90. Taking Care of Mom and Dad

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In the United States, the baby boomer generation includes those that were born in the time after World War II. Those babies are now reaching the retirement age. As these adults age, many of their adult children worry about how they will take care of their aging parents. In the United States it is not common for multiple generations to live under one roof. Once children grow up and get married, they move out, leaving their aging parents to fend for themselves. When these aging parents can no longer take care of themselves because of age or illness, it is not uncommon for adult children in the U.S. to place their elderly parents in a nursing home.

A nursing home is a facility that offers care for the elderly and ill 24 hours a day. As the name suggests, nursing homes has medical nurses, doctors, social workers, and therapists to help aging adults deal with the challenges of daily life. Most nursing homes also have social activities for the elderly to engage in and keep active. These activities range from games to dance classes, and movie nights. Nursing homes are supposed to provide three nutritious meals for their residents.

Nursing homes are controversial, however. There have been cases across the country of staff in nursing homes abusing and even robbing the elderly residents. There are different states and federal agencies that are supposed to oversee nursing home facilities. Some people feel that it should be the responsibility of family members, especially adult children, to care for their aging or ill parents. However, many adult children have their own children and families to take care of, and do not have the means to care for their elderly parents; others worry about medical skills needed if their elderly parents are seriously ill.

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