Dear Dr. Levister: Last month my 85-year-old mother moved in with me and my family. It’s been a rollercoaster. Any suggestions for cooling mom’s jets? F.R.
Dear F.R.: Caring for our parents as they age is a job most of us shoulder willingly, yet with warring emotions. Despite our desire to repay the love they showed in raising us, the shifting dynamic of the parent-child relationship can spark feelings for which we are unprepared. For both generations, this is a complex passage—a time of burden and reward, of conflict and reconciliation, of frustration, fulfillment, and finality.
Contact your county agency on aging. Arrange for a face to face discussion on caring for your mom. Fortunately, there's a well written practical road map through that complex emotional terrain. Drawing on AARP's well spring of expertise, ‘Caring for Your Parents’ lays out proven methods for helping your aging parents live their lives to the fullest.
Originally published by AARP Books in hardcover in 2005 (and lauded by Library Journal at the time as an “outstanding addition to care giving literature”), Caring for Your Parents is now available in an updated, revised, and expanded edition. To tie into a two-hour WGBH care giving special based on the book and AARP’s online care giving channel, more content has been added, such as new resources, real-life stories, and a 16-page chapter, “The Sibling Balancing Act,” that explores potential sources of—and solutions to—the conflict so easily sparked when brothers and sisters come together to care for an ailing parent. There’s even a new sidebar on “VSS”—Vanishing Sibling Syndrome.
Step by step, coauthors and AARP experts Hugh Delehanty and Elinor Ginzler guide readers along an innovative and resourceful path to care giving—one that deepens the intergenerational bond, transforming an undeniable duty into a journey of spiritual growth and personal discovery.
If you, too, are one of the 30 million Americans engaged in providing care to an older parent, relative, or friend, Caring for Your Parents is for you - and your family.
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