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When Adult Children Become Caregivers for Aging Parents

Updated on December 11, 2013
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Linda lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. She writes about taking care of aging parents.

If we live long enough, it will happen. The day will come when our parents or other elderly relative can no longer maintain their own home. The tasks of daily living become too much for frail bodies and minds and it is up to us, the adult children, to return the love we were given as children. It can be emotionally difficult, financially devastating, or, it can be an exciting time. It's up to us.

The Circle of Life

Source

The Children Speak

It has been hard watching you lose your independence. You were always so strong and capable of handling whatever came your way. While you were raising your children and creating a home for them, the world began to change. Technology got ahead of you while you were busy earning a living, preparing meals, car-pooling to soccer games, and delivering your children to piano lessons. While you worked tirelessly to provide a clean, safe home for your family and demonstrating the value of honor and integrity, the world became more violent and mistrusting. You barely noticed because you were busy doing what great parents do.


There came a time when it took a lot longer to clean the house due to those minor aches and pains that come with age. Mowing such a large lawn in a day took its toll on your body. For a time, you argued that you could still do it and you vehemently refused offers of help. The day eventually came when even you knew you could not do it anymore but it was hard for you to admit. We think you understand now and we hope you can accept that it is our turn to take care of you. It is our turn to pay back some of the love and care you gave to us so unselfishly. You have earned the right to be cared for and pampered. You have earned the right to be comfortable, safe, and happy and to have time to reflect on all you have given to others along the way. We want this for you because we love you. Your work is done now and it’s our turn. .

The Parent's Speak

Nothing was more frightening than realizing the responsibility that comes with bringing a new life into the world. The pregnancy was exciting and God knows we loved you from the moment we heard the news that we were going to have a baby. When we saw you for the first time, we had never known such love or yes - fear. You were our responsibility. It was up to us to keep you safe and to prepare you to face a world that could sometimes be cruel and unfair. If we did our job well, you would grow up to have compassion for others; to honor your commitments, and to know the difference between right and wrong. Our dreams for your success were not wrapped in the value of a dollar but more about your finding satisfaction in a job well done and discovering your own self-confidence without becoming arrogant. We have not been disappointed, not ever. We did the best we knew how. Sometimes we felt lost and alone but our love for each other and the family we created sustained us. The challenges were sometimes frightening but because of you, we found the strength to face and conquer them. You gave our life purpose and joy. Now, we are a burden and our hearts are breaking with all that our broken bodies and minds are asking of you.

Let’s talk about the future for aging parents and their adult children.

We’ve all heard the news that we are facing a crisis in America with people living longer and needing more assistance with the tasks of daily living. Until you become an adult child of an elderly parent, you don’t think about what it means. In our 20’s and 30’s we are focused on dating, education, building a career, and creating our own family. We raise our children and just when things should be getting easier, we face a new reality. If we have been blessed with parents who have lived to see our success, we begin to realize that our parents now need our help. The life we imagined for ourselves at this age is far from this new reality. Now, it is up to us to care for our elderly parents just as they did when we were children.

Aging Population Profile

The Administration on Aging estimates that 57% of the elderly population currently lives with a spouse. The number decreases with increasing age.

An estimated 28% of non-institutionalized elders live alone.

It is estimated that 3.6% of the elderly population over the age of 65 live in institutions (nursing homes, assisted living, etc.). This number dramatically increases with age and it is believed that approximately 11% of those age 85 and older are living in institutions.

One must assume that as physical limitations increase in the elderly population, it becomes increasingly difficult for families to provide the level of support and care necessary for the desired quality of life. One must also wonder why? Are we a generation that is too busy or selfish to provide care for our elders or, has the economy forced us to choose career over care giving?


Preparing For This Chapter of Life

Although emotionally difficult, this can be a rewarding time if we are prepared for it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t prepare to be adult caregivers until it’s too late. So, what could we have done to make it easier? Let’s take a look.

Historically, when a parent reached the age where living independently was no longer a viable option, they moved in with their children. In today’s world, that is often impossible as more households require two incomes for sustaining a desirable lifestyle. Also, there are more single head-of-household families than at any time in history due to the high incidence of divorce. The cost of hiring in-home caregivers can be cost prohibitive for most families leaving long-term care in a geriatric facility as the only practical option.

Long Term Care Insurance:

Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living facilities and some facilities do not accept Medicaid. If you do not have a long-term care insurance policy, the cost of such a facility is an out-of-pocket expense. Could you afford it?

