Parenting Your Parents: Support Strategies for Meeting the Challenge of Aging in the Family

By Bart Mindszenthy; Michael Gordon | Go to book overview

THE ROCKY ROAD
OF RESPONSIBILITY

Kelly, a friend of many years, leans across the pub table with a beer in hand and says, “All our lives, we have this relationship with our parents where we expect them to be there, and we just don’t talk about what would happen if things really change, if they’re not there in the same way, and what we need to do, and how we plan for that.” I ponder Kelly’s thought. He’s right. We all face the same dilemma.

We talk some more about parents. How they’re so much a part of our lives. How we both know them, and don’t know them. How we’re both close, but not. How we think we’ll be able to manage the process of supporting them, but when push comes to shove, there are so many unknowns along the course of life that we often don’t know what to do or the best way to do it.

We’re not talking about parents dying. We’re talking about parents at the end game of their lives, when their mental and physical capabilities are in rapid and steady decline. When, seemingly from one day to

-26-

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