Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide


Drawing on AARP’s deep wellspring of expertise in the topic, AARP’s Caring for Your Parents offers both sensitive counsel and a practical road map through the complex emotional terrain many of us face as our parents age. This eye-opening book guides readers through a new, creative approach to caregiving that turns familial duty into a journey of emotional development and resolution.
Based on a 32-page National Magazine Award-nominated special feature, Caring for Your Parents ...
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Drawing on AARP’s deep wellspring of expertise in the topic, AARP’s Caring for Your Parents offers both sensitive counsel and a practical road map through the complex emotional terrain many of us face as our parents age. This eye-opening book guides readers through a new, creative approach to caregiving that turns familial duty into a journey of emotional development and resolution.
Based on a 32-page National Magazine Award-nominated special feature, Caring for Your Parents documents the innovative ways that real people cope with this age-old issue. Throughout the book you will find useful, field-tested recommendations from AARP’s staff of experts. Topics explored in depth run the gamut from locating quality health care and dealing with the bureaucracy of Medicare to avoiding consumer scams, organizing caregiving from afar, and planning the disposition of an estate. There are tips on designing your parents’ house to make it more elder-friendly, navigating the hidden dangers of assisted living, and dealing with the invisible sibling issue. A resource guide in each chapter lists help lines, websites, and consumer action groups.
Thirty million Americans are looking for a new, more effective approach to eldercare. Caring for Your Parents is the answer.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Over 30 million Americans are struggling to confront the complex problems inherent in taking care of their elderly parents. AARP, the largest organization for people age 50 and over, has tapped its deep wellspring of expertise to construct this 250-plus-page guide. Topics covered in depth include: locating quality health care; avoiding consumer scams; planning the disposition of an estate; redesigning personal quarters; solving problems with assisted living; and confronting family emotional issues.
Library Journal
Caring for an aging parent may be the most difficult task adult children will ever face-physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Yet caregiving can also be a profoundly rewarding experience, say AARP staffers Delehanty (publications editor in chief) and Ginzler (director for livable communities). Their outstanding addition to caregiving literature offers brief but up-to-date information on financial management, age-related physical changes, Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders, Medicare, housing and nursing home care, and practical caregiving techniques illustrated with anecdotes from older adults and family caregivers. Readers will also find useful strategies for initiating the emotionally charged "Conversation" with parents about their future care needs and wishes; significantly, the authors suggest specific techniques for handling this sensitive subject and parental reactions-a subject often neglected in other caregiving guides. Other chapters offer concise information on family care planning meetings, long-distance caregiving, locating community-based and professional care management services, self-care for the caregiver, and coping with the death of an elderly parent. Short yet current resource lists at the end of each chapter highlight essential web sites, publications (many from AARP), and organizations. This comprehensive package is essential for all collections.-Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Lib., Cleveland Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402758577
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: AARP Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 302,237
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   Mary Pipher     xi
Introduction   Hugh Delehanty     1
Bringing Up the Subject     11
The New Touchy Subject
Competing Agendas
Ghosts in the Room
Beyond Either/Or
The Pre-Talk Talk
What Could They Be Thinking?
Breaking the Ice
Organizing a Family Meeting
The Actual Talk
Decisions for the Future
The Best-Laid Plans
Practically Speaking
The Sibling Balancing Act     29
Resentment, Take 2
Opening the Lines
"To Bring Them Together Again"
Old Family Scripts
Cultural Imperatives
Caregiving at a Distance
Choosing a Geriatric Care Manager
VSS: Vanishing Sibling Syndrome
But Who Will Care for Me?
Eight Is Just Enough
Your Parent's Best Advocate     45
The Organized Advocate
Managing Health Care
Hospital Bills and Insurance Claims
Dealing with Nursing Homes
Scam Alert!
Lawyering Up
Laying the Groundwork
Questions for the Doctor
Decoding a Prescription
Issues of Race and Class
A Patient's Bill of Rights
Coping with Hospital Bills
A Nursing Home Resident's Bill of Rights
Shred, Don't Pitch
Money Matters     65
Sizing Up the Situation
And the Bottom Line Is...
Things Look Good for Now-What's Next?
The Question of Long-Term Care
Do Your Homework
Reality Knocks
Key Questions
Should You Worry?
Making Ends Meet (Sort of)
Be a Fraud Detector
Choosing a FinancialPlanner
Long-Term Care Insurance Costs
A Small Family Relying on Friends
The Body     83
What Is "Normal" Aging?
Choosing a Doctor
A Pound of Prevention
The Changing Senses
Common Ailments
Didn't Sleep a Wink
A Test in Time
Mountain Man
Preventing Falls
The Unsinkable Wally Ristow
Warning Signs 1
Warning Signs 2
Getting Some Shut-Eye
The Brain     103
The Truth About Depression
No Turning Back
"Everything Has an Air of Strangeness"
The Road Ahead
My Father's Blog
Signs of Depression
Is It Alzheimer's?
Minimizing Stroke Damage
Routine Therapy
Design for Living with Dementia
At the Crossroads
The Medicare Maze     121
The ABCDs of Medicare
Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance
Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance
Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Benefit
Filling in the (Medi)Gap
Blinded by the Fine Print
Names and Numbers You'll Need
How to Decipher a Summary Notice
Check List of Choices
Medicare Surprises: Pleasant and Otherwise
Who You Gonna Call?
Lose Some, Lose Some
Making a Medicare Appeal
And Sometimes You Win One
Living Arrangements     141
Staying Put
Making Room for Mom or Dad
Independent Living 101
When a Nursing Home Makes Sense
Who Lives Where
How Safe Is Your Parents' Home?
Choosing a Home Health Aide
Tradition vs. Reality
Two Parents, Two Arrangements
Build Your Own Village
Caring for the Caregiver     159
The Hidden Patients
The Stress Factor
Making Yourself a Priority
Lightening the Load
Give the Pros a Chance
The Art of Self-Preservation
Rewrite Your Inner Script
Take a Breath
Share the Care
Choosing Adult Day Center Programs
Saying Good-bye     173
A New Intimacy
Making Arrangements Ahead of Time
Achieving Closure
The Hospice Solution
Getting Down to "What Was Good"
Managing Pain
Choosing Hospice Care
Letting Go
As the End Nears
Not Quite Ready Yet
The Last Details
The Shape of Tomorrow     189
The Phases of Grief
Variations on a Theme
Yourself and Others
The Rightness of Ritual
The Stages of Healing
A New Way of Being Together
When to Seek Help
The One Left Behind
Children and Grief
Facing the Holidays
Grieving Well
Rock-a-Bye Baby
Afterword   Elinor Ginzler     203
Appendix     209
Glossary     227
About the Authors     231
Acknowledgments     232
Index     233
Photography Credits     238
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