two professors from the State University of New York at Albany explore this question through focus groups of older adults. Among their findings:

“We found that help from children was in many ways resisted and certainly viewed as a mixed blessing. An overarching theme expressed by our participants was a desire to be independent coupled with a potentially conflicting desire for connection to children. In fact, independence was our most frequent code.”

Be Their Partner

Parents want to take care of themselves, their own needs, and their own health and prefer not to view themselves as needing help. Yet they also hope that their children’s help will be available if they need it.

So how do you find a balance between caring and controlling, between partnering and providing? 

Hear From Them

It is hard to be an adult child caring for an aging parent. It is equally as hard to be an aging parent being cared for by an adult child. In this guide, you will:

  •  Learn more about what researchers have uncovered
  • Hear from four seniors who share what they wanted — and what they got — from their adult children
  • Read about strategies aging parents use to cope with their overbearing children
  • Find out what important conversations you should be having with your parents
  • Get advice from aging parents themselves
What Older Parents Really Want From Their Adult Children

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