In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, LifeBridge Solutions, LLC surveyed nearly 400 aging parents and adult children. The national survey was conducted online November 12 – 14, 2013.
Survey results indicate that adult children are generally move concerned about their aging parent’s wellbeing than the older adult is about his or her own situation. Both generations are concerned about the older adult’s general health and safety and about driving. However, the aging parents top concerns inlucde worry about running out of money and how they will pay for care, while the adult children worry about their parent not asking for (or accepting) the help they need and about their parent’s inability to manage medications.
Unfortunately, adult children often live a long distance from their aging parents and don’t see them as often as they’d like. As a result, they worry about what’s going on with Mom or Dad and feel a need to put mechanisms in place to keep their parent safe. By the same token, many aging parents are adept at hiding their need for assistance from their children as they fear that their children will try to take over.
While only 25% of the aging parents surveyed report that they are stressed because of their adult children, nearly twice as many adult children report being stressed because of their aging parents. Consistent with these results, it is not surprising that more adult children than aging parents would change something about their relationship with the other generation. However, the top thing both groups would change is to live closer to and/or see the other more often. The next most common wish for both groups is to have better relationships with one another.
According to government statistics an estimated 25% of adult children currently provide hands-on and/or supervisory care for one or more of their parents. This number has tripled over the past fifteen years and is expected to increase dramatically as the population ages. Caring for aging parents is often referred to as the new mid-life crisis.
Watch for my forthcoming book, Facing the Finish: A Road Map for Aging Parents and Adult Children to be released on January 7, 2014. Blog readers can take advantage of a 10% discount by pre-ordering before December 31. Go to www.FacingtheFinish.com and click on the "buy from the author button" and use PROMO code PRE1. You can also join our community there by registering at the "get free stuff" button.