Elder Care: Heading Back To The Future


by Karen Cook

The good news. We're living longer. The bad news. We're living longer.

Until we discover the fountain of youth, we have to deal with the effects of aging.

Not just for ourselves but our parents. Baby boomers are faced with a syndrome that the generation before them rarely experienced.

The Aging Parent As children, we saw our parents as vital, super human beings. When we watched older people, it was with a sense of wonder. But, nothing we had to spend time being concerned about.

Then, as time has a way of moving quickly, we grew up. Our parents grew old. How and when did this happen? This is a heartbreaking time both for us and our parents. The capable people who looked after us, protected us and nurtured us are now needing us to look after them.

Given human nature, we like to stick our heads in the sand. Nothing will happen, we tell ourselves, foolishly. But, of course it can and will.

The best thing we can do is to be prepared. Before there's a crisis. Pre-planning will serve us well. Gather information and have it ready when you need it.

Making decisions in a crisis situation is stressful. And, apt to be the wrong ones. Don't wait for the fall, the broken hip, heart attack or stroke.

If you live close to your parents, it is much easier for everybody concerned. However, if thousands of miles separate you and your loved ones, it is difficult. But manageable, if issues are dealt with ahead of time.

***Having "The Talk" With The Aging Parent*** This meeting can be as nerve-wracking as the talk about sex our parents had with us. But, even more important.

You must hear their wishes. Sometimes, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out they have pre-planned for their old age. Some will even know when it's time to sell their home, locate assisted living or even realize nursing home care is looming.

For most aging parents, they like us, will fight it tooth and nail. It can't be happening... If one or both parents suffer from dementia, the burden will be solely on you. Doing your research and getting prepared is absolutely crucial.

The good news...we have our parents in our lives longer. The bad news...the tables have turned and we will now have to parent our aging parents.

For crucial, expert advice, drop by http://incareofparents.blogspot.com

Karen Cook works in a Public Library where she researches information for baby boomers and their aging parents. Karen, being an "only child" was sole caregiver for her Mom, who resided with Karen until her death in 2006.


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