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Caring for Parents Who Weren’t So Caring

AloneI've been hearing, lately from caregivers who feel invisible in the caregiving world -  or worse - uncomfortable talking about their particular plight. These people read about adult children caring for their beloved parents who, it seems, were perfect caregivers themselves. This fully functional ideal doesn't reflect many people's view of their own families growing up. It is hard for most of them to forgive themselves for resentments that no one else in the caregiving world seems to be dealing with.   

Read more on HealthCentral about caring for parents who weren't so caring:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


5 Examples of How Forgiveness Can Improve a Caregiver's Life

Hands6Forgiveness, or the lack there of, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving.  Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health, you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive and some reasons why you should.

Read more on HealthCentral about the benefits of forgiveness:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Family Conflict over Parent Care Can Benefit From Mediation

MountainroadAre you sick of arguing with Dad over his driving? Is Mom unable to handle her checkbook, but she'll be darned if she'll let "you kids" take over? Is your older brother dead set against Dad going to a locked Alzheimer's unit, even though he's wandered away from Mom's care three times, once in the dead of winter? Family problems can get sticky. Well, we all know that. But when our parents are getting to a point where it's evident that they can't make decisions for themselves, but they are too strong-willed or set on maintaining what they view as their independence, sometimes a trained third party can help wade through the pool of family dynamics that has remained stagnant for decades.

Read more on HealthCentral about family mediation for parent care:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Impending Death: How Can We Offer Comfort from a Distance?

WalkingthoughtfulDear Carol: My brother is dying from aggressive lung cancer. My wife and I live nearly a thousand miles away from my brother and his family, but we’ve always been emotionally close. I've visited when possible, and will again shortly, but our main connection is by phone and email. I know that he’s being well cared for, so that’s not my concern. I just don’t know what to say to him when we talk. Is it good for me to bring up where he is in his health or should I ignore that and talk about other things? It’s just so hard to know what to say, yet I don’t want to quit calling. It’s all that we’ve got. Tom

Read more on Inforum about offering comfort from a distance:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


How a Family Mediator Can Restore Family Peace

TreesLostEven siblings who grew up together with fondness for each other often have different ideas about what the right care for aging parents incorporates. When siblings have clashing personalities, or family issues have driven them apart, finding middle ground on anything can be extra challenging.   However, the reality is that for many families the time eventually comes when adult children must make decisions for their parents’ living arrangement, medical care and even end of life treatment. We have more options for care than we did a couple of decades ago, 

Read more on HealthCentral about getting help solving sibling issues when caregiving:

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Do Your Parents Really Want to Live With You?

GranddaughterWhile the numbers of aging parents living with their adult children don't quite signify a trend, there is certainly a lot more interest in the arrangement than a decade ago. Part of the reason for this doubling up of households is the economy. It's cheaper for two families to live in one home than for each to have a separate home.

Read more on Agingcare about whether or not your parents may want to live with you:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Find local resources for walk-in tubs:


Do Sibling Issues Make Your Caregiving Harder?

Dramatictree...For most families, the journey through the mine of elder care decisions falls somewhere between the two extremes. Elder care has a way of sneaking up on people. Generally, if there is an adult child living in the same town as the aging parents, it is this child who becomes, at the first sign of need, the default caregiver. That usually makes sense. You live in town.

Read more on Agingcare about families where siblings issues make caregiving harder:

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Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol:  


Respect Diverse Approaches to Caregiving

As a caregiver for multiple elders – at one time I was providing some type of care to five elders in three locations, as well as caring for my children – I've received my share of criticism. There were those who felt that I should have provided for my elders in my home. Of course, these weren't people who knew my family's full situation. They were casual onlookers. Sidewalk superintendents, if you will. 

Read more on Agingcare about respecting other's approaches to caregiving:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 

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How To Be a True Friend to a Family Caregiver

Caregivers often find that many of their superficial friends drift away over time because the caregiver is too busy to have fun. These friends are not bad people. They simply don't know what to do to help the caregiver and they find it easier to share their time with people whose lives are less complicated. Are you this kind of friend?

Read more on Agingcare about how to be a true friend to a caregiver:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Find local resources for walk-in tubs:


Vital Financial Record Keeping Tips for Caregivers

For caregivers who are constantly on the run trying to meet the needs of their vulnerable loved one, paperwork can become what seems like an insurmountable burden. But paperwork comes with the job, especially if you have Power Of Attorney. 

View slide show on HealthCentral about keeping financial records for our loved ones:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer