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'Empty Nest' Fast becoming a Myth for Middle-Aged People

Update Date: Jan 27, 2013 06:44 AM EST
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Between economic recession and increased life expectancy, middle-aged people may find that the time of freedom they look forward to may be a thing of the past, according to a new study.

The study was done by researchers at Oregon State University and was published in the Journal of Aging Studies.

The economic recession has hit the market badly due to which the young people are finding it extremely difficult to secure a job and eventually leave the house of their parents. On the other hand, the life expectancy of older people has increased resulting in middle aged people tending to their parents and taking care of their children as well.

As a result of this, children might end up helping their parents to take care of their grandparents. All the plans that a middle-aged couple has for the time when their house is empty have to be canceled indefinitely. While there may be a positive feeling initially at the prospect of helping, sometimes it also leads to frustration and exhaustion and probably anger and resentment.

"We mostly found very positive feelings about adults helping their children in the emerging adulthood stage of life, from around ages 18 to 30. Feelings about helping parents weren't so much negative as just filled with more angst and uncertainty. As a society we still don't socialize people to expect to be taking on a parent-caring role, even though most of us will at some point in our lives. The average middle-aged couple has more parents than children," Karen Hooker, director of the Oregon State University for Healthy Aging Research was quoted as saying in Medicalxpress.

The recession that hit in 2008 resulted in a high amount of unemployment and considerable stock market lows, which has lowered the values of home and increased the demand for further education. On the other hand, improved health care has increased the longevity of older people though it has not altered the quality of their lifestyle. So many older people require regular medical attention.

Taking into account the change in the scenario, it might be a wise step to plan ahead for the future. Also, investment toward retirement plans and medical benefits goes a long way to improve the quality of life as one grows older.

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