Long Term Care Insurance is available through many providers but must be purchased before the need arises. Having a long-term care policy before you need it can ensure that you are able to provide the highest quality of care for your loved ones.

Financial Planning

The cost of residential care for an elderly parent varies from facility to facility. Some charge a single, lifetime investment fee while others charge a monthly fee. Some facilities will refund part of the lifetime fee upon the death of the resident while others do not.

Independent living or assisted living facilities often charge on a month to month lease with average monthly charges in the neighborhood of $2500 to $5000. In addition to the monthly charges, residents are often responsible for personal care items, telephone, and special medical needs such as speech therapy or physical therapy.

Adult children should meet with a financial planner or Elder Law attorney while their parents are still competent to make appropriate decisions. It may be in the best interest of the parents to put their home in their children’s name and preserve a lifetime trust to live in the home until the need to move arises. Why?

If money is not available to fund long-term care, your parent may be required to file for Medicaid. When this occurs, your parents' home becomes a part of their financial assets and you may be required to sell the home to offset long-term care costs. Prior planning can protect your parents' assets and leave the decision making to them and you as the adult child. Don’t give your power away.

Making Peace With The Hard Decisions:

Just as your parents had to make hard decisions when you were small, you too will have to make them as the adult child of an aging parent. Put the safety and well being ahead of your personal feelings. Your parents deserve no less.

It is emotionally painful to ask a parent to leave the home they have loved but the time may come when they can no longer manage the basics of day to day living. Seek the wisdom of the professionals. They have helped many in your situation make this transition and they want to help.

  • Talk with your parent’s physician. Ask for their recommendation on which facilities to look at.
  • Make an appointment and visit each facility. Talk with the staff and some of the residents and visit at different times of the day and night.
  • After narrowing down the choices, take your parent(s) for a visit and tour if possible. Involve them in the decision making if possible.
  • Remind yourself that if you could care for your parent at home, you would. Since you can’t, the decision to move them is the smart choice. They will never be alone and trained professionals will keep them clean, engaged, and comfortable.
  • When introducing the idea of a move, do so with enthusiasm and excitement. Make the concept of a move positive and reinforce to your parent(s) that they will enjoy the attention and care they will receive.
  • Once the move is complete, visit often and be alert for any problem that might arise. It is your job to hold the staff accountable for the care of your parent(s). Do not allow your visits to be predictable to the staff. In spite of their commitment to excellence and their desire to provide quality care, things sometimes fall through the cracks. Repeated offenses should not be tolerated and it is up to you to speak up.
  • With help from trained professionals, you can make the time spent with your parent(s) quality time. Make each visit special and shower them with your love. Make their new friends your friends too and remember that this can be a lonely time or an enriched experience for you and your parent(s). It’s up to you.

Love Is The Answer

No one said it would be easy but our elderly parents have done their work. Life has come full circle and it is our turn to shower them with the same love and affection that we enjoyed as children. Smile often. Hold their hand. Reminisce with them. Let them see and feel your excitement and gratitude for having them in a safe and comfortable environment. And if you do nothing more, remember to, say “I love you” while you still can.

© 2013 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Disclaimer

Nothing you have read here can be considered professional advice. I am a novice, picking my way through this journey one day at a time. Do your own research and trust your heart. Love will guide you through these challenging times.

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Glenn, I understand all too well about the game playing in assisted living. Although we are sure we chose the right place for my parents, it is not without challenges. We keep a watchful eye on my parents and I do not hesitate to confront the problems we encounter. Because my parents needs were so different (one physical and one mental), staying at home was not an option. One person just could not take care of them both and the cost of two aids around the clock was prohibitive. Gosh, doesn't it make you wonder what we are facing as a nation with elder care?

    Thank yuo again for reading my work and for sharing a bit of your own story here. Care giving is not easy so kudos to you for all you have done for your own family. Although we have different interests, I think we write on many similar topics and I look forward to getting to know you better through your writing.

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    Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

    Linda, The way you started this hub with 'the children speak' and then 'the parents speak' was very endearing. It was a beautiful introduction to the rest of your hub.

    I didn't go through the same thing with my aunt with a home or assistant living facility, because I hired aides to take care of her instead. She wanted to remain in her home, and with the aides that was possible.

    Many years earlier, however, I had a different experience with my mother. I did need to place her in assisted living, and your hub would have been very helpful for me at that time. I did check them out, and I visited often. But they still play games, behind my back, with a vested interest in their own welfare rather than the residence. But that's another story.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jackie, you're in a good place then. I agree that love will carry us through the tough times and when we come out on the other side, things are as they should be. Thank you for reading this one.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Love is the only way and even then it is no easy task but I would do it over again in a minute, no second thoughts. Thanks for sharing. ^

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello go-barbara-go! Thanks for the visit. I am sorry for your loss. Time is precious, isn't it?

