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?
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.”
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?
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:
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