Dale Carter’s book, Transitioning Your Aging Parent, is a must read for anyone with senior parents who need extra support. The book has been well reviewed — a resource that helps right now, and honestly, it still may be a useful resource years from now when we require support from our children. Follow Dale’s blog, Transition Aging Parents, her blog radio podcasts, or just chat with her for a short time. You’ll discover she’s a born communicator who uses web 2.0 digital tools to share her expertise.
Now Dale is heading off on a author’s tour, traveling in a few days to the Atlanta area and then on to Florida. In this day and age of instant digital communication, a book tour seems almost a quaint literary device from the past, so I am always glad to hear that a friend or colleague is off on a tour to share a book and meet potential readers up close and in person.
If you live in the Atlanta area or in Florida, check out Dale’s post on her blog to get additional information about the book tour and take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about gently and respectfully helping parents — not to mention yourself — through a time of life that can be challenging for everyone involved.
Maybe her next tour can be in my area — Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC,
Waiting for an appointment in a medical office is a pain in itself and not just senior parents. All of us hate sitting around, inactivity enforced, while we wait for someone to help us. If I don’t plan ahead, bringing something to do so I can use the time, I gently chide myself, because it’s a given that people wait at certain appointments.
Over at SeniorHomes.com blog, the post 15 Things to Do While Waiting in a Doctor’s Office by Shelley Webb R.N., has good suggestions that can make productive use of waiting time — just the right tone for the start of a new year. While I find that the seniors in my life tend to be more impatient than I do, anyone can make use of these suggestions no matter where the waiting occurs. (The other day I sat at the bank for over 20 minutes.)
Below are my three favorites from the list, things that I often put off, so working on them when need to wait in one place for more than a few minutes is an intriguing idea. I’ve added an editorial comment or two and a suggestion at the end. Read more »
Read 10 Reasons Seniors Continue to Work, in Us News and World Report. While earning money is the top reason people continue to work, the October 7, 2010 article points out that other reasons, such as staying intellectually sharp and keeping active are significant. Interesting to me is reporter Philip Moeller’s comment, “If work isn’t satisfying, older employees are likely to seek different jobs or, increasingly, strike out in entrepreneurial ventures where they can work for themselves.”
Amazing that even as we fight to recover from the worst recession and the highest unemployment rate in years, many people still think positively about work — in terms of satisfaction, intellectual stimulation, and interaction with other people. Moreover, it will also be fascinating to observe how the working trends change the way people transition into the what we think of as traditional retirement.
Check out the radio program, The Unexpected Caregiver, broadcast on KYMN Radio in Northfield, Minnesota. Host Kari Berit and her guests discuss caregiving, communication, health, medical information, and other critical issues that arise when adult children help aging parents. I listened to the program with Connie Goldman, the program on the dangers of denying our age, and several others. The show broadcasts on Thursdays from 11:00 – 11:30 A.M. central time, and an enormous number of back episodes are available at the KYMN website. A treasure trove of information!
From Mom to Me
As we age, we are treated differently, make no mistake about it, but until I felt it myself, it never rang true. In my professional life, from time to time I observed how people are marginalized – individuals with mental illness, immigrants, international students, people of color. Now, after years in college and ministerial circles, I’ve aged, and I sometimes feel marginalized because of my age. Someone might speak to me in a falsetto voice, pay no attention to my opinions, or worse still, not offer me a leadership role of some type. Sometimes I feel that young adults are patronizing. As I became more aware of ageism, at first I was perplexed, then angry, and finally curious. Is this a rite of passage for each generation?
Read the thoughtful review of Gail Sheehy’s book, Passages of Caregiving, at the Life With Father blog. Chuck’s writing is engaging and evocative as he describes merging caregiving responsibilities with the rest of his life. He doesn’t write often, so I regularly check and recheck my feeds, hoping for a new post.
Our family has experienced two types of aging parent hospitalizations, and we handled each in a slightly different way. For surgeries a or medical procedures that required a hospitals stay, we monitored the situation one way, but if our parent was hospitalized overnight for dehydration or observation, we focused on different things. Our aim, in either situation, was to learn as much as we could from the various hospital staff members, serve as advocates for our parent, and seek information without intentionally aggravating people.
Staying close and observing carefully was critical because, even in the best of hospitals, problems a geriatric patient can experience unexpected problems. Most hospitals provide an information booklet at check-in, and reading it carefully helps adult children understand the nuts, bolts, and culture of life in the hospital.
This video at Iowa Public Television features Gail Sheehy lecturing on May 19, 2010, at the Des Moines Public Library about her book Passages in Caregiving. Sheehy’s lecture, part of the library’s Authors Visiting Des Moines series, describes the “predictable caregiving crisis” highlighting problems that caregivers experience and offering strategies that caregivers can adopt to make their lives, and the lives of cared-for love ones, easier.
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