Deciding to have children is a big decision for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for older individuals. Parenting can be an immense blessing. However, it comes with challenges as well. These challenges can be amplified as parents get older. Here are 10 things to consider as an older person thinking about starting a family.
1. Health Risks
As we age, our bodies are more susceptible to certain health risks. For example, older adults are at a higher risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease, a severe lung infection that can be fatal in one out of 10 cases. It’s important to be aware of any potential health risks and to speak with a doctor before making any decisions about having children.
2. Physical Limitations
As we age, our physical capabilities may decrease. This means that older parents may find it more difficult to keep up with the demands of raising children. It’s important to consider how your physical limitations may affect your ability to care for a child and to plan accordingly.
Raising a child is a significant financial commitment. It’s important to consider your current financial situation and whether you have the resources to support a child. This may include factors such as your income, savings, and retirement plans.
4. Emotional Support
Starting a family at an older age may mean that you are more likely to have less emotional support from friends and family. It’s important to have a strong support system in place before making the decision to have children. This may include a partner, family members, or friends who are willing to provide emotional support throughout the journey of raising a child.
5. Dental Health
As we age, our dental health may also be affected. 40.99 million Americans used dentures in 2020. This number is expected to rise to 42.46 million by 2024. It’s important to maintain good dental health and to have regular check-ups, especially if you are thinking about starting a family.
6. Job-related Injury and Illness
As we get older, we may be more likely to experience job-related injuries or illnesses. In 2018, more than 36,000 Kansas workers were injured on the job or became ill as a result of their work, 61 of them fatally. It’s important to consider how your work may affect your ability to care for a child and to plan accordingly.
7. Age-Related Infertility
As we age, our fertility may decrease. This means that it may be more difficult to conceive and carry a child to term as an older parent. It’s important to be aware of any age-related infertility issues and to speak with a doctor about potential treatment options.
8. Social Stigma
There may be social stigmas associated with older parents. It’s important to be aware of these stigmas and to be prepared to address them if they arise.
9. The Emotional Toll
Raising a child can be emotionally demanding, and older parents may have less energy and patience to deal with the stresses of parenting. It’s important to be aware of the emotional toll that raising a child can take and be prepared for the challenges that may arise.
10. The Importance of Planning
Starting a family at an older age requires careful planning. It’s important to consider all the factors mentioned above and to speak with a doctor and a financial advisor before making any decisions.
Deciding to have children as an older person is a big decision that requires careful consideration of various factors including health risks, physical limitations, finances, emotional support, dental health, job-related injury and illness, age-related infertility, social stigmas, and emotional toll of parenting. Be sure to weigh all your options before making a decision.