A recent Johns Hopkins study reveals the unique care challenges blended families face (stepparents and their children, and this video interview from HuffPostLIVE covers the news in detail. The research states that adult children feel less obligated to provide for a stepmother or father, and conversely, stepparents are less willing to ask their stepchildren for help. Biological children — 68% of them — are primarily involved in elder care decision making, compared to only 30% of stepchildren. Is a care crisis emerging among boomers given these stats and the rising divorce rates? Watch to learn more:
As Amy Goyer of AARP shared in the video, step relationships can be very complex; often, there are feelings of resentment, bitterness or guilt among these family members, or there are tensions and difficult dynamics between stepparents and stepchildren. Some of these dynamics are long-standing, others may be the result of a new relationship, but all can be quite complex and add layers to the already multifaceted caregiving experience.
A previous post of ours, Survival Tips: Senior Care Decisions and Stepfamilies, offers advice as well. If you find yourself in a blended family or know someone who is, please share these tips.