Virtual program scheduled for adult children supporting their caregiving parents

Iowa State University Extension

When Mom is taking care of Dad or another loved one, who takes care of Mom? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers “Caregiving Relationships: Conversations on Aging” to help adult children gain the skills they need to support their aging, caregiving parents.

The virtual workshop will be held via Zoom on Monday, Nov. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. To register or find more information, visit https://go.iastate.edu/RVDOQQ.

November is National Family Caregivers Month – a time to recognize and honor those who care for an adult with a chronic condition, as well as those who care for a child, teen or adult child with special health or behavioral needs, said Malisa Rader, a human sciences specialist in family wellbeing with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Family caregivers are unpaid family members, friends or neighbors who assist those who need help. More than 1 in 5 Americans — 53 million people — are providing unpaid care for someone with health or functional needs, according to Caregiving in the U.S. 2020, a research survey conducted every five years by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.  

“My mom took care of my dad in his last years. He suffered from dementia and tended to wander. As a family caregiver, my mom made challenging decisions and her daily routine changed dramatically,” noted an adult daughter who participated in “Caregiving Relationships: Conversations on Aging.”

Research shows that spousal caregivers are more likely to provide care with help from adult children than to accept help from community supports or nonfamily members. “You are a son or daughter to your parents regardless of age, but your role description can change when your parent is in the role of a caregiver,” explained Rader.

“Your parent is in a new role when helping a spouse with things they cannot do because of a medical condition’s disabling effects. You can learn how to better support your parent during this time,” Rader said.

“Caregiving Relationships: Conversations on Aging” helps adult children learn to recognize how caregiving affects relationships.

“The program helps them discover their role in making decisions about their parents’ later life,” said Rader. “It also helps adult children build talking and listening skills and gain ideas on how to start difficult conversations.”

For more information, contact Malisa Rader at mrader@iastate.edu or 515-708-0622.