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Should Adult-Children Move-In To Their Parent's Household to Become An Adult Child Primary Caregiver?

Updated on June 28, 2014
I was my father's primary caregiver for the last six years of his life.  Although I wouldn't ever change my decision, I do wish that I had known some of the things that I know now. (My dad and I January 2011)
I was my father's primary caregiver for the last six years of his life. Although I wouldn't ever change my decision, I do wish that I had known some of the things that I know now. (My dad and I January 2011) | Source

Is Your Parent a Member of the Baby Boomer Generation?

According to statistics in the year 2000 there were an estimated 10 million Americans in need of long-term care. Of those 10 million, about sixty-three percent of them were age 65 or older.

If your parent is a member of the Baby Boomer Generation, or older, then it's a possibility that you are right now, or that you will at sometime in the future be faced as I was, with making a decision about the long-term medical care of one or both of your parents.

Should I Become My Parent or Loved One's Caregiver?

Not Everyone Should Become Their Parent or Loved One's Primary Caregiver

You love your parents, there is no doubt about that. Most people do. So, what would you do if suddenly faced with an immediate health crisis that requires you to make decisions for a parent or even a grandparent about their long term health care? Should they go to extended care? Should you bring them to live with you? Should you go to live with them? These are really tough decisions, which have potential long-term effects, not just for your parent and yourself, but for your own family as well.

Many adult children feel that they should take care of their parents because they are after all their parents, the people who loved and took care of them when they were young. Others feel that they should become their parents primary caregiver because it is their duty as children, or because it is expected of them. Whatever the reasoning, the startling truth is that not everyone should become their parent's primary caregiver, and that this is okay.

What You Should Consider As You Make This Choice;

Depending upon your loved one's level of dependence, the severity of their illness, and their long-term prognosis, caring for an aging parent can run from the fairly simple supervision of medication, making sure that they eat, and taking them to the doctor once a month, to the more complex needs of someone who requires continual supervision, has continence issues, and cannot feed, dress, or bathe themselves.

An elderly parent, who is suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or any number of neurological disorders, not only has physical issues to be dealt with, but often suffers total changes in personality. A man who had been an engineer, and was known for logical thinking and being soft-spoken and patient, may now be prone to fits of frustration, anger, bouts of deep and paralyzing depression, and obsessive thought patterns.

  • The hours are not just long, but just as in raising children, you are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • As the disease progresses, Alzheimer's and dementia patients have a tendency to not sleep during the night, and their fears and anxieties often worsen in the late evening and early morning hours. (During the last year of his life, my father tended to go to bed at 9:00 PM, and awaken sometime between midnight and 2:00AM, if when he woke up he was disoriented, his anxiety level would rise, even with his anti-anxiety medications. To keep him calm, I would have to sit with him until he went back to sleep, which was usually just before dawn. )
  • It is extremely difficult to watch as everyday your once vital and lively parent deteriorates before your eyes. It is emotionally draining.
  • Caring for an elderly parent can be a very physically demanding endeavor. My father was not a small man. and he was a fall risk, who despite my best efforts, did sometimes fall and when he did, he had to be pulled back up off of the floor. Because of some physical ailments that had nothing to do with his Alzheimer's, he needed assistance to both sit down and stand up. When he was in the end stages and spent most of his day in bed, he still had to be maneuvered daily for sheet changes and bathing.
  • Even if they are well known for being a kind, considerate, and loving person, an Alzheimer's or dementia patient may suddenly become mean and bitter, they may say the most hurtful and insulting things. They may say inappropriately sexual things to you. They may act in inappropriate ways. They also sometimes become violent.
  • Because they are easily confused and their short term memory is eroding, Alzheimer and dementia patients will often require that simple things such as; instructions, schedules, the name of the television program that they are currently watching, be repeated to them numerous times. They also may become childishly demanding and uncooperative. They may develop obsessive behaviors and feel the need to repeat their words or their actions over and over again.

