Do You Know Your Duties Toward Your Parents?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Elderly couple sitting by the beach

Are you an older adult child wondering what your duty of care to elderly parents is? 

Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I responsible for my parents?” or “Who should look after the elderly?” These questions and more are lingering in the minds of adult children as elderly parents increase in number.

In this article, we help you answer some questions surrounding care for elderly parents. We’ll also provide information on who’s responsible for caring for parents and what that will look like practically. Lastly, we address what alternatives exist for caring for your parents at home.

Keep reading to learn more about your duties toward your parents and all that comes with caring for aging loved ones.

Are You Legally Responsible for Your Elderly Parent?

At some point, your parents are going to age and may need help—maybe even help 24-hours a day. Do you know what your legal responsibility is to them?

Currently, 28 states have laws called filial responsibility laws, requiring adult children to support their aging parents. In addition, a bill passed in 2005 may place a heavier burden of taking care of parents’ nursing home bills on adult children.

Filial responsibility laws differ from state to state. Look up your specific state laws to see what your state may or may not require.

Can I Refuse to Care for Elderly Parents?

We can’t tell you exactly if you can or can’t refuse care to your aging parents. Everyone’s circumstances and state differ. If your state has filial responsibility laws, then you’ll need to abide by them.

But why should we take care of our elderly parents?

Well, if your state doesn’t have these filial responsibility laws, you may feel a moral or ethical obligation to take care of your parents. After all, in most cases, it was your parents who raised you and cared for you when you needed help. 

Most American adult children do believe elder care costs are their responsibility. Additionally, 55% of American seniors expect their adult children to take care of them.

Do you know what it might look like for you, an older adult child, taking care of elderly parents at home? If you feel that you have a duty of care to elderly parents, it will help to know your options.

What Are Options for Aging Parents Elder Care?

If you find yourself needing to take care of your aging parents, don’t panic. Even if you’re an only child taking care of your parents, there are many living options available to you. 

Maybe your parents don’t quite need immediate hands-on care, but you want to keep an eye on them from afar. Perhaps daily tasks are becoming difficult for your parents, and they need consistent in-person care. 

Whatever the level of care your parents need, there’s a care solution for it. Here are three of the most effective care options available for you and your aging parents.

1. Remote Monitoring

One option, especially if you live far from your parents, is to monitor them remotely. Many high-quality home monitoring devices exist that you can purchase and set up in your parents’ home. With a home monitoring system in place, you can always stay connected to your parent.

This option is perfect for you and your parents if they can still perform daily tasks, but you want a more in-depth look at how they function day-to-day. 

Perhaps your parent is doing well now. But with an in-home monitoring device, you can tell more quickly if they ever need professional hands-on care.

2. Let Your Elderly Parent Live With You

Another option is bring your parents into your home to live with you. If you bring them into your home, you will have greater peace of mind that they are getting the love and support they need.

However, caring for your parents at home can present many challenges and requires great commitment. 

For one, you’ll need to make sure that your house is safe and secure for your elderly parent. Second, you’ll now be considered the primary caregiver. All care responsibilities will be on you, and it can feel like you’re giving up your life to care for elderly parents. 

Moving an elderly parent into your home can cause caregiver burnout, especially if your parent ever needs around the clock care. Let’s look at how in-home care can help you bear the burden of caregiving.

3. In-home Care for Elderly Parents

One of the best ways to make sure your aging loved one gets quality care while aging in place is through in-home care.

A quality in-home care company will have dedicated, highly trained caregivers. These caregivers are equipped to handle all the challenges of caring for the elderly at home.

With an in-home care service, you won’t need to worry about the day-to-day care or safety of your elderly parent. At-home care is a great way to give your parent what they need and curb your caretaker guilt.

What to Do With Aging Parents? Contact Stowell Associates.

It can often be tough to understand what it means to care for your parents. If you and your siblings are wondering, “How to take care of our parents?” or you are helping elderly parents make decisions about living with assistance, Stowell Associates can help.

On top of having moral or ethical feelings of care, there may be the burden of legal responsibility. Many adult children want to know what their duty of care to elderly parents is. If they feel they should care for their parents, they want to know all that it entails.

At Stowell Associates, we’re experts at in-home care for elderly parents. Our care team is here to come alongside you in your search for home care. Contact us today, and let one of our Care Advisors answer your questions about aging parent care and more.

More to explore


What Is an Aging Life Care Professional?

In this blog, we answer the question, “What is a geriatric care manager?” and explain how to find a geriatric care manager for your aging loved one.