JUNE 12, 2013

Survey reveals Dad loses out to Mom

Two-thirds would move Mom in over Dad!
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An estimated 70 million fathers live in the U.S. today, but if they plan on moving in with their children in the golden years, they better make some changes. Just in time for Father’s Day, a recent poll by a local company reveals 70 percent of adult children do NOT want their parents moving in with them.  Money won’t even motivate! 85 percent say even if they got more of the inheritance they would NOT be more inclined to move in their parents. However, if they had to choose, only 33 percent (1 out of 3) would choose to move in their dad over their mom. The majority would rather move in Mom!

The survey of more than 1,100 adults, ages 40 and older with both living parents, was commissioned by Visiting Angels, one of our nation’s largest in-home senior care companies with more than 450 offices throughout the country and one right here in our area.

Why does Dad lose out to Mom?
Most say Dad:
• Has worse hygiene than Mom (75 percent)
• Is more likely than Mom to say inappropriate things (75 percent)
• Is sloppier than Mom (70 percent)
• Is lazier than Mom (68 percent)
• Would want to control the TV more than Mom (69 percent)

Most say Mom is:
• More help than Dad with cooking and cleaning (86 percent) 
• Better than Dad with the kids (79 percent)
• Neater (73 percent)
• A better listener (64 percent)
• Easier to live with (57 percent)

Who chose Dad over Mom?
Dads should stay on good terms with their first child. Of the one third of all respondents who chose to move in Dad over Mom, most of them are the oldest child.  Still they don’t think they should have to bear the burden.  Of all the folks polled, 32 percent say the child that lives the closest should bear the most responsibility for their aging parents. While 27 percent say the most responsibility for aging parents should fall to the child with the least obligations, (i.e., no spouse or children).

What’s the plan?
When asked the plan for their aging parents – Almost ¾ of respondents (72 percent) say they DON’T have a plan. More than half (54 percent) say they haven’t even talked about it.
“As parents age, families have a lot of decisions to make and the conversation needs to start before a crisis, ” says Larry Meigs, CEO of Visiting Angels, one of our nation’s largest in-home senior care companies, with caregivers in our area.  “People don’t want to move their parents in. They’d prefer they stay in their own homes surrounded by things that make them comfortable and safe. We send caregivers into the home to help with everything from medication dispensing to light housekeeping. It gives families peace of mind without causing conflict.”

There’s no place like home
41 percent say they would prefer their parents remain in their own home with a caregiver, over moving them in to their home (31 percent) or moving them to an assisted living facility (17 percent) or nursing home (2 percent). More than half (58 percent) believe their aging parents would prefer to stay in their own home.

Money motivator? 
Two-thirds (66 percent) of those polled say they cannot afford to move their parents in with them, yet more than half (51 percent) say they would move them in anyway. And more than ¾ of those polled (76 percent) say they would pay out of their own pocket if their parents needed care.

“People will do whatever it takes to take care of their aging parents but they don’t fully understand the burden until they’re living it,” says Meigs. “We take the pressure off families by sending in caregivers to help ease the load. The parents are happy because they don’t feel like they’re burdening the children. The children feel they’re taking care of their parents. It’s often the best solution for everyone.”

This online survey was done by a third party and commissioned by Visiting Angels. Survey participants have no affiliation with Visiting Angels. The survey included 1,118 respondents, 776 women, 342 men. For more information on Visiting Angels or to find a location near you, please visit www.visitingangels.com.