${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Throughout Southern California
310-324-9403
Toll-Free
866-402-1805
View Our Practice Areas

Caregiving Challenges Of Blended Families

6a017d3e6b2617970c019b00b5cef5970c.jpgEvery year, nearly a half-million adults over age 65 remarry, and a growing proportion of these spouses - usually the wives - eventually will become primary caregivers. Many will look for aid from those with whom their ties may not be particularly strong: their partners' adult children. New research suggests the caregivers may be in for bitter disappointment.

There are a lot of "blended families" in the United States. Whether following a divorce or the death of a spouse, this fact of life can raise serious caregiving issues later in life. For example, if you are caring for your elderly husband now, what kind of assistance can you expect from his adult children (and their spouses). Perhaps not much.

As reported in a recent New York Times article titled "Study Finds Wives Often Struggle With Stepchildren Over Caregiving," a study published by the Journal of Marriage and Family, found that all is not well with older Americans who have formed blended families. There is an unfortunate breakdown occurring in families, often to the detriment of the elderly family member and, at least as poignantly, for the elderly spouse left to care for them without other family assistance. The breakdown falls between the spouses from late-in-life marriages - statistically, the wives - and the adult stepchildren.

Late-in-life-healthcare has simply become a greater burden on elderly persons and their families. This largely is due to the increased costs of care effecting everyone, but especially those with late-in-life conditions like Alzheimer's or dementia. At the same time, late-in-life marriage has become more and more common and that changes the dynamics of family. Sometimes these changes are positive, but other times they can be less so.

When there is a rift between adult children and a step-parent, what happens when the chips are down and an elderly parent/spouse grows ill or begins to suffer from dementia? What happens when the family does not pull together, but rather pulls apart? The latter scenario is a very real possibility in many families. Accordingly, some advance planning would be advisable, so all parties involved can come up with an agreed game plan before a crisis strikes.

What if it is too late and the family is in crisis mode? The best approach may be to mediate and remediate. As the original article points out, family meetings are a very important tool in some circumstances unless the family is already fractured beyond repair. For example, it can be a difficulty to get everyone to even show up and talk.

There might not be a silver-bullet plan that is a one-size-fits-all, but if you engage the issues now you might be able to work through them later.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Find Out The Difference That Experience And Expertise Makes

Get the peace of mind that you deserve. First, attend a seminar. This will entitle you to a free initial consultation and a discounted estate planning fee. To learn more about our services or sign up for a seminar, contact us online or call us at 866-402-1805. We have offices in Torrance, Orange, Newport Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills.

Questions? Contact Us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Call Now For A Free Consultation: 866-402-1805
  • ${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
  • Main Office: Torrance

    Torrance Office
    990 West 190th Street
    Suite 500
    Torrance, CA 90502

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Orange Office
    333 City Boulevard Street
    17th Floor
    Orange, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Newport Beach Office
    5000 Birch Street
    Suite 8000
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Pasadena Office
    790 East Colorado Boulevard
    9th Floor
    Pasadena, CA 91101

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Woodland Hills Office
    5850 Canoga Avenue
    4th Floor
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Office map