Honoring Aging Parents: How to Grow Up When Mom and Dad Grow Old

Honoring Aging Parents: How to Grow Up When Mom and Dad Grow Old

by Klaus Dannenberg, Bruce Black


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As our parents age and become unable to care for themselves, a growing reality for adults today is transitioning our parents from independence to dependent living. This challenges our maturity and character, resulting in frustration for everyone involved. Honoring Aging Parents helps anticipate and alleviate emotional turmoil with real-life examples that stick in readers’ minds and that help understand normal responses of both caregivers and parents. Honoring Aging Parents helps eliminate feelings of anxiety and isolation due to our parents’ aging by addressing the normal responses involved.

Authors Klaus Dannenberg and Bruce Black provide insights into these situations, including the mix of emotions encountered, a financial assessment, a summary of options, and prompts for tough conversations with both parents and siblings. They discuss the transition into a caregiving role and the challenges created by dependent living—not just medical issues but the associated emotional roller coaster. Dannenberg and Black also confront tough subjects like the loss of a parent’s mental faculties and preparing for the end. In hindsight, they relate the unexpected growth and contentment discovered throughout this process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948484497
Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Retired engineering executive Klaus Dannenberg writes from his own diverse experiences caring for his in-laws while simultaneously observing his father’s decline after his mother passed away. Dannenberg and his wife spent twelve years navigating multiple levels of caregiving while helping her mother and father as they encountered the gradual decline of Alzheimer’s and congestive heart failure. Additional situations and challenges were encountered after his father's May-December remarriage.

Practicing minister Bruce Black dealt with very different circumstances providing insights to additional caregiving situations. When his mother-in-law suffered a debilitating stroke, he and his wife were thrust into a major caregiving situation overnight, unprepared for their new responsibilities. He recently began offering counseling in gerontology.

Table of Contents

Authors vii

Acknowledgments ix

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Chapter 2 Preparing to Take Care of Parents 10

Facing Facts: Recognizing When Mom and Dad Need Help 10

Financial Assessment: Avoiding Expensive Mistakes 17

Assessing the Alternatives: Needs, Opportunities, and Affordability 27

Tough Conversations with Parents about Aging 41

Understanding What Care Is (and Isn't) Needed-and When 56

Dealing with Siblings: Where Is Everybody When You Need Them? 64

Chapter 3 The Transition-Moving from Independence to Dependence 73

Aging in Place…Do We Really Have That Choice? 73

Helping to Make Viable Choices 86

Setting Limits and Dealing with Guilt Trips 96

A Caregiver's Road Map to Dependent Living 109

Chapter 4 Dependent Living 117

Absorbing Their Household 117

Living Together: When the Caregiver Becomes "The Enemy" 127

Changing Patterns of Life 133

Navigating Medical Challenges: Doctors, Dentists, Medicare, Insurance, and Therapy 146

Maintaining Connections 158

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Aging 169

The Caregivers' Own Emotional Roller Coaster 178

Chapter 5 Coming to Grips with Continuing Transitions and Mortality 194

Supporting a Surviving Spouse 194

The Spiral of Lost Capabilities 207

Maintaining the Will to Live 221

Preparing for the Inevitable: When Life Ends 229

Chapter 6 Reflections-Looking in the Rearview Mirror 238

Was It Worth It? Would We Do It Again? 238

You're Next! Are You Ready for Your Own Aging? 247

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