The “Golden Years” are idealized as our reward for a lifetime contributing to society through work and family. But for the aging the transition from independence to dependence is often heartbreaking, our increasing dependence on caregivers for such simple tasks as getting out of bed alone or risking a fall is very frustrating, depressing.
But it is not just the aging parent struggling with the transition to dependence that suffers the life change. For the grown child who accepts the responsibility of caring for the aging parent may also find the transition, the role-reversal, stressful, depressing. The more dependent the parent, the greater the burden also on the caretakers own life and responsibilities, particularly on the caregiver’s marriage and family, stress between husband and wife.
And, as the aging parent continues to lose physical ability and the decision to move to an assisted living or nursing home, guilt can make life that much more stressful.
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