The Correlation Between Elder Abuse and Family Caregivers

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, "between 1-2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone that they depended on for care and protection" -Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington DC National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Of all of the substantiated case studies, the majority of those where an elderly person was the victim of physical, emotional, or financial abuse took place within a domestic setting, where the victim was being cared for by a spouse, adult child, or other family member.

Caring for an aging parent who is facing major health issues, and is no longer capable of living on their own can be a stressful and overwhelming job. The National Family Caregiver Alliance, and AARP have both cited these stresses, and the frustration experienced by the inexperienced caregiver who doesn't have the necessary tools, skills, and support system, as possible triggers for some incidences of physical, verbal or emotional abuse.

Becoming your parent's parent is by no means an easy task. To be a full-time primary caregiver to your aging parent requires a certain temperament, a lot of patience, physical strength and endurance, self-control, and skin thick enough to allow things to roll off of your back. Some people are suited for caring for others, and some are not.

A good example of this can be found in my own experience as my father's primary caregiver during his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. I have a sister, who loved our father just as much as I did, but whose temperament is the polar opposite of my own. She was not suited for taking care of my dad on a full-time basis, it just isn't her nature, and we both knew it. When my dad became unable to continue living on his own, I moved home to care for him, and she visited and sometimes offered respite care.

Another factor in deciding if you should become your parent's primary caregiver, may lie in the structure of your family dynamic in the past. Because dementia patients are often times confused about their own personal timeline, it is important to know that they may at times think that they are in a certain era of their life, when they are actually in another. This has the potential ripple effect of dredging up old angers, disappointments, or hurt feelings over things that might have occurred years or even decades ago.

During his final years my father would sometimes wake up in the morning and think that it was the early 1980s, a time during which I was going through a teenage stage of rebellion, and my father and I were not getting along very well. Remembering how bitterly I was disappointing him at the time, he would become sullen and angry retreating from me in a show of disapproval for my actions, only occasionally breaking his silence to tell me, in terms much harsher than the ones used in my actual adolescence, what a disappointment I had been to him, and how angry that he was with me. These attacks not only made him angry and difficult to be around, but also brought back my own feeling of shame and sadness for having disappointed him.

If the dynamic between the parent and child is a complex one filled a history of disagreements, disappointments, and arguments, for the sake of the adult child and the parent themselves, this might not be the most effective arrangement.

What Are Your Options?

For an aging or elderly person who is in need of long-term care and who cannot decide for themselves what direction that care will take, it is imperative to their health and their over-all well being that the right choice be made for them. One way to do this is for the person to have long before having reached the crisis point to have made their wishes clear by creating an Advanced Medical Directive, in which they have legally stated what course of action should be taken should they become incapacitated and not able to speak for themselves. If this is not the case, then the family of the patient must determine to the best of their ability what is best for the patient.

Who Decides?

In cases where there is a living spouse who is of sound mind, it is the spouse who will have the official vote; but that spouse may very well welcome the thoughts and input of their adult children, medical professionals, clergy, or other family members.

In cases where there are one or more adult children, and no one person has been appointed by Advanced Medical Directive, or trust, as the person to speak on their parent's behalf, the decision will be made by either one or more of the children.

The Options

  • Long-term or extended care in an extended care facility.
  • Long-term care in their home by a hired professional.
  • Long-term care in their home with a family member as primary caregiver
  • Long-term care in their home with a combination of a professional and a family caregiver.
  • Long-term care by a professional caregiver in the caregivers home.
  • Hospice care in a hospice facility - (This is usually for terminal patients in the end stages of their illness)
  • Hospice care at home - (Once considered only in terminal patients who were in the end stages of their illness, recently accepted by Medicare as protocol for advanced stage Alzhiemer's patients who need help with most or all of their ADL's and IDAL's)

In the six years that I was my father's primary caregiver we used a combination of long-term care options. I was his primary caregiver at home, and in the beginning, that was all that he required. In the last two years of his life, he had two extended care facility stays while recovering from unrelated illnesses. For the last month of his life, I was his primary caregiver at home, and I was assisted by hospice care.

