With the aging of the baby boomers and increased longevity, family care of aging adults will undoubtedly encompass a longer phase of the life course, with adults devoting 40–50 years to caring for aging family members. The age-integrating family system is undoubtedly going to continue its pattern of change in the coming decades. Four- and five-generation families will be paired with sequential marriages to create intricate and complex family systems that may be more or less responsive to the needs of future older adults.
For this discussion, as a human service and public service leader take into consideration how the adults you interviewed and the Riverbend City family are impacted by family roles and structure in the informal caregiving of an aging adult. Also consider your own personal experiences. Address the following:
- What changes in the timing of family events, family norms, and individual behaviors are likely to be different for individuals in their 70s today?
- How do marital satisfaction and social changes in expectations relate to marriage and divorce?
- What are the burdens and rewards of informal caregiving?
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