Your parents are growing older and are getting forgetful, starting to slow down, or worse. Suddenly you find yourself at the cusp of one of the most important transitions in your life—and the life of your family. Your parents need you and your siblings to step up and take care of them, a little or a lot. To make the right things happen, you will all need to work together. And yet your siblings may have very different ideas from yours of what’s best for Mom and Dad. They may be completely uninterested in helping, leaving you with all the responsibility. Or they may take charge and not allow you to help, or criticize whatever help you do give. Will you and your siblings be able to reach an understanding and work together, or will the challenges you face tear you apart?
Most of us enter this period of our lives unprepared for the difficult decisions and delicate negotiations that lie ahead. This is the first book that provides guidance on the transition from the “old” family to the “new” one, especially for adult siblings. Here you’ll find practical advice on a wide range of topics including
• Who will make major medical decisions, manage finances, and enforce end-of-life choices if your parents cannot? And how will this be decided and carried out?
• How will you negotiate caregiving issues and deal with unequal contributions or power struggles?
• How can inheritance and the division of property, assets, and personal effects be handled to minimize hurt feelings and resentment?
• How will you cope with the natural reemergence of unresolved childhood rivalries, hurts, and needs?
• How can caring for your parents be an enriching experience rather than a thankless chore?
• Most important, how can you ensure the best care for your parents while lessening conflict, guilt, anger, and angst?
Written by a veteran journalist who chronicles life and how baby boomers live it, They’re Your Parents, Too! offers all the information, insight, and advice you’ll need to make productive choices as you and your siblings begin to assume your parents’ place as the decision-making generation of your family.
Filled with expert guidance from gerontologists, family therapists, elder-care attorneys, financial planners, and health workers; resonant real-life stories; and helpful family negotiation techniques, this is an indispensable book for anyone whose parents are aging.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: They're Your Parents, Too!|
|Release Date: 01-26-2010|
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They're Your Parents, Too!
THE LAST TRANSITION OF OUR FIRST FAMILY
DOTTIE, FIFTY-SEVEN, A LIBRARIAN and local historian, and Arlene, fifty-five, a financial planner, brought their cars around to the rutted front drive of the old Kansas farmhouse to move their mother to the assisted living home. Mrs. Keller, an impressively tall ninety- one-year-old woman, hobbled out on her cane, her face stony. Her daughters each took a deep breath. This moment was the climax of a year of contentious family meetings and a decade of seismic shifts in their family since their father’s death.
Once their mother was widowed, their brother Donny, fifty-two, had taken the lead because he was there; he’d continued their dad’s pet- supply business and helped out their mom with chores. The four sisters, at various distances and busy with families and careers, saw their mother more regularly than before. At first these were the only differences, but then the pace of change accelerated: Mom’s fender bender in the grocery parking lot, several falls she took in the decrepit house, an oven mitt on fire in the oven. The five siblings gathered for a series of family meetings in Donny’s living room to figure out what to do. Usually having all five together was a cause for joy, but not this time. Several thought Mom should move out for her own safety. Opinions differed. Tears were shed. Yet through it all they worked hard to reach a consensus. Dottie was the last to agree to the move, three months after her siblings. “I got sucked into it,” she admitted, “taking Mom’s side, that she should die in that house. I couldn’t see how she’d changed. She was the mother of my past, my com...