How the Tables Have Turned: Taking Care of Our Parents

daughter with parents

As kids, we often have mixed feelings about our parents as we grow up. Sometimes we are amused by their antics, and at times they can annoy us, especially during the years when we are trying to explore the world on our own. But through our eyes, they are our caretakers and providers, and not the other way around.

But as we all know, nobody is spared from the effects of time. As the years go by, we come to realize that our parents are not invincible. They have needs too. Needs that they cannot meet without any help from others.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius had thought about the concept of filial piety. This is the act of being devoted and respectful to our parents. This translates into providing care for parents in their old age.

Yes, parents grow old too. And by the time this happens, the roles we have been so used to as children may be reversed. Parents now rely on their children for their needs and support. Parents now have to option to move in with their kids out of necessity. But this is not always the case.

Parents who live with their adult children are not an entirely new thing. This living arrangement is prevalent in households across Asia Africa, and Latin America. Living with extended family is also common in these places. This can be an ideal arrangement for older adults who may be experiencing the troubles of old age.

The Duality of a Nursing Home

While living with children is nothing new, some families opt out of this choice. Nursing homes continue to be an option for plenty of families. In 2019, the number of nursing home residents in California state went by up to more than 9 ,000 residents. The occupancy rate of nursing homes in the United States also appeared to be stable, with nursing homes being 8 % occupied for several years.

The convenience of these nursing homes seems to be the main appeal for families to keep choosing them. They can check their elderly parents in and would come to visit when they can. Families who also have no capabilities of taking care of their senior members may opt for nursing homes.

For the most part, this can be beneficial for older parents. Nursing homes have qualified people who can provide care for older adults. Some may also have equipment that can cater to medical health conditions.

But placing parents in nursing homes poses several concerns. For one, adult children do not typically know their parent’s state when in these nursing homes. Apart from that, some nursing homes have already received complaints regarding abuse and neglect. Families may need abuse and malpractice lawyers for this type of situation.

happy family

Should Parents Move in With Their Children?

With that, it may be fair to ask if parents should move in with their adult children. The answer to this may depend on the capability of the receiving family. But to digest this inquiry, let’s look at several implications that this situation may bring.

This move can be beneficial for older parents. Seniors and older adults are often at risk of medical conditions that restrict their self-care capabilities. Moving in with their children means they have companions that can help attend to their needs.

Apart from that, they also get to spend more time with their loved ones. It is worth noting that seniors and older adults are at risk of intense feelings of loneliness and social isolation. This can put them at higher risk of other mental and physical issues. The fact that they are living with their families may lower their risk of feeling this loneliness.

But as beneficial as it is for seniors, it can mean more responsibilities for their children. This includes providing basic care for them and making sure that their needs are met. Children may also need to supervise some of their parent’s activities. Apart from that, it may change the overall family dynamic of the child’s family.

This can demand time, effort, and patience from their adult children. Apart from that, more people in the house can also mean bigger bills. It can also mean that the privacy and personal space of both parties are compromised. While there may be major changes, it does ensure the safety, security, and health of the parents.

Our parents have provided us with care since our childhood. When the time comes that we need to take care of them, we should always be prepared to take this responsibility. When we are capable of taking care of them, let’s make sure we try our best to give back to them.

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