Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Monday, May 07, 2007

Women expect to care for parents, but few prepare for it

A recent nationwide online survey of women conducted by Iowa State University sociologists and the marketing and analysis firm Gestalt Inc. in Nevada, Iowa, found that while 70 percent of respondents expected to care for their aging parents, few prepare for it. Eighty four percent reporting that they delayed care giving decisions until they were needed.

Among those whose parents were both still living, 70 percent said that they expected to be the person to care for their parents in their own home. Half of the respondents also indicated that they would leave their job, at least temporarily, to take care of their elderly parents.

But while the majority saw future responsibility for the care of their parents, most aren't doing anything to get ready. Nearly half (49 percent) were concerned about the quality of care their parents will receive because of have limited financial resources to help them.

One interesting pattern was that women were predominately responsible for the day-to-day care of their parents, such as bill-paying and things like that, but it was usually a man--a brother, or a son--who is the executor. The parents make the sons the people who are charge of the finances, but the person who actually does the work is the daughter, or the daughter-in-law.

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