16+ Short Quotes About Caring for Aging Parents

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When we first enter the world, our parents are the ones who protect and care for us. As we grow, they must adjust the ways they nurture us and help us grow. And then suddenly, one day, the script is completely flipped. Suddenly, we find ourselves in the position of needing to care for our parents.

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Caring for your aging parent can be a great honor and joy. It can also be an incredibly challenging experience. Giving up your life to take care of an aging parent is a major commitment. You will both have to adjust to a brand-new dynamic. You’ll need to deal with new responsibilities, and may even face pushback.

Luckily you are not alone. Many other people have found themselves in a caretaker position as their parents age. These quotes may help you feel less isolated as you embark on a rewarding but difficult journey.      

Quotes About Taking Care of Aging Parents at Home

In many parts of the world, it’s very common for aging parents to live with members of their family. While it is less common in the United States, moving in with aging parents isn’t unheard of. In fact, one in five Americans is currently caring for a parent aged fifty or older. These quotes explore the delicate dynamics of this kind of arrangement. 

1. “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” - Tia Walker

This is a line from the book called “The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love.” It can help inspire caregivers who may feel nervous about their new role. It can also help remind an elderly parent that their care isn’t a burden.  

2. “Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” - Tia Walker 

This quote is from the same book referenced above. It helps prepare a potential caregiver that they are entering uncharted waters. But it also lets readers know they’ll access strengths they never even knew they had. 

3. “Caregiving is a constant learning experience.” - Vivian Frazier 

When you first become a caregiver, you may feel like you’re in over your head. That’s okay! It may take time to figure out the best rhythm for your unique situation. 

4. “The day the roles reverse is foreign. It’s a clumsy dance of love and responsibility, not wanting to cross any lines of respect. It’s honoring this person who gave their life to you—not to mention literally gave you life—and taking their fragile body in your hands like a newborn, tending to their every need.” - Lisa Goich-Andreadis 

This line is from the book 14 Days: A Mother, A Daughter, A Two-Week Goodbye. It’s about the author’s own experience caring for her dying mother. It helps prepare a caregiver for a new and delicate relationship.  

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Quotes About Taking Care of Difficult Aging Parents

Parent-child relationships can often be complicated and fraught with emotion. If an aging parent has a condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may also experience personality changes. These situations and others can lead to unexpected conflict. Quotes like these can help you learn how to deal with a demanding aging parent.  

5. “The moods and actions of people with dementia are expressions of what they have experienced, whether they can still use language and recall, or not.” - Judy Cornish

This line is excerpted from Cornish’s book “The Dementia Handbook: How to Provide Dementia Care at Home.” Caring for a patient with dementia can become more difficult as symptoms like memory loss and mood swings progress. It can be easy to lash out in frustration. This gently reminds us that even if our momentary frustration is forgotten, it still has an impact.  

6. “By loving you more, you love the person you are caring for more.” - Peggi Speers

Speers co-authored the aforementioned “The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love.” This quote urges caretakers with difficult patients to prioritize self-care. 

7. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude.” - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in the position of caring for parents who were neglectful or even abusive to us. Becoming their caretaker later in life can bring up bad memories and uncomfortable feelings. Even if you thought you had made peace, you may find yourself struggling if they continue to challenge you. Allow yourself some grace if you realize your forgiveness isn’t as firmly established as you had assumed.

8. “The disease might hide the person underneath, but there’s still a person in there who needs your love and attention.” - Jamie Calandriello

Even if you’ve always had a strong relationship with a parent, illness can change them. If your parent is being uncharacteristically difficult, try not to take it too personally. 

Uplifting Quotes About Taking Care of Aging Parents

Caring for an aging parent is often a lengthy commitment. It’s important to try to keep your spirits up even as you face challenges. These optimistic quotes highlight some of the more joyful aspects of caregiving.  

9. “People don’t like getting older, but they do like changing.” - Tommy Wallach 

The most challenging part of caring for an elderly parent is redefining your roles. This quote reminds us that embracing the change will make the process go more smoothly. 

10. “In the heart of every caregiver is a knowing that we are all connected. As I do for you, I do for me.” - Tia Walker

Walker appears on this list once more with another quote from “The Inspired Caregiver.” In this quote, she talks about how caring for someone else can also be an act of self-love.

11. “The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” - Carson McCullers 

A caretaking relationship doesn’t have to be a one-way street. This quote reminds your parent that taking care of them gives you benefits they may not realize. It can help soothe a parent who worries about becoming a burden. 

12. “Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” - Mason Cooley 

Caregiving can be an enlightening experience. You may find your capacity for compassion is deeper than you once thought. 

Quotes About Taking Care of Aging Parents at the End of Their Lives

There has been a big shift recently in the way Americans perceive death. More people are opting to die in the comfort of their own homes rather than isolated in a hospital. Hospice and home healthcare services can help with this transition. But family members often serve as continuous caregivers. These quotes can help you reconcile supporting a parent who chooses to die with dignity. 

13. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote penned by a former first lady wasn’t originally written about caring for an aging parent. But it’s an empowering message for someone who feels anxious about caring for a parent during their last days.

14. “That fear-ridden, irreversible release lingers in the doorway, but hesitates for reasons we don't understand, leaving us to weep with a mixture of angst and gratitude all at the same time. It is finally ushered all the way in, to comfort and carry our loved one to that Better Place. When the time finally comes, we can be enveloped in a warm cloak of long-awaited acceptance and peace that eases our own pain.” - Connie Kerbs

This is an excerpt from Krebs’ book called “Paths of Fear: An Anthology of Overcoming Through Courage, Inspiration, and the Miracle of Love.” When your parent is dying, you are often filled with internal conflict. You want them to stay alive so that you don’t have to live without them. But you also don’t want them to suffer. This quote helps prepare you for the poignant blend of grief and relief that will come with their last breath. 

15. “There will come a time when your loved one is gone, and you will find comfort in the fact that you were their caregiver.” - Karen Coetzer

Watching your parent prepare to die can be indescribably difficult. But in time, you’ll find peace in the role that you played.

16. “Caregiving leaves its mark on us. No matter what we do to prepare ourselves, the hole left behind looms large.” - Dale L. Baker 

Whether you care for a parent for days or years, their loss can leave you unmoored. You may find yourself feeling lost without having someone to take care of. Remember to let people take care of you. 

Caring For Aging Parents Is a Major Role Reversal

Caring for an aging parent often comes with both emotional and logistical challenges. Resources like a checklist on caring for aging parents are helpful when it comes to practical details.

But shared experiences can really help you cope with any emotional difficulties. Quotes from other people who have cared for aging parents can be a balm during a difficult time. It helps you realize that you’re not necessarily as alone as you may feel.


Sources:
  1. “Caregiving in the U.S.” Caregiving.org, AARP/NAC, May 2020, www.caregiving.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Executive-Summary-Caregiving-in-the-United-States-2020.pdf.
  2. “Aging Parents Quotes.” Goodread.com, Goodreads, 2021, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/aging-parents.  
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