Ageing parents hide need for assistance

A US survey has found that while adult children are concerned about their ageing parents, the ageing parents are worried that their children are trying to take over their lives.

During National Family Caregivers Month in November, 400 ageing parents and adult children were surveyed by LifeBridge Solutions, LLC, a life-transition planning and daily money management firm. The findings indicate that adult children are more concerned about the wellbeing of their ageing parents than they are about themselves and feel the need to put mechanisms in place to help keep their parents safe. The top concerns of the ageing parents are running out of money and how they will pay for aged care.

As adult children and parents often live some distance apart, the parents become adept at hiding need for assistance as they fear that they will lose control of their lives to their children. LifeBridge Solutions President Sheri L. Samotin says, “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.” Samotin is the author of the forthcoming book, Facing the Finish: A Road Map for Aging Parents and Adult Children.

Of the ageing parents surveyed, only 25 per cent report to be stressed by their children, but more than half of the adult children surveyed are stressed because of their parents. What they do have in common is that both groups would like to live closer to one other, or see each other more often, and wish that they had a better relationship.

Written by Debbie McTaggart