“Pressed Into Caregiving Sooner Than Expected” (about adult children caregivers)

This article in today’s New York Times is about adult children in their 30s or 40s becoming caregivers to their parents or older relatives.  This article will be of most interest to adult children or those who have adult children.

Here are some excerpts:

* “Beyond the challenges that caregiving brings at any age, these people face particular disruptions.  Among the youngest group, ‘what particularly concerns them is the negative impact on their pursuit of education.’  Caregivers closer to midlife contend with pressures at work and sometimes have to reduce their hours, refuse promotions or retire early. In turn, job loss increases current and future financial strains. Younger caregivers may also have children at home.”

* “Perhaps the most jarring aspect of off-time caregiving, though, is the sense of becoming entirely out of sync with one’s peers. ‘We are so isolated,’ [said one caregiver.] ‘You don’t have contemporaries to confide in.'”

* “‘One way to discharge anger and reduce stress is to be able to talk about it,’ [psychologist] Dr. Cohen said. She worries about younger caregivers’ physical and mental health if they feel unsupported and too overwhelmed to take care of themselves.”

* Consider joining “supportive programs specifically for younger people providing elder care….possibly using social media,” such as Facebook and Twitter.

* “Not one of these caregivers regrets undertaking the role. As Joseph Gaugler, a gerontologist at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, points out, many caregivers take satisfaction in reciprocating their parents’ sacrifices and pride in doing a good job.”

I thought these comments by one caregiver were interesting:  “She looked into caregiver support groups, but felt she had little in common with their much older members. ‘It’s different when you’ve had your career, your chance to travel,’ Ms. Carthy said. ‘I wouldn’t be so angry if I were retired and I’d already had the chance to live my life.'”

The Brain Support Network caregiver group has a mix of adult children and spouse caregivers.  We occasionally have siblings or siblings-in-law attend.

Plus, I think occasional resentment over being a caregiver is not confined to adult children.  Certainly spouses feel this too.  Older spouses say that they thought these were going to be the golden years but they don’t seem so golden.  And younger spouses struggle with working and caregiving.

Here’s a link to the article:


Pressed Into Caregiving Sooner Than Expected
The New Old Age: New York Times
by Paula Span
March 10, 2017