A wonderful new book for family caregivers offers page after page of advice for those who are have begun the journey with older loved ones. Read this excerpt to get a feel for how beautifully it’s written:
(from “My Mother, Your Mother,” by Dennis McCullough, M.D.)
“Holding out” is a common response to aging for many people. Holding out may have its roots in stubborn American individualism. We don’t like to admit the need for help. Dependency rankles. At the same time, as legitimate and even admirable as holding out may feel, in many ways it encourages a sudden and rapid turn to its opposite. Aging parents (often viewed as “stubborn”) may resist interventions until things fall apart, as they almost always do; then adult children have to move in and take over. Holding out seldom maintains independence. On the other hand, “jumping in” is the wrong strategy as well. Adult children may think it would be uncaring and irresponsible if they don’t engage their parents’ problems themselves. Slow down. Walk a day in their shoes. Instigating single-handed solutions may in fact destroy the mutual trust that is the best foundation for the work ahead.
If you are caring for a loved one or know somebody who is, this book offers amazing advice for maintaining the health of an older adult as well as making sure you’re looking after your own well being.