CONTRARY to a popular belief that eld_ erly individuals are shunned by their fami_ lies, recent studies of family relationships of the elderly suggest persisting intrafamilial ties. Such ties are implied by findings that there is frequently close residential proximi_ ty between elderly persons and one of their children,1 that families regularly perform household tasks for their elderly members, that elderly relatives are often housed by the family,3 and that, in general, there is "an impressive amount of mutual support in the form of friendly contact, service and familial aid" between adult family members of differing generations.4 It should be noted, however, that such findings apply for samples of elderly individuals who may vary widely in the degree to which they suffer from either age-related or age-independent psychological disturbances.
Since aging is associated with progressive psychological deficit, it seems important to consider such a deficit
Baer PE, Morin K, Gaitz CM. Familial Resources of Elderly Psychiatric PatientsAttitude, Capability, and Service Components. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(4):343-350. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740280055010