Dr. Joy Canfield
The adult children of older parents often experience stress and turmoil when their parents begin having difficulty with their daily lives. Through her research and general consultation, Dr. Canfield has worked many years with older people and their adult children in identifying solutions to their everyday concerns. If you are an adult child of an older parent and would like to consult with our office, please call us to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to help you. Our number is: 212-297-6115.
Excerpt from Dr. Canfield's Living in Retirement: and Helping Your Parents Enjoy Retirement. Copyright 1994.
How do you figure into the equation of your parents' lives, and how do they figure into yours? If you choose to work with Dr. Canfield, we will try to assess various methods of maintaining a healthy involvement in your parents lives while you sustain a healthy life of your own.
A significant finding in a study of 391 men and women over age 64 was this: Level of care was the most powerful predictor of psychological well-being in the older person. In this study, level of care was divided into three categories: (a) self-sufficient, (b) requiring partial assistance, and (c) requiring full-time assistance. It was profoundly clear that self-sufficiency was related to an improved quality of life. When these older people were better able to handle the basic necessities of life such as paying bills, shopping, and caring for their homes, their psychological well-being was decidedly improved. The more self-sufficient individuals were:
1) less susceptible to psychological distress
2) had greater self-efficacy in problem solving
3) experienced their lives as more satisfying
4) had more positive views of their relationships
5) felt more productive in their daily activities.
These results are fairly logical, in that, we know that a person of any age will most likely feel more "in control" or autonomous, if that person is able to care for his or her own needs. This feeling of self-reliance provides a powerful sense of independence. A strong feeling of self-worth breeds productivity, and there the loop-tape begins again.