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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

Taking care of an elderly or aging parent can be tough enough to begin with. However, when aging parents get mean, or when Image of an elderly couple for an article about aging parents.aging parents expect too much, it can even double your already-existing stress. Maybe it’s as simple as mom and dad just being a little stubborn about taking some of your financial or life advice, or maybe it’s as complicated as giving up your life to care for an elderly parent, because of growing physical health concerns or cognitive impairment, such as dementia. You may even wonder if you are legally responsible for your elderly parents or have asked yourself, “am I responsible for my parents debt after they die?” These are all good questions to ask and very valid concerns. Read on to learn more about what to do when aging parents expect too much, how to handle issues like stubbornness and meanness, and what to do with legal and financial concerns.

When Aging Parents Expect Too Much: Should We Take Care of Our Elderly Parents?

Many children feel obliged to take care of their elderly parents as they age, but it can be a great burden, particularly if they still are raising children of their own and managing a full-time career and household. It’s estimated that daughters are more likely to take over the caretaker role than sons, so these daughters are tacking on an already-full plate as mom, wife, employee, possibly even student, homemaker, and now caretaker.

Many aging parents expect a level of full-time care that their children simply can’t provide, and at the same time, don’t want “strangers” (nurses, home health aides, or hospice workers) coming into the home. Many children want to be responsible for caring for elderly parents. Stress can be overwhelming, however. When caregivers begin to reach burnout, they start to wonder if they are legally and financially responsible for their parents, and truly if their aging parents expect too much from them.  

When Aging Parents Expect Too Much: Legal and Financial Responsibilities

Children of aging parents who expect too much may have questions like, “Are family members responsible for nursing home bills?” In many cases, you may be. Most states do have filial responsibility laws on the books. In most cases, nursing home bills should be covered by Medicare or Medicaid. But in the event they are not, the courts usually will find that adult children of impoverished parents are liable.

If your parent(s) leave a lot of other debt as part of their estate, generally speaking, you are not liable for that debt unless you are an account holder. An example of aging parents expecting too much might be having you cosign on financial accounts. Consult an advisor or attorney before doing so if you are unsure.

When Aging Parents Expect Too Much: How to Deal With Irrational Elderly Parents

You may be wondering, “Why do the elderly become self-centered?”. Well, it may not actually be like that at all. Your parents may be acting what may seem like stubbornness out of fear. Too many elderly parents are very much used to their way of life and are very resistant to change. They are fearful and worried that someone would step in and force decisions on them, even their own children.

Some good advice? Unless they are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, they are perfectly capable, as are other adults, of making their own decisions—even poor ones. Give them your advice and your love, but don’t try to force your ideas or advice. Hopefully, they will listen in time. Of course, if they are demanding and are aging parents expecting too much, you should distance yourself from toxic relationships or face caregiver burnout. 

To learn more about when aging parents expect too much, or to inquire about mobility products that can help elderly parents age in place with grace, such as wheelchair ramps or stair lifts, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their patients or loved ones to live their best lives possible.

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