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Care of the Aging Patient: From Evidence to Action
August 17, 2011

Living With an Aging Parent“It Was a Beautiful Invitation”

Author Affiliations

Care of the Aging Patient Section Editor: Margaret A. Winker, MD, Deputy Editor.

Author Affiliations: Birmingham-Atlanta Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama (Drs Ritchie, Roth, and Allman); Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Drs Ritchie and Allman); Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Dr Roth).

JAMA. 2011;306(7):746-753. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1163

In the United States and globally, increasing numbers of older parents are living with their adult children. Making the decision to live together requires careful thought and planning; particularly when the decision means the children will be responsible for their elder parents’ care, the physicians of all parties should be consulted. More than one-third of caregivers state that they seek advice from their physician or other clinician when information is needed about this transition. Using the case of a couple receiving care from their daughter in her own home, we review the prevalence and epidemiology of adult children caring for a parent in the adult child's home, important issues to consider, and a framework for clinicians to help guide their patients through this transition. We describe the physician's ongoing role in caring for and advising both the older parent and the adult children during common stages of multigenerational living: before the move and during coresidency and subsequent care transitions.