It's a difficult subject to study, and science has little to offer about whether frail elders are generally happier, mentally sharper, or healthier in their longtime homes or apartments, their children's homes or assisted living facilities.Families have to feel their way through, sometimes with the help of counselors, care managers, doctors, and lawyers.
Her love for this house and refusal to part with it have thrust mother and daughter into one of the toughest challenges families face: what to do when aging parents insist on staying in the family home even after it has become risky or isolating.She heats dinner and makes sure her mother has eaten breakfast, tested her blood sugar, and taken her medicine.Some days, Casavecchia washes her mother's hair in the kitchen sink and gives her a sponge bath there. For all the current enthusiasm for helping seniors stay in their homes, there can come a point where aging in place starts to look more like a potential train wreck - at least to the kids - than an idyllic way to grow old.It's hard to know how many parents and adult children are at impasse, as the topic has received scant academic attention.One hint: A recent study by Allison Heid, a developmental psychologist at Rowan University, found that 77 percent of middle-aged adults said their parents were stubborn sometimes. "Almost everybody I know my age is struggling with this with their parents," said Barry Jacobs, a 58-year-old psychologist in Springfield, Delaware County.
"Boomer adult children don't know how to deal with this. "We can come to terms with the death, especially if we've had a good relationship with our parents," she said.