Whatever decision is made, for the well-being of both the adult child and the parent, and for the sake of family harmony and unity, it is best if each child takes on only what they are capable of, with each sibling is accepting of the others limitations.


Terminology You Should Know

Word/Term/Acronym
Definition
Additional Information
ADL
The acronym ADL stands for activities of daily living and include the basic everyday self-care tasks such as bathing or showering, eating (what and when to eat), using the bathroom, and dressing.
often used in determining the level of assistance required
IDAL
The acronym IDAL stands for instrumental activities of daily living, and include things like household chores, managing money, meal preparations, and making telephone calls and appointments.
Often used in determining the level of assistance required
LONG TERM CARE
Long-term care encompasses a wide array of medical, social, personal. and supportive and specialized housing services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care because of chronic illness or disabling condition.
a. In February of 2000, The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging defined Long Term Care as follows; It (long-term care) differs from other types of health care in that the goal of long-term care is not to cure an illness, but to allow an individual to attain and maintain an optimal level of functioning.
INFORMAL CAREGIVER /FAMILY CAREGIVER
This type of caregiver is an unpaid individual who provides care for a parent, spouse,/partner, child/other family member. friend, or neighbor. The role of caregiver is categorized by either primary or secondary, full-time or part-time.
a. The term Family Caregiver is defined in the OLDER AMERICAN'S ACT: 42 USCS 3022 {Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare ; Chapter 35 Programs For Older Americans; Grants for State and Community Programs on Aging; General}, as being " an adult family member or another individual who is an informal provider of in-home and community care care to an older individual or to an individual with Alzheimer's disease or a related neurological and organic brain dysfunction."
PRIMARY OR FULL-TIME CAREGIVER
The primary or full-time caregiver is the person who spends the most time caring for, or who can live with the person who needs care.
 
SECONDARY OR PART-TIME CAREGIVER
The person who provides care on a more limited basis than the primary or full-time caregiver.
 
RESPITE CARE
Short-term or temporary care of a few hours or weeks of the sick or disabled to provide relief, or respite, to the regular caregiver, usually a family member.
a. This term is also used to describe short-term institutionalized care
HOSPICE
Short-term care of six months or less either in a hospice facility, or in the home, of a terminally ill patient who is in the end stage of their disease.
Hospice care focuses more on the comfort and quality of life of the patient when all medical avenues have been exhausted. Hospice Care is usually provided by a team consisting of a doctor, several nurses, a home health aide, and chaplain or ombudsman.

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    • brielise profile image

      brielise 5 years ago

      I am nowhere near this point in my life, but it has been a constant issue of debate between my boyfriend and I. He has never been around an elderly person and thinks there is no question as to whether he would take his parents into his home. I, on the other hand, grew up watching both of my parents struggle to take care of their parents/grandparents/aunts. On my mom's side there is a lot of physical disease: cancer, heart disease, diabetes. On my dad's side, there are a lot of mental diseases: alzheimers and dimensia. My grandmother had alzheimers and also fell a lot... it would have been a full-time job to take care of her and we honestly did not know how to deal with the alzheimers. It's very difficult, especially for a child, when someone you love doesn't even remember your name or where she is. My great aunt had dimensia and was always paranoid: she cut off many people from her life because she thought they were stealing from her or controlling things in her home like her microwave. Before she went into assisted living we were getting calls all hours of the day where she was frightened. She was also falling and there would be times when she couldn't reach the phone - even if she had lived with us someone would have had to be with her 24/7, which is just not possible now.

      This was a very informative article and I know for people who choose not to be primary caregivers that they can sometimes feel guilty - it's a difficult decision! But I think your last statement really sums it up: only take on what you're capable of taking on. If you're taking on too much it's not good for you or your parents!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I helped provide fulltime care for my grandmother in law during her last two month's with lung cancer. It changed my mind about families trying to do this kind of thing on their own. The care gets to the point the patient and the caregiver both would prefer a stranger/professional do what has to be done. Mainly I'm talking about dealing with things that are painful. I would go outside and cry after just turning Grandmother in the bed made her suffer so. If you must keep them at home, take advantage of all the home healthcare help you can - especially Hospice near the end. Best of luck.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I was my mother's primary caregiver when she had cancer, and it is not an undertaking I would recommend to everyone; it most certainly is not one to be taken lightly. It requires an enormous amount of strength and sacrifice for all of the reasons you have written about here. Nevertheless, I am glad I made the decision. Excellent hub!

