“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.”
Caring for your elderly parents can be an emotional draining and life altering experience, but it can become a nightmare if sibling rivalries are involved! I was recently sent this book to review (I’m still reading it) and recommend it to everyone with aging parents, even if you are not facing this difficult situation at the moment. Its never to early to plan ahead when it comes to caring for your parents and bracing yourself for challenging decisions that may arise in the coarse of preparing for “the twilight transition.”
I am finding the book to be very easy to follow and well written. Russo organizes the book into four parts which reflect the phases of the twilight transition as most families encounter them.
- Part One : “Confronting A New Family Passage”
- Part Two: “Return To The House Of Childhood- Adapting Old roles And Relationships, Confronting Old Conflicts”
- Part Three: “Slipping Away- Making Peace With Change And Loss”
- Part Four: “Reinventing The Family For Our Generation – Sharing Stories, Passing On Legacies”
At the end of each chapter she gives insightful strategies to help improve sibling communication about specific issues.
I wish I would have had this book years ago to help get my sister and me through my fathers beginning stages of dementia. In chapter 7 there is some terrific strategies for coping with demented behavior. Particularly, I love the techniques to alleviate the depression and helplessness felt by spending time with a parent stricken with the disease. One suggestion was to remember how Dad liked to spend his day and make a list of things that gave him pleasure. Then to spend some afternoon doing these things to make time more meaningful. If I would have done this on the onset of him not being able to remember it would have saved some serious awkwardness and frustration for both of us.
Pick up a copy now and use it as a guide to help you through your “twilight transition” journey!
FTC disclosure : In adherence to the FTC it is necessary to add when ever I receive any compensation in return for posting about a company or product. I received a copy of “They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy By Francine Russo” for review purposes. No further compensation was received. Even though a free product was received, the opinions were of my own.