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Mary - MAKE THE TIME!!!!! It is so important. My parents dreamed of being able to leave their children the assets from the home they loved so dearly. We are getting ready to put their house on the market for sale and the funds will go into an account to pay for their comfort at the assisted living facility. They need never know that but should their money run out, we would have to move them because this facility does not accept Medicaid. They need never know that either.

    Bless your heart for what you are dealing with. Your message was a reminder that you don't need to look far to see beyond your own troubles. I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. This is a tough journey for sure. Mary please, I have to say it again. Make an appointment and get your affairs in order regarding your home. It took us less than 2 hours to get this done and we did it many years ago. Your home must be in your children's name for several years (can't remember if it's 5 or 10) before it is really protected. Do it!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Robin, hello. That is wise advice and I appreciate your visit and addition to an important conversation.

  • go-barbara-go profile image

    go-barbara-go 4 years ago

    You made me cry while reading this. The memory of my aged parents rushed back. I still want to take care of them. They went away eternally 6 years ago, and could have been on their 80s today. Although they could have been so old today, I will still take care of them. Nothing compares to the hugs they give me all through out.

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    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    I lost my mother in 2005, prior to her death she was at home with my brother (who didn't work so he could take care of her, but that's another story). Her last stroke left her incapacitated and we had to put her in a nursing home for the final five months of her life. A VERY hard decision. We went to visit her every day, sometimes twice a day trying to ensure she had someone there most of her waking moments.

    Now, my in-laws are elderly and ill and as a family we are taking care of them. It is difficult, it is time consuming, but it is what you do out of love. My father-in-law is a 90 yr. old amputee with congestive heart failure and my mother-in-law is 88 in the final throes of state IV ovarian cancer.

    My husband and I keep talking about seeing a lawyer to secure our house for our children but it seems we don't have the time right now. Reading your hub reminds me to make time so I have something to leave for my children in case we do wind up in a nursing home. A little late for insurance at our age (he's 69 and I'm 65).

    Thank you for this and God bless what you do.

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Shared as well.

  • RobinBull profile image

    Robin Bull 4 years ago from Moore, Oklahoma

    I have to supplement my parents' retirement income (VA and SSI / SSD). It is good to plan options in advance...as much as possible. Revisit your plan about every five years to ensure that it is still what you want and need.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Denise! Thanks for the validation. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, is it not? There are so many decisions that have to be made to ensure the health and well being of our elderly relatives and there are so many opinions to be sifted through. I encourage anyone in this situation to talk with multiple professionals and then make the choice that is best for them. Best wishes for you as you head down this road.

  • denise.w.anderson profile image

    Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

    I work for a fellow who does estate planning for farmers and ranchers and much of what you have said here has been substantiated in his experience with his clients. Those who take the time to find out the options in advance and prepare for them are much better off than those who leave their lives to chance. It has been an eye-opener when considering the needs of my own parents and parents - in - law, as they are all getting to the point where they could need these services at any time.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Leslie, you are precious and I too wish we lived closer. We never know what life will hand us but I am convinced that love can see us through all the challenges . I am so blessed to have a family that understands this. From your son's sentiment, it seems that you are also blessed.

    Now, dry those tears up and give someone hell today. We have so much to fix in this crazy old world.

    Happy Memorial Day to you too girlfriend.

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 4 years ago

    Love IS the answer - and you, my friend - are simply full of it! (lol)

    this brought tears to my eyes as my son and i were just talking about such an event!

    He and his girlfriend bought a little house a couple years ago, and i joked recently that he'd best make a little room for his mama when the time came...

    He was unimpressed at the thought, and yet - on mother's day my card read: Mom - i will always be there for you like you were for me..

    (omg..i have tears in my eyes again...)

    life ain't easy, but - it's easier when somebody loves you..

    This makes me want to say - once again - that i so wish we lived closer, Linda!

    voting/sharing

    have a beautiful memorial day weekend!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Abby, bless your heart. You know all too well what it means to be the responsible care-giver. Your daughter and parents are blessed. It is an enormous responsibility but there is help available if you know where to look and begin preparing years before it is needed. Thank you for sharing your circumstance and for taking time to read this. I wish you pece!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Gypsy, you have made a powerful statement. All human beings should have a "dignified" existence, regardless of age. The elderly are so often discarded as if they are useless. It is so wrong. Thank you for being here and sharing an iportant message.

