The “Golden Years” are idealized as our reward for a lifetime of contributing to society through work and family. But for the aging, the transition from independence to dependence can be debilitating, heartbreaking. Having to increasingly depend on others for such simple tasks as getting in and out of bed, the threat of falling, can impact self-esteem and increase depression.
For the adult child now responsible for caring for the aging parent the transition, the role-reversal may also be stressful and depressing. The more dependent the parent, the greater the burden on the caretaker’s life. And the stress of the new demands may impact the caregiver’s marriage and family.
As the loss of ability for self-care increases and professional care becomes apparent the time may come when the aging parent would better benefit from services available from increased professional care. For the caretaker, the decision to move a loved one from familiar surroundings to an assisted living facility is often accompanied by feelings of guilt and cause stress in the home.
Professional counseling can play an important part in assisting the couple to return to a place understanding and harmony.