Dear Carol: A year ago, my mother had a heart attack. She came out of it fairly well, but still can’t do much around the house. Then, last month my dad had a stroke. I’m an only child and feel overwhelmed with all of this. Before his stroke, Dad could take care of Mom and the house. He’s now in rehab and even with therapy the specialists don’t think he’ll walk again. I’m married and have two children and a job. I guess I just feel overwhelmed. How do I go about getting our lives in order so I can help my parents and still care for my family and work? - Janet
Dear Janet: It’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed. When our parents need help, we generally want to dive in and do all we can. You also have a family and a job. There is only so much you can do, so you’ll probably need to start arranging for some paid assistance. If you can afford a geriatric care manager, that would be a terrific first step because this person could help you plan and delegate. However, good care managers are expensive. If that’s not an option, you’ll have to find resources on your own.