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caring for elderly parents

Source: Courtney Hale / Getty

In many cultures, it’s common to take in one’s elderly parents when they get to a place of not being able to care for themselves. It’s a very American thing to put parents in homes, but not everybody does that. Even within the US, there are families that still believe it’s the kid’s duty—once they’re adults—to take on the role of caretaker, and take in their parents. Your parents did, after all, give you a place to live, plus food, clothes, and whatever else you needed for 18 years (or more if you were one of those young adults who lived at home for a while). In fact, if you were an adult who lived at home after college for some time, then you know how that dynamic—all of that family under one roof—affected many elements of your life, including your dating life.

Now, as an older adult, you may be the one taking in family, and if you’re married, it will have an impact on your marriage. That’s neither good nor bad; it will be a mix of both. But it is a huge change. It’s not just about giving up a bedroom. You’re caring for your parents. It’s about attention, time, and possibly financial resources. Then there’s the matter of, whose job is this really, because, you’re taking in just one set of your parents (unless both you and your partner are taking in parents which is a whole different story). If it’s your parents, then you are asking a lot of your partner. If he’s a good, loving partner, he should be (mostly) happy to do it. But you should still know you’re asking a lot of him. Here is how taking in your elderly parents can affect your marriage.

caring for elderly parents

Source: Chanin Wardkhian / Getty

Juggling all of the family

If you have children, then caring for your parents can take some of your attention away from your kids. You can both feel—you and your partner—pulled in a million directions. You may find yourselves negotiating, saying, “Okay, you take the kids today, I’ll take my parents.” But then, you can feel you’re losing out on time with the kids.

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