The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of people on edge, particularly those who are concerned with the well-being of loved ones at high-risk of contracting the virus. The CDC states “The risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. Severe illness means that a person diagnosed with COVID-19 may require hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator to help them breathe or may even die.”
For adult children of aging parents, the fear is real. Many adult children have parents in assisted living facilities where exposure to the virus is even greater – but that doesn’t mean that adult children have the means to care for an elderly parent 24 hours a day. There are pros and cons in establishing a new living arrangement between adult children and their elderly parents. Let’s explore those.
- Moving aging parents out of a facility can ease the worry and fear that adult children are experiencing because of the pandemic.
- Removing aged parents from a facility can strongly decrease exposure to the virus
- Aging parents will have more companionship in their children’s homes.
- Costs for caring for aging parents can decrease depending on the situation.
- Aged parents get to spend more quality time with their children and other family members.
- Adult children will see first-hand how their parents are doing physically, mentally and emotionally on a day-to-day basis.
- Extra support is available to caregivers in-home. Places like Synergy Home Care have direct support staff who can provide in-home respite care, companionship for your parents, light housekeeping and errand running and more.
- Providing care to family members sets an example for young children and other family members and sets a standard of how family takes care of each other.
- Adult children often feel great personal satisfaction knowing that they are giving back the love and support that their parents showed them. Personal satisfaction is a huge reward for many caregivers – especially after loved ones have passed.
- Adult children may not realize the time and energy it takes to care for their parents.
- There may be costs to move parents from a facility to the adult child’s home, as well as possible ongoing costs with the facility – depending on the situation.
- Adult children may have to get the home “senior-ready” which might include taking space away from the adult child to provide room for the parent.
- Aging parents may feel like an imposition on their adult children.
- Adult children will be responsible for their parent’s doctor visits, prescription monitoring, diet, etc.
- Caring for a family member can put additional stress on family units and may cause arguments between spouses and children. Close-quarter living arrangements can cause resentment with children and could be detrimental to the parent-child relationship. This factor should be carefully considered before altering the family dynamic.
The pros and cons are large. Caring for an aged parent is not an easy job. Though rewarding, the responsibilities are constant and the stress involved is very real. But there are options available to caregivers that can alleviate that tension and burden. In-home support staff can take a chunk of the responsibility off the shoulders of adult children and help create a more fun and enjoyable living situation for everyone in the home.