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Posted: January 22, 2008

Most Women Ask Parents Hard Questions on Reality of Living Alone

Have you initiated a conversation with your parents about their continued ability to live independently as they grow older? If you’re a woman 45 or older, the answer is probably yes, according to a survey by AARP.

However, the advocacy group for older Americans found that while most boomer women have had such conversations with their parents, less than half have actually begun planning for care their parents might need.

AARP said it sees this gap between conversation and action as a significant opportunity for educating the public in this area.

The study, titled Are Americans Talking with Their Parents About Independent Living: a 2007 Study Among Boomer Women, found that:

More than two-thirds of the respondents (69%) have had conversations with their parents about their ability to live independently as they get older. However, only 40% have begun to plan with their parents for assistance they may need in the years to come.

More than two-thirds (68%) feel that their parents are capable of paying for assistance when the time comes.

In considering where their parents might go if they were unable to live by themselves, responding women most often mentioned having their parents move in with them (43%) or remain at home with paid help (33%). Only 17% had considered the possibility of their parents moving into a nursing home.

The majority of these middle-aged daughters are familiar with community resources their parents might draw on, such as assisted transportation, meal services, adult day care, assistance with everyday activities, and assisted living facilities.

Also, in a caregiver’s version of looking into the mirror, more than half of the daughters surveyed said they had begun to think about their own ability to live independently when they get older and how they would pay for any assistance they may need.

The AARP findings grew out of a telephone survey of 629 randomly selected women age 45+ during October 10-28, 2007. Click here for the full AARP report.

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