Caring for the elderly is still a family responsibility even amid the talk of long-term-care insurance. Eventually, decisions have to be made by the family concerning the care of aging parents.
Rest homes are expensive, so caring for aging parents often falls to family members. Caring for an aging parent in their own home, where their surroundings are familiar, is the most ideal… but not always possible. Therefore, moving an aging father or mother into a family members home is the next preferable alternative.
My mom will be 90 years old in March and up until about two years ago she had remarkable health. After a bout with the flu, her health declined immediately. She is fragile, and her mind is suffering with dementia. Fortunately, my sisters and I are able to care for Mom in her own home.
The New York Times reports that 67 percent of all caregivers are women and since women generally live longer than men, most of the care is given to elderly moms.
Often, daughters step forward for a number of reasons: because no other family member is willing to step forward or able to provide adequate care, or paid services are economically not possible.
“Our gender norms tend to assign women greater moral responsibility than men for family care,” states the New York Times.
This caregiving experiences has not been easy for us… or my mom. She has always been pretty independent and resents the fact we are in her home all the time.
Of course, we don’t know how much longer Mom will be with us, so we will continue to try and make her as comfortable as possible… after all, she’s our Mom.
P.S. It’s not too early to determine what you will do about caring for your aging parents. Because I’m an aging parent, I have long-term-care insurance…and it’s one of my better decisions.