Taking Care of Elderly Step Parents
“Anticipating that stepchildren will take care of elderly stepparents is an illogical assumption when our laws and policies do not provide full kinship status to the stepparent and stepchild relationship.”
I wanted to write this post because of an incident I saw in a blog. The situation was the kids father had re-married and when he died they pretty much asked the eighty plus year old step mother to leave the premises. So at this age, with her husband gone, she has no where to live if someone does not intervene.
Now I am not sure what kind of relationship she had with the kids but I ask the question does it really matter based on her age? Is it that they could not find a better solution to this situation than putting this woman out on the street? I am sure she does not need an entire house at this age so why not allow her to remain there until she dies? The lady was eighty something so how cold would I have to be to do that?
University of Missouri researchers found that relationship quality, a history of mutual help and the availability of resources influence decisions about who cares for aging parents and stepparents.
“The idea that family obligations are based on genetic ties is not true for most Americans,” Lawrence Ganong, a professor and co-chair in the human development and family studies department, said in a university news release.
Which brings me to these questions.
- What obligations, if any, do we have to elderly step-parents after the death of one spouse?
- Should persons in these kind of relationships make the necessary preparations to avoid incidences like this one?
- How much can be done in the way of protection and should there be more done with regards to the laws that protect elderly step-parents?
National Stepfamily Resource Center. Retrieved from
Step children may step up to help elderly parents. Retrieved from