Chapter 5: Family Care

Text Size:

Helpful Resources

Find more resources at the end of many chapters in the book.

Your parents put you at the center of their lives for your first two decades. They hovered over your sickbed, worried about your school grades, and stretched their finances to send you to college. So it is entirely natural for you to want to take care of your parents in their final years. Spending an extended amount of time with your parent can also be great fun, reliving old times, accumulating new ones. But, mostly, it is about honoring your mother and father.

Nevertheless, the responsibility of being a primary caregiver can overwhelm you. The time requirements and physical demands of caring for older people are taxing. The emotional ones can be even more so. So before you agree to become the primary family caregiver, think through all of the likely consequences carefully.

  • Varieties of Family Care
  • The Senior Lives with the Family
  • The Senior Stays in His Own Home
  • Financial Cost of Family Care
  • Nonmonetary Costs of Family Care
  • The Ultimate Gift

According to recent Home Instead Senior Care research, nine out of ten family caregivers have chosen to provide family care out of a love that’s rooted in respect for family and driven by the urgency of ensuring Mom and Dad get the best care possible in spite of the physical, emotional, and financial cost to the family caregiver.

Before agreeing to take on the responsibility of being the primary caregiver, think through all of the ramifications, or as many as you can. Caregiving is full of surprises. Over time, many caregivers will not be able to handle the burden on their own and will have to call upon professional help, which is the subject of the next chapter.

Review additional chapters of Stages of Senior Care:

Previous: Chapter 4: Aging in Place  
Next: Chapter 6: Senior and Adult Care Centers