73% of People Caring for an Elderly Family Member Admit Lying to Them
National Honesty Day is April 30, a day intended to encourage people to be more honest and open in their interactions with others. But for family caregivers, honesty may not always be the best policy. AgingCare.com recently surveyed more than 700 people taking care of an elderly parent or family member, and found that 73% admit to lying to the person they're caring for.
Faced regularly with the decision to speak the truth or take a deep breath and walk away, family caregivers often suppress their own feelings in order to avoid inflicting deep hurt upon a loved one. In fact, not wanting to reveal their true feelings is the number one reason why family caregivers are dishonest.
Key findings from the survey include:
- 73% of family caregivers admit to lying to the person they're caring for; 43% on a regular, weekly basis.
- Half who admit to lying believe it is justified because it either makes their own life easier, or it's for the elderly family member's ‘own good.'
- Only 28% of the people who lie believe it is wrong and feel guilty about it.
- Family caregivers are most honest about their loved one's medical condition, and least honest about their own feelings:
- 65% lie about their own feelings
- 39% lie about other family members
- 20% lie about their loved one's health or well-being
- 10% lie about their loved one's medical reports, test results or prognosis
An Outlet for Honesty
For those taking care of an elderly family member, striking a balance between honesty and keeping the peace often means bottling up a great deal of unhealthy angst. The AgingCare.com Caregiver Forum provides a safe haven for family caregivers to be honest and find encouragement from other caregivers. Over six million caregivers visit this supportive online community each year, where members can share their candid feelings or worries without condemnation, without guilt and without deeply hurting the one they love.
What would family caregivers say if they could be completely honest? The following unedited comments from the Caregiver Forum show the multitude of feelings that are suppressed each day by those caring for an elderly family member.
AgingCare.com is a free online resource that provides information and support to help those caring for elderly family members. Members benefit from the comprehensive library of content published by our staff of writers, find inspiration from other community members and gain advice from our experts. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on to make informed decisions and ease the stress of caregiving. Visit https://www.agingcare.com.