  • Abby Campbell profile image

    Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    Thank you for this beautiful piece, Linda. Though I have an adult handicapped daughter that needs care, I am concerned about my aging parents too. They live 7 hours from me, and I know that I will be the one who takes care of them when the time comes as my brother is on the other side of the continent. As you said, the most important thing is love. I truly believe this. Without it, there is no hope. Blessings to you!

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Finding the right care giving is important and at time can be a big problem in big cities. Sometimes things can still get out of control. However you are right parents deserve the very best and their children should do everything they can for them so they can have a dignified and comfortable old age. Passing this on.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi CrisSp! Thanks for stopping by and for the generous compliments. You are right. This one was straight from my heart to the keyboard. We have learned so much as we wove our way down this path and I really hope that my experience will help someone else avoid some of the pitfalls we faced. Thank you for the vsit, the vote, and especially for sharing it.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Pearl. How are you these days? It's good to see you here. I am sure that like me, this situation sneaks up on many others. A little planning could make such a difference and eliminate so much of the anxiety. I do so hope that someone will be helped from my writing about my experience. Now that we ave made our decision, we really are excited and so is my Mom. Dad is oblivious. lol I appreciate your compliment my friend.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Theresa - hello! Thanks for taking time to read this one. So many of us are facing this dilemma and it's true that with a little bit of knowledge it doesn't have to be traumatic. I am learning the hard way but then, that's usually how I do it. lo

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    "Put the safety and well being ahead of your personal feelings. Your parents deserve no less." -- I love that!

    I can clearly feel that this hub came straight from your heart and although as you said you are a novice (in care giving), you have given some great advice here on one very important thing in life...paying back the love and care that our parents had given us and hopefully, it comes back from our own children.

    Excellent write! Voting up and sharing.

    Love from the sky~

  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    Linda, this is such great advice. How many people truthfully even consider the idea that eventually they will have to make plans for the care of their elderly parents? Not very many, I'm sure. I hope that lots and lots of people read this very useful article and take it to heart. Excellent as always my friend ;) Pearl

  • phdast7 profile image

    Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    A wonderful and much needed hub, Linda. Thank you for writing about this fearful and discouraging issue with such compassion and wisdom. We will all be there some day. Bless you. Theresa

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Gu CtverSgekket! Thank you for visiting today. Many families find it difficult to talk about the issues associated with aging and yet, the decisions (if made in a timely manner) can take so much of the guilt and fear out of the equation. From this experience, I have certainly learned the importance of long-term care insurance and am actively seeking such for myself in hopes of relieving the financial burden on those who will be responsible for my care in the coming years. If I can help even one, then this journey has more depth and meaning. My best wishes to you and yours and thank you for the compliment.

  • CyberShelley profile image

    Shelley Watson 4 years ago

    Linda I wish you and your loved ones well - so little I know, when you have so very much to cope with. Thank you for writing this excellent hub, which will go a long way to helping others in your position and the older ones like my husband and I, when our time comes.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    That should help, Linda. Hang in there!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, I had to laugh at your message. There was no research involved in this one. It is pure experience. lol

    Mom had another stroke last Friday that forced us to make the difficult decision to move both parents into assisted living. Dad is rapidly declining with Alzheimer's and since Friday, Mom has been too weak and fragile to cope. It became an impossible situation. We have chosen a terrific facility and am hopeful that this will be a positive change for all of us. The time we spend with them should be better quality. Now it seems all we are doing is managing one crisis after another and that hasn't been healthy for any of us. Looking through rose-colored glasses on this one. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH, I'm so glad to hear from you, even if the topic is somewhat difficult. I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. I am sure that you understand the difficulty of these decisions and pray that you will continue to receive the love and care you need at home. I applaud your wife for being there and being willing to face the challenges. I'm glad you have her.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Vickiw. Thanks for your visit and compliment. I have to admit though that our family did not think far enough ahead. That is why I felt it important to write this one. We do not have long term care insurance and have only recently learned that the facility we chose does not accept Medicaid. So, when the money runs out, we will be forced to make another move to one that does accept Medicaid. We did have the wisdom to protect my parents home from being considered a financial asset and are grateful to those who suggested it to us. I hope that sharing our experience will help someone else. Thanks for being here.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jave, your message touched my heart. You know all too well how difficult this journey can be and yet you made the very best of the time you had with your loved one. I am inspired by those, like you, who have traveled this road before me and are there to encourage and offer words of wisdom and care. It means so much.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Faith, my precious source of light and love, I adore you. I too think of you often. I would give anything to be able to care for my folks at home but with their dual needs being so different, it has become impossible. I am praying that this decision to move them to assisted living with enable us to spend that quality time with them where now it seems we are only putting out fires as they arise.

