...and/or do we remain their children forever
Contributing factors are varied. Let's look at the "children forever" part first:
Back to Childhood: To help parents age well we need to keep in mind: "People change--not much." I've often repeated this quote from the former head of human resources for a highly regarded Fortune 500 company. As grown ups, we can look at our parents with fresh eyes if we try (it's perhaps easier when we live far away).
See complete version on my other site: http://helpparentsagewell.com