Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents

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The case study introduces a scenario when Jacqueline should take care of her elderly mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Since the mother needs constant support, Jacqueline can neither meet with her friends nor participate in many leisure activities with her husband, Mark. This state of affairs is an example of how Jacqueline has an overestimated sense of role performance, resulting in adverse consequences for her health.

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To begin with, one should admit that people perform some roles in various social environments, and family is not an exception. Possible statuses include grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, spouses, and siblings. It is a typical case that an individual can have numerous roles, and a conflict occurs when they intersect. If it happens, people face adverse consequences that relate to the worsened relationships with other family members, decreased health, and others.

The case study under consideration demonstrates that Jacqueline has faced such a problem. I think that the decision to devote all the spare time to caring for her mother denotes that Jacqueline only focuses on performing the role of a child and forgets about her other family functions. Zagefka et al. (2020) stipulate that children can choose among different options, and a caretaker is one of them. This term implies that sons and daughters become their parents’ caregivers, which means that their family functions have been interchanged (Zagefka et al., 2020). Jacqueline’s situation demonstrates that she is entirely devoted to being a caretaker because she does not play her wife and mother’s roles. The rationale behind this claim is that Jacqueline is unable to visit her friends and go to a movie with Mark. Thus, the duty and promise to care for her mother lead to the fact that Jacqueline’s sense of playing the role of a child has absorbed her.

It is possible to suppose that this situation can result in Jacqueline’s worsened health. It is so because caring for elderly parents imply negative consequences for adult children, and scientific evidence justifies this idea. On the one hand, Thomas and Umberson (2017) stipulate that caregiving for parents leads to adult children’s lower well-being. It happens since this process often implies providing instrumental support, which is emotionally challenging. On the other hand, Heger (2017) explains that these consequences also occur because individuals face emotional pain when their parents are experiencing health issues. Combining these two factors allows for supposing that Jacqueline can face some mental challenges, including depression. Heger (2017) also adds that more adverse consequences are involved when daughters deal with higher parental care needs. That is why I suppose that Jacqueline’s behavior negatively contributes to her health.

In conclusion, the case study analysis has covered an important topic regarding children’s caregiving to their elderly and ill parents. It has been demonstrated that this scenario typically leads to modified role performance, implying that adult children draw all their attention to their parents, reducing their involvement in other family members’ lives. Even though there is some rationale behind this behavior, individuals should be aware of possible adverse consequences for their health. Such negative effects emerge because the caregiving process implies mental challenges for adult children. The damaging results increase when higher parental care needs are involved. Thus, this case study analysis has demonstrated that taking care of parents can provide adult children with relationship issues within their families and mental health problems.


Heger, D. (2017). The mental health of children providing care to their elderly parent. Health Economics, 26(12), 1617-1629. Web.

Thomas, P. A., & Umberson, D. (2017). Family relationships and well-being. Innovation in Aging, 1(3). Web.

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Zagefka, H., Jones, J., Caglar, A., Girish, R., & Matos, C. (2020). Family roles, family dysfunction, and depressive symptoms. The Family Journal. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, July 27). Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents. Retrieved from


NursingBird. (2022, July 27). Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents.

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"Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents." NursingBird, 27 July 2022,


NursingBird. (2022) 'Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents'. 27 July.


NursingBird. 2022. "Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents." July 27, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents." July 27, 2022.


NursingBird. "Health of Children Providing Care to Elderly Parents." July 27, 2022.