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @brielise - Even if it is a long way off in the future, and you don't agree on the subject, I commend you for discussing it now. My father was a strong and competent man's-man. A United States Marine, who raised my sister and I on his own following my mother's death in 1978. All of my life my father was my anchor and my compass, it never occurred to me that he would ever become so ill, and so I never thought about what I would do if he did, and I never discussed it with my husband. So the news was a shocking blow, and the decision had to be made on the fly. Luckily for me, I have a husband who knew that there was really only one option for me, and that was to come home and take care of my dad. My sister was not emotionally capable of doing so, and to leave my father in someone else's care would have killed me. Even so, I didn't realize the enormity of the sacrifice I was asking of my own family, my husband and my children, who willingly left their life and their home to come with me and care for my father, but they were troopers and did so with very little to no complaint. Without their support, it would have been disastrous. Alzheimer's disease is the most awful of all of the progressively worsening neurological diseases in that it robs the person of their memories and their personalities, for the family of that person, it is a very long good-bye. I do wish that I had been better informed going in, but even with all that I know now, I would not change anything. For every sacrifice that was made along the way, we were blessed with a host of moments that we otherwise would not have had, but it really is not the right role for everyone, and no one should do, or be expected to do, more than what they are capable of. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time, and for your comments, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
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      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Kathleen Cochran - It is an absolute fact that not every one has the temperament to be a full-time caregiver to someone who is terminally ill, or suffering from a neurological disorder, which is why adult children and grandchildren should look honestly within themselves to determine what they are capable of offering, and they should not take on more than they are able to, and for the sake of the parent, the adult child, and for the sake of family peace and harmony, no one should expect them to. We all have gifts to bring to the table, and what our aging parents want and need most is the loving support of a unified and harmonious family. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and for your comments, they are most welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
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      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @ Genna East - My first experience with being a family caregiver was in 1997 when my grandmother was dying from cancer. She wanted to come home, she didn't want to die in a hospital, and even with the help of the hospice nurses, there was no way that my grandfather, who had suffered from heart problems, and had undergone three open-heart surgeries in my lifetime, could have survived the stress of caring for her by himself. I remember how on the two hour drive to their house, I wondered to myself how I would ever be able to bring myself to do the things required to take care of her. I found out in those last few weeks of her life, just how capable I was of doing things that I didn't think I could do. My dad was a more long-term situation, and I had no idea the enormity of the sacrifices that I was asking of my family or myself. The last leg of our journey together was a long and difficult one, but in return my family and I were given a host of precious moments and memories that we would not otherwise had. Even with the difficulties, and knowing all that I know now, I wouldn't have changed it either. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and your comments, they are both welcome and appreciated.

      Kristen

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I work for an estate planning counselor who helps farm and ranch families prepare for the inevitable. He counsels families to prepare with a long-term care policy that will cover both in-home care and institutional care if needed. I know that this is something I need to consider both for myself and my parents, as they are not getting any younger, and neither am I!

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
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      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @denise.w.anderson - One thing that dealing with my father's Alzheimer's disease taught me was that there is a definite need to plan ahead. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and for your comments, they are both welcomed and appreciated.

      Kristen

    • Poohgranma profile image

      Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

      I'm so glad you wrote this article and I hope it reaches the thousands of people who will be faced with this issue. I hope you submit this to a few magazines and that they agree to publish this very important information. I have not read any articles that cover as many areas and knowing that you have first hand knowledge of every word you have written gives the credibility others may lack. You did a wonderful job with your father and you did a fine job with this!

