Taking on the role of family caregiver can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but when family ties are strained or ambiguous, the stress of caregiving is compounded dramatically.
According to National Stepfamily Resource Center, an estimated 25 percent of Americans have been married at least twice by the age of 50, and some 42 percent of adults have at least one step relative. The creation of blended families presents challenges in many phases of life, but as parents and step parents begin to face the struggles of aging and failing health, it becomes increasingly important for everyone involved to sit down together and open up a dialogue about caregiving responsibilities.
It is a good idea to begin the conversation about how caregiving duties will be divided well before there is a need for that care to be in place. In fact, the sooner families begin talking about caregiving issues, the better.