The American  Association for Marriage and Family Therapy states that “more than ever  before, families are providing long-term care to older adults with limitations  in the ability to perform tasks necessary for independent living. Nearly 25% of  American households are providing care to people age 50 years and over.  Families are the alternative foundation for a stressed healthcare system.  Hospital stays are shorter than ever and family caregivers are often expected  to do what healthcare professionals once did.”

Family caregivers take over various responsibilities for  their elders.  It may be just handling  finances, running errands, going to doctor appointments or taking on full 24  hour care services.  In most cases one  sibling in the family will become the main caregiver, but most successful  ventures are supported by the entire family.

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a  child.  This may be true, but it takes a  family to care for an aging parent.  As  seniors lose physical and cognitive function they become vulnerable and unable  to manage their own care.  Who better to  know their needs and desires than their own children.  Even if professional care givers are providing  services, family involvement makes the difference in quality of life for their  parents.

“If one family member has been designated caregiver other members  can give support with respite care, transportation to doctors, etc., everyone  needs to be aware of all that is needed and be in total agreement to do it.”     “The 4 Steps of Long  Term Care Planning

Experience has shown that even families that are close can  quickly grow angry, jealous and hostile towards each other when an aging parent  begins to need long term care. If a sibling moves into the parent’s home,  others can easily be suspicious of ulterior motives and fear to lose their  inheritance. On the other hand, the child doing the entire care taking becomes  bitter and feels there is no support or help from siblings.

One example of a  family misunderstanding is that of a brother accusing his sister of stealing  all of the money from the sale of his parent’s home.

Karen, who was a single mom with two children, moved in  with her parents when her father had a stroke to help her mother take care of  him. Her mother was also disabled. Needing money to pay for a home care  service, Karen helped her mother do a reverse mortgage on the home, which gave  the needed funds. If communication had been open and Karen’s brother had known  the need and been involved with his parents care, he would not have reacted so  negatively when he eventually found out about the reverse mortgage.

Every family is different. Some families are close and some  have never been compatible. If your communication is strained, consider having  a professional  mediator present at a family meeting. The mediator will be able to keep  things calm and running smoothly and help work out each persons concern.

Family matters.  The  experience of working together for their parents care can give aging parents  and family members a peaceful, memorable experience.


About Roger O'Keefe

My background is in education and finance. I'm a published author and photographer, former radio talk show host, and creative retirement planning expert. My work is a love of labor, I do not sell any products of any kind. I've appeared as a guest on more than 50 national and local television and radio shows. With a Masters in education, I'm a licensed educator and author of the “Future Bright Program” and the California State Department of Education “Teacher Appreciation Program.” I'm a member of the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Care Planning Council NCPC. I'm currently writing my second book and reside in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My mission is to reshape retirement planning one person at a time. Please visit my website and take advantage of the many complimentary online seminars, resources, and retirement planning tools.
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2 Responses to FAMILY MATTERS

  1. Thank you for posting “FAMILY MATTERS | The New
    Creative Retirement”. Imight undoubtedly wind up being
    back for a lot more reading and commenting soon. Many thanks, Jayme

  2. SeniorsAgent says:

    Reblogged this on Seniorsagent and commented:
    It takes the whole fmaily to be involved in caring for aging parents not just the closest daughter.

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