Caring for an aging parent is a wonderful way to say "thank you" to Mom and Dad. However, the relationship between the adult-child and an aging parent makes this a unique caregiving journey and illuminates the joys as well as challenges of accompanying parents as they age.
For middle-aged adults, caregiving for an aging
parent is now recognized as a primary task. Some adult-children view caregiving for parents as a privilege. Some see it as a responsibility.
Regardless of perspective or motivation, caring for an aging parent covers a wide spectrum
of activities that include the intense, 24/7/365 care; regular phone calls, emails and visits to parents; lending a hand with financial matters and needs; transporting to medical appointments, grocery shopping or social outings (and accompanying when needed); preparing meals, cleaning and/or arranging for needed services; researching health conditions or other matters important to your loved one; or providing myriad other services in support of or in advocacy for an aging parent. And the emotions experienced -- by the adult-child caregiver and the parent -- during this journey can be as diverse as the activities, and fluctuate from day to day and, sometimes, from moment to moment.
In sum, if you are a significant support person, advocate, decision-influencer or decision-maker regarding your parents, you are one of the estimated 24 million adult-child caregivers in the United States caring for an aging parent. And, while we may have heard that "aging ain't for sissies," journeying with aging parents isn't always easy, either.
So, welcome to ACAP! ACAP supports us as we care for our parents, offering helpful information and important resources within a supportive community. ACAP also, though, helps us plan for our own aging, facilitating our anticipation of what we may need in our future. Although designed for adult-children, ACAP -- local chapters that offer face-to-face opportunities for learning and sharing as well as an online community of support -- is open to all who are interested.
We hope the support you receive through ACAP -- either on this website or in person -- will help you feel affirmed, comforted and guided as you endeavor to care for your parent and for yourself.