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Poohgranma - Thanks Sherry! When dad first got sick and I started researching what to expect, etc.. Everything was focused on the patient with very little being directed to what the caretaker would experience, and what there was, wasn't easy to find. Even knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have changed anything, but it would have been nice to know... Forewarned is Forearmed and all. In some cases I think that it is imperative for the well-being of both the patient and the caregiver that they are given this information BEFORE they make the decision to take the job on full-time. For instance, my sister is not emotionally capable of caring long-term for anyone who is suffering from a chronic disease, and had I not been here to recognize this, and step in, and had she actually attempted to do it, the results would have been disastrous for both she and my father. Thank you my wonderful friend for the generosity, your continuing support, and most of all for the your friendship.

      Kristen

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Kristen ~ I have begun to write something on the same topic and I still might, maybe change the focus somehow. BUT you have done an awesome job of presenting this extremely important topic. As a caregiver for family members and also in private care for others, I know this is a very difficult decision. My thoughts always go back to "some people are just not cut out to do this type of work." Family or not, it takes a certain type of person to handle all that goes along with being the caregiver. If someone wants to be the main caregiver for their parent, but know deep down inside they will not be able to handle it, it is in the best interest of all involved to make alternate plans.

      This is so well written Kristen! I am going to "pin it" on my Aging - Caregiver board on Pinterest. Great job!

      Sharyn

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      K Burns,

      This was a really good hub with a lot of valuable information. My parents are independent at this time but do require help when one gets down. My dad had a stroke a few years ago leaving him total right side paralysis. He drives and can transport himself from chair to chair but does not ambulate. Mom does a lot for him. It is hard as they are so independent that sometimes I have to sit back and wait until they need me. I dont want to overstep but at the same time be there for them. Last year mom got sick and dad got scared, moving them to a retirement home. He was miserable..was not ready. Mom got better, they moved back to their home that did not sell. All of course with the help of my brother and I. I dont know what the future holds and it is quite scary to know how this will all play out in the future. My husbands mom lives clear across the states and as she ages we wonder how we will balance it all. Thank you for sharing

      Sunnie

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 5 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Kristen, I am right now faced with these decisions. Both my parents are in their 70s, and though my mother is much younger than my father, all of a sudden we are noticing symptoms of dementia in her. She may be watching a t.v. program and all of a sudden during the break ask about when that favorite program will come on t.v. We have not yet sought medical help, but I am very concerned and know I need to medical help immediately. But she had always been very reluctant to visit a doctor- so I do not want to aggravate her condition. I feel I need to have another caregiver, not because I am not patient or do not have the strength, but because my mother has become quite childish in insisting her way in everything; and getting her to follow a regime of care is nearly impossible if the family members try to do it. Your Hub has been so useful with all the information, and coming from someone who has gone through it all makes the information all the more authentic. Voted up.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Sharyn's Slant - Hi Sharyn! Sorry for the delay in getting this response out, my daughter's mouse got out of it's cage and during it's little adventure managed to disable my entire home network for several days, and I have just now gotten my lap top reconnected, hopefully will have the rest of the network up sometime this weekend! When I chose to take care of my dad, I had done it once already, but for a much shorter time, with my grandmother, and part of the decision was made based on the fact that my sister, who lived within five minutes of my dad, was not cut out to do this job. It just isn't in her nature and we knew that going in....but she still feels so guilty about something that just isn't in her control. I hate seeing her struggle with that guilt. Sometimes when there is a crisis situatuion going on, we tend to want to point fingers at each other, and I hope that I never did that with her, because if she had tried to take care of my dad full-time the results would have been disastorous for both she and my dad. When I was researching my dad's illness there was a lot written about what to expect from the patient, but not much talked about what the caregiver could expect, which is what led me toward writing this. I have a couple more of these hubs in the works, so I have been happy to see that the response is posititve. I really do believe that this decision has to be made from a well-informed place, and that for the sake of all involved, patient and caregiver, that each family member should do only what they are capable of doing. Thank you as always for the generosity of your time, your comments, and your continued friendship and support, all of which are welcomed and deeply appreciated!

