I/We are considering making a career change. We have been in business for ourselves and are looking to do something totally different with our lives. Next year my wife and I will turn 50. Our youngest will soon be in college. My question is. How old is to old to get into houseparenting? – D. R.
This is a question that has to be decided by each individual and their workplace, however my personal opinion is that the age is much higher than 50. I currently know a set of houseparents that are over 70 and the housedad is almost 80. I hope I am not a houseparent at that age but you never know.
I (my personal opinion) think from the age 40 to 60 is the perfect age to be houseparents. Normally, you have finished raising your family, but still have plenty that you can give to other children. You have reached a point in your maturity when you realize you don’t know everything and probably never will. You have come to realize that perfection is unattainable, and good enough will do. You have tons of life experience and wisdom that you can share with others. And many have the financial security to be houseparents because they want to, not because they need a job. This allows you to accept positions that may not have the best pay, but may have greater opportunity to make a difference.
Health is a much bigger factor than age. Being a houseparent can be very physically demanding depending on the type of facility you work at. The stress of dealing with numerous children with behavioral issues, their families, the court system, other staff members and administrators you may not agree with, etc. can wear you down emotionally and physically.
I hope this helps and that others will add their own solutions to your situation.
Submitted by tigger (9/2/2006):
Age is a state of mind & if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter!! My husband & I are 57 and have been houseparents for over 14 years. Our current facility has asked us to move into management. We are doing both jobs until they find our replacements. We have been having second thoughts about the management because we really enjoy being houseparents. I would say if you have a heart & love for helping kids, go for it, & do it as long as you know this is what the Lord wants you to do!! When my husband & I train other staff, we tell them that when they dread coming back on duty, it’s probably time to move on.