Taking Care of Mom & Dad

“Taking Care of Mom & Dad” ©

………A Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Your Parents. That’s the name of a brand new book, hot off the press that I spent part of the weekend reviewing. I found it entertaining as well as very informative.

It’s unique in that it was written by seventeen different authors, each of whom is a Visiting Angels ® franchisee. It has 26 chapters , each covering a different aspect of being a caregiver to seniors and each with a unique perspective and writing style; some are somber, some are factual and some are funny, …..as in hilarious. In fact I read one chapter to the whole family at the dinner table last night it was so funny. At least it was funny to read in retrospect but I’m sure it wasn’t so funny when the author was living it!

It is NOT a HOW TO book. From the Foreword: “At any given moment there are THOUSANDS of adults just like you who are struggling with the same challenges , stresses and even heartaches of living as family caregivers for their aging parents.”

“You are not alone in trying to navigate through these difficult issues either. This book is the compilation of years of both personal and professional experience in helping family caregivers successfully deal with the worries and work of parenting one’s own parents.”

For those of you who are regular readers of this column, you know that we truly loved our beloved “GiGi”, our grandkids’ Great Grandmother, whom we said our final goodbye to a couple weeks ago. You know she was the subject of many of these columns over the last eight years. But what may not have come across in those columns is “…… the worries and work of parenting one’s own parents” as the Foreword puts it.

Because of that recent experience, I can relate to the author of chapter 8, “Family Caregiver Burnout”. While we never quite got there, I’d say we came pretty close a few times. One of the things that kept us from going over the top was the wonderful Visiting Angels caregiver we had for mom two days a week. What an incredible blessing she was! In fact, my 23 year old son, said, “One of the things I’m going to miss about losing “GiGi” is not having Pam around anymore”. That is a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one!

Here are some of the other chapter titles:
Homecare vs. Facility Life
Managing Meds and Health Issues
Protecting Seniors from Scams
How to Pay for Homecare
When It is Time to Take Away the Keys
Funeral and Final Wishes
Long Distance Family Care

The Caregiver Action Network (caregiveraction.org) reports that there are currently 65 Million Chronically ill, disabled or elderly family members receiving an average of 20 hours per week of care. Because of the aging of our society, that number will certainly increase over time. And so it is likely that many of you reading this column will be caregivers to family members if you aren’t already. This book has a wealth of helpful perspective as well as resources for you to call on. Some of those may be literal lifesavers.

You can get a copy of the book at cost by calling the office at 478 971 1606 or by going to Amazon.com where it’s available as an e-book.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at william.mercylink@gmail.com

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