    I appreciate the links to the support groups too. I have learned that it is very helpful to talk about the challenges with those who have paved this road with experience. Thank you for visiting Faith and for the love and concern you give so unconditionally.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Maria, I am so glad to see you here and I sincerely thank you for the email too. Did you notice the irony in a prior email when you found my typo. lol

    Thanks for the sentiment regarding the disclaimer. I am a fish out of water right now but am hopeful that we have made the right decision. Mom and Dad will be transitioning to assisted living very soon and I will be generously applying the glue necessary to keep my emotions in tact. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, my kindred spirit, I so appreciate your being here no matter when you arrive. Yes, you are right. I am there now and I am astounded by the challenges. I never dreamed that I would be in this place because I always thought I would care for my parents in my home. It was impossible to anticipate that I would live to have two elderly parents with entirely different needs. I have found it impossible to juggle the physical needs of one with the mental needs of the other. There are so many factors that must be considered and in the end, all you can do is hope that you have made the right and best decision. Time will tell.

    I took your message to heart and did a bit of research to look at statistics. The hub has been edited somewhat to reflect the findings. Again, there are more questions than answers but I do think that the economy is the single most factor in answering why we cannot care for our parents at home. The struggle to survive forces both men and women in a household to bring home a paycheck. Who is left to take care of the elderly? My parents now require 24/7 assistance. There is your answer, I think.

    I always appreciate your visits and insight. Hope you are well. I love the photos of Bev in the chicken coop. :-)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Well done, Linda. You have certainly researched the topic and presented it beautifully. Is your mom still at home?

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for this insight. Me, I got to bury my mom. After 3 years of joy, my wife has become my care-giver.

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    Vickiw 4 years ago

    Irc7815, this is a very interesting, timely topic, and well written. You re a very special person, thinking this out so far ahead, and congratulations on doing that. If only we could all have children who realise parents struggled and sacrificed for them, and that it is a wonderful thing to reciprocate later on.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Hi Dearest Linda,

    Yes, it is one of the most difficult things one has to face when one's parents are getting old and the challenges and unexpected health issues arise no doubt.

    You have provided some useful guidance here.

    Please know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers.

    There are a lot of support groups out there now for those whose parents have Alzheimers, which you already may know of, but here are a few:

    www.alzfdn.org/

    www.myalzheimerssupport.com/

    www.ask.com/Alzheimer+Support+Groups

    info.com/supportGroupsForAlzheimers

    http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_18422.asp

    This seems to be the cycle of life, our parents cared for us when we were a child, now it has come time to do the same for them, as if they have reverted back to being children, and we are now the parents.

    "Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." John 21:18

    God bless you, Faith Reaper

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Linda...This is a magnificent and moving hub, and I cried all the way through as I read. It brings back memories of my role as primary caretaker for my mother during the last three years of her life.

    I love the format you used, with both the adult children's and the parents' perspectives. Above all I love the paragraph with the heading, "Love is the Answer." That should be the mantra of the adult child caregiver.

    There is nothing easy when it comes to coping with Alzheimers, as you know.There are difficult decisions to make and, often, those decisions must be made by one person. However, I am so glad the last three years of my mother's life were shared with me in my home, and I had the opportunity to grow even closer to her during this time, challenges and all. I consider those last years we had together and the role I assumed as blessings. I look back now and am glad I retired earlier than planned, so that I was here at home to be with her.

    Bless you, Linda, as you follow this path.

    Voted Up++++

    Jaye

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    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Linda,

    You have written the most beautiful disclaimer I have ever seen.

    You are walking this journey, and truly like a champ. You share every piece of valuable information and the insights you have gained so freely.

    My thoughts and love are with you and your parents. You are a fabulous daughter. Big hugs, Maria

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    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Hey Kindred!

    I'm a bit late getting here but here I finally am.

    Such an important read. I would love to see statistics about the United States regarding caregiving....so many countries keep the aged at home with the family....the U.S. seems to lean towards assisted living. I wonder why that is?

    Whatever the case may be, this is a must-read for anyone with parents who are approaching that age. Planning and preparation can save many a sleepless night ahead.

    Great write from someone who is there now and understands firsthand the problems that can arise.

    hugs to you my friend

    bill