      Kristen

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Sunnie Day - I sympathize with you, watching your parents age and not knowning when to step in and when not to, is one of the hardest things I've ever faced. With my dad it was complicated by his need to for us all to see him as the same twenty-something Marine that he saw himself as. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and for your comments, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @sen.sush23- Thank you for the generosity of your time and for your comments, both are welcomed and deeply appreciated. I understand the reluctance to push for your mother to see a doctor, I faced that with my own father, but I can tell you, that with the right diagnosis, and the correct medicinal protocol, she may have a better chance at prolonging her lucidity, such was the case with my dad, who after beginning Aricept, saw a turn around that lasted for nearly three years. Whatever decisions that you and your family come to, none of them will be easy, and I wish you the very best as you face the future together. Thanks again!

      Kristen

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 5 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Thanks, K for the kind words. I have decided for the medical help and am checking out the experts in my city. Thanks for the hub that helped me decide.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @sen.sush23 - My pleasure, I am glad to be able to help. Thinking good thoughts for you!

      Kristen

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 3 years ago from Chicago

      Great hub! My grandmother had Alzheimer's Disease and I remember how hard it was on my mom and her sisters.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      I appreciate this hub. This is an issue that I am now considering. I don't think it's time yet to move in, but it may be time to move close. It's a difficult decision for many reasons, including the judgement of others if you don't live up to expectations. I am an only child, and this falls entirely on me and there are lots of other factors at play that make it tough. I appreciate the helpful advice and insight.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      @stephensaldana - Alzheimer's is a dreadful disease that in my experience is in a different way as devastating to the family and loved ones who care for the patient as it is to the patient themselves. Thank you so much for the generosity of your time and for your comments, both are welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I cared for my dad after he had a stroke and my mom with Alzheimer's as long as I could. My dad never had the Dementia or Alzheimer's but because of his stroke I guess he did not know me and thought I was a nurse and that was a tense time which can be funny now. He never said anything out of the way but he flirted with me and you can imagine what that felt like. After awhile though he started to know me and it was normal again; I was so thankful for that. No one does know just what a job caring for parents is but I am sure you the same as me would not have done it differently. The sad thing is though I had my Dad maybe only days from walking on his own and a family member stepped in to make trouble and got Dad out of my care and Dad was never walked or taken care of again and died of a blood clot on his leg in a very painful death. We should stick to our instincts and fight it to the end. I wish I had.

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Not a bad idea at all .... good info

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 2 years ago from USA

      This is an outstanding hub with great and honest information because not all can care for elderly sick rather they are your parents etc., and it takes a special ingredient to deal with all the emotions and issues as you outlined, thanks so much for this hub I hope those that are having to deal with this can read this hub, outstanding. Voted up /A+ Have a great evening. lyns 6/27/14

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Jackie Lynnley, Caring for ones aging parents can be both a blessing and a curse, but I believe strongly that in most cases, as long as there is a family member who is both willing and capable of doing so, it is the best thing for both the patient, the caregiver, and the family. Unfortunately, it is very true that many people do not understand this, and I am so sorry that your family member stepped in and disrupted the care of your father. While you may never know for certain what the eventual outcome would have been, I agree with you wholeheartedly that the instincts of the actual caregiver are almost always correct. Thank you so much for the gift of your time and your comments, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Hackslap, Thank you so much for the gift of your time and for your comments here, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

    • K. Burns Darling profile image
      Author

      Kristen Burns-Darling 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      @lyns- Taking care of my dad was simultaneously the best and the hardest thing that I have ever done. I was very committed to the idea of giving back to him a fraction of all that he so generously gave to me in my lifetime, and I suspect that most children feel this way about their parents. However, had I not had the right temperament, or had a different emotional make-up, the whole thing could have turned disastrous. I believe strongly that in most cases, as long as there is a family member who is both willing and capable of caring for a loved one, then it is better for the patient and for the caregiver, but there are a lot more than the black and white points to consider when making that decision. I hope that this hub might shed some light on those points that are often not discussed before choices are made. Thank you for the gift of your time and for your comments, they are both welcomed and deeply appreciated.

      Kristen

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