Life with an Aging Parent: Part 1 – Books

The first known use of the phrase “eldercare” was in 1960 and is defined as “the care of older adults and especially the care of an older parent by a son or daughter.” This has been becoming part of my world more in the last few years with my father, since other immediate family members have passed away and both my sister and I live in different parts of the country from him.  He’s in his late 80s and really thrives on living independently.

He had recently decided to relocate to the Seattle area to be near me and my significant other; simply, I have better weather than my sister who lives in Minnesota and he wants to get away from the New England winters of snow, ice and cold temperatures.  Guess what?  Along comes a health crisis right before the move.  I’ve sought library and online resources to help me and the family out, both when he made his decision to relocate and during this frazzled time with his recent health.  Part of my journey in all of this is to share about a few of these resources.  I found a lot, so here’s Part 1 – library print materials, with some having large print and e-book formats.

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents – and Ourselves is a daughter’s story about roles reversing in life, the realities and scary aspects of Medicare, and seeking the best living situation for an elderly person to remain active, physically and mentally.

Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go  gave me confidence that the help my sister and I were providing our father with clearing out lots of stuff was okay.  Trust me, lots of stuff.  It acknowledges the sensitivity and emotions that families experience, the goals which need to be set, and options to explore like garage sales, donating to charity and when to seek antiques appraisers.

Eldercare 101: A Practical Guide to Later Life Planning, Care and Wellbeing highlights the “silver tsunami” situation with the increased graying of the U.S. population. Experts in the areas including law, finance and spirituality share recommendations and resources helpful for immediate and extended family members and friends.

Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better—and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own by popular and bestselling author Dr. Andrew Weil has helped me in talking with my father and many of the health care people in the last few months about medications, including their role and potential side effects.

Old Is Not a Four-letter Word: A Guidebook for the Journey through Old  reassured me about being my father’s advocate and power of attorney, helped in bringing up topics needing family discussion, and emphasized the need for any older person to maintain decision-making as much as possible.

Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?: Plan Now to Safeguard Your Health and Happiness in Old Age covers a range of topics from finances, changing support networks, to downsizing one’s living situation. It has checklists and references to resource lists and online resources.  Great to consult for planning one’s own future.

Parts 2 and 3 of this series are coming soon and will explore further resources available on the internet and free online Library resources for magazine and newspaper information.

~posted by Marion S.

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