You and Your Aging Parent: A Family Guide to Emotional, Social, Health, and Financial Problems


First published in 1976, You and Your Aging Parent is a classic—the first book to shed light on the challenging relationship between adult children and their aging parents, illuminating the emotional, health, and financial difficulties that elderly parents and their children face during the senior years.
Marking the 30th anniversary of this highly popular book, the new and revised edition addresses the changes that have taken place in the last three decades, but it still ...

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First published in 1976, You and Your Aging Parent is a classic—the first book to shed light on the challenging relationship between adult children and their aging parents, illuminating the emotional, health, and financial difficulties that elderly parents and their children face during the senior years.
Marking the 30th anniversary of this highly popular book, the new and revised edition addresses the changes that have taken place in the last three decades, but it still embraces the authors' fundamental insight—that the difficulties and challenges of the aging process are as much a family affair as in any other phase of life. Both a sensitive exploration of the dynamics of the aging family relationship (between parent and child, and sibling and sibling) and an authoritative how-to guide for seniors and their families navigating the practical problems of growing old in America, You and Your Aging Parent has been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest research findings and changes affecting older adults, including in health care and social services. The book also includes a running commentary by Bob Morris—playwright, author, and humorist—who provides insightful and entertaining observations about his trials and tribulations with his own parents as they aged, serving as a contemporary voice for the middle-aged caregiver of today.
As the first of the baby boom generation turns 60 and their increasingly frail parents approach late retirement and final decline, this new and updated edition of You and Your Aging Parent will answer their need for authoritative, practical information about this major phase of life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195313161
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/27/2008
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 816,651
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Silverstone, DSW, is past president of the Gerontological Society of America and a member of the American Society on Aging and the National Association of Social Workers. A former President and CEO of Lighthouse International, she was co-editor-in-chief of The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation (OUP, 2000) and co-author (also with Helen Kandel Hyman) of Growing Old Together. She lives in New York City.
Helen Kandel Hyman was a free-lance writer whose career dates back to the Golden Age of radio, when she wrote dramatic scripts for CBS. She died in March 2006.
Bob Morris is a columnist for the Sunday New York Times and often writes about issues of aging in his column. He is also the author of the play Assisted Loving, about his now-deceased father.

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Table of Contents

Preface     XIII
Acknowledgments     XVII
Introduction     1
Taking Stock
Facing Up to Feelings     17
Feelings That Spark an Emotional Tug of War     19
Special Reactions to Aging     30
Special Reactions to Caregiving     33
What Untouchable, Unresolved Feelings Can Produce     37
Feelings That Can Persist and Those That Change in a New Context     42
Commentary   Bob Morris     44
The Family Merry-Go-Round     47
Family Harmony or Family Discord     48
Who's in Charge?     53
A Permanent Split or a Closer Bond?     61
Money-The Root of Many Evils     62
What About Your Own Family?     64
The Games Older People Play     67
Can Old Patterns Be Reversed?     70
Commentary   Bob Morris     71
What Have They Got to Gain and to Lose?     75
The Gains     76
The Losses     78
Declining Functioning and Physical Health     81
Reduced Social Contacts     87
Fewer Familiar Roles     90
Financial Insecurity     91
Increased Dependency     93
Escalating Mental Health Problems     94
The Gains Versus the Losses and Your Role     106
Commentary   Bob Morris     107
Marriage, Widowhood, Remarriage, and Sex     111
Marital Adjustment in the Retirement Years     112
In Sickness and in Health-for Richer, for Poorer     115
Discord in the "Golden Years"     118
Widowhood     121
Remarriage     130
Sex After 65-Myth Versus Reality     133
Commentary   Bob Morris     139
Facing the Final Crisis     141
The Conspiracy of Silence     143
Some People Need to Talk about Death     146
Care and Concern for the Dying     149
Telling the Truth to the Dying     151
Should Life Be Prolonged?     156
Advance Directives     157
When the Family Must Decide     159
Commentary   Bob Morris     160
Taking Steps
Stepping Forward-Helping When They Can Manage and Preparing for When They Can't     165
"I'm Okay"-Those Who Can Manage and Know It     167
The Pseudo-Helpless-Those Who Can Manage but Think They Can't     169
When to Say No      171
Prepare for the Day When They Can't Manage     173
Prevention Measures to Facilitate Health and Safety     177
Facing the Dreaded "What If?"     180
Living Arrangements-What Are Their Choices?     181
What about Your Own Preparedness?     190
Preparing Does Not Mean Interfering     191
Commentary   Bob Morris     192
Stepping Up to the Dollars and Sense     193
Social Security     195
Pensions     198
Supplemental Security Income     200
Non-Cash Supplements     201
Reverse Mortgages     203
Who Pays the Medical Bills?     204
Medicare     205
Private Health Insurance     211
Medicaid     214
What Can You Do?     216
Seek Legal Counseling-"Elder Law"     218
Pulling Your Plans Together     219
Commentary   Bob Morris     221
Stepping In-When They Cannot Manage and You Can Help     223
When You Are Not the Responsible Relative     225
Putting All the Pieces Together: The Assessment and Plan     226
Who Puts All the Pieces Together?     234
The Levels of Care      236
Helping Those with Dementia     240
What Does the Community Have to Offer?     243
What if They Won't Be Helped-by You or Anyone Else?     253
"Managing Well"     257
Commentary   Bob Morris     258
Stepping Back-When They Cannot Manage and Neither Can You     261
The Home Care Alternative When You Cannot Manage     263
The Geriatric Care Manager     264
The Nursing Home Alternative     266
Selecting a Nursing Home     270
Becoming a Nursing Home Resident     282
The Ongoing Roles of the Family     288
When There Is Trouble     291
Other Transitions Can Be Rocky, Too     295
Striving for a Reasonable Goal     297
Commentary   Bob Morris     298
Keeping in Step-The Family Task Force     301
Getting Off the Merry-Go-Round     303
Planning a Family Conference     305
Identifying the Problem     309
Making Commitments     312
Agreeing on a Plan     314
Beware of Traps Along the Way     315
When There Is an Impasse     320
Looking to the Future      321
Commentary   Bob Morris     323
Extra Steps
Taking Heed-An Rx Alert     327
A Silent Epidemic     328
Older Bodies Are Different     329
Psychotropic Drugs: A Special Case     330
Taking Heed with Over-the-Counter Drugs     333
Herbs, Supplements, and Vitamins-Easy Magic?     334
Keeping the Medications Straight-Who's in Charge Here?     336
Physicians Aren't Perfect     336
Pharmacists Step Up     341
"I Won't Take That Big Yellow Pill"     342
The Advertised Cure     344
The Informed Consumer     346
Commentary   Bob Morris     347
Taking a Stand     349
The Glass: Half-Full and Half-Empty     350
Social Security-Where Is It Headed?     352
The Train Has Already Left the Station     353
Let's Hear It from the Families     354
Society's Unfinished Business     356
Join the Action     361
New Images for Older Adults     364
Commentary   Bob Morris     367
Epilogue: Looking Back     369
Helpful Resources     371
Suggested Readings     383
Penny's Personal Papers Inventory     385
Checklists for Evaluating Services     395
Index     401
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