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Are siblings more interested in inheritance than parents' care?

We don't like thinking it, but there are times when we have to wonder. Is your sibling's resitance to your parents getting in-home care or moving to assisted living due to the fact that they don't trust outside help or is it more about the money? Outside care can be very expensive. In fact, the cost often eats up all of the funds our elders have. Hopefully, your siblings only want the best for you parents. But for some, the motives aren't all that pure. Read more →

Difficult mother is a problem for adult daughter

Dear Carol: I sometimes feel like the only person who struggles with less than warm feelings toward a parent, especially during holidays. My mother has a history of mental illness and now has dementia. I know it’s not her fault that she’s been ill so much, but my childhood was tough. I can't remember having a mother - only being in the mother role with her Read more →

Do you regret your decision to have your parents live with you?

Many people contemplate the pros and cons of inter-generational living. Their elders are aging. They feel they owe their parents care, and it makes sense, financially, for all concerned. Or else, the elder has few assets and this is one way to watch over them. For some people, this is a wonderful solution. For others - not so much. Read more →

Well Spouse Association has unique caregiver focus

Throughout my years of writing about caregiving, I’ve often recommended the Well Spouse Association as a resource for spousal caregivers. As a family caregiver who spent two decades in varying caregiving roles for a total of seven elders, I’ve endured a lot of emotional upset. While none of my own caregiving was spousal in focus, I did observe my mother, and my mother-in-law, in their spousal caregiver roles. Read more →

Dropping the guilt: "I promised I'd never put her in a nuring home"

Many of us have been back into a corner when we are reminded that, decades ago, we "promised" a once healthy parent or grandparent that we wouldn't even "put them in a nursing home." Yet, as decades pass, and a parent has a stroke or gets a disease that needs expert medical care 24 hours a day, we sometimes have no choice. How do we cope with the guilt of "breaking the promise." Read more →

How to cope when a parent abuses you as a caregiver

We like to think that caregivers and care receivers all appreciate each other and do their best. Yes, elders can get cranky from pain, or can have dementia issues that make their behavior difficult. Adult children can get stressed and be short with a parent who can't help his or her behavior. Read more →

This morning, I had the pleasure of participating in a conference call featuring the irrepressible Betty White. White, who is kicking 90, really hit her stride after she turned 50, recently hosted Saturday Night Live. She stars in TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland, and is now the face of a new AARP campaign telling people to just “get over it,” when it comes to aging. Read more →

How do I arrange a family meeting?

Dear Carol: My mother-in-law has dementia and I was her full-time caregiver for eight years, with some help from her son who is my husband. Six months ago, she moved into a care home in a town where her daughter, “Sue,” lives. Now, “Sue’s” life has changed and she needs to move. This care home is 50 miles from any other family member’s home. “Sue” is evading any talk about what to do with Mom Read more →