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Transitioning to the Care Giving Stage: Understanding Expectations

A study of 100 Jewish women discussed in the March 1998 issue of Contemporary Women's Issues Database revealed what elderly mothers and their daughters thought about entering a period of necessary caregiving:

Building Blocks

Filial responsibility means the perceived level of suitable responsibility by a son or daughter.

  1. Daughters expect more filial responsibility from themselves with regard to caretaking than their elderly mothers expect from them.
  2. Mothers want to spare their children from having to take care of them and becoming a burden.
  3. Mothers do not want to live with their children, but do want to maintain close ties.
  4. Mothers and daughters value their social and financial independence. Therefore, they each try to prolong those qualities for their elders.
  5. Mothers do not give up the role or image of themselves as nurturers and therefore try to protect their daughters.
  6. Mothers fear relying too heavily on their children, worrying they may be become resentful.
  7. Mothers and daughters in this group try to make their relationship reciprocal and do things for each other.
  8. Some mothers voluntarily put themselves into nursing facilities in order not to burden children.
  9. Daughters of mothers in residential nursing home settings express less "filial expectations" than daughters whose mothers are still living in the general community.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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