Parent Talk: The Nine Conversations To Have With Your Aging Loved Ones, by G. Scott Middleton
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Each year, millions of Americans come face-to-face with the daunting task of providing for the care of an aging parent. Unfortunately, many find themselves ill-informed and unprepared. This reversal of roles, from care receivers to care providers, is often filled with conflicting emotions that are extremely tough to cope with amidst this enormous responsibility. Moreover, clashing opinions can quickly leave siblings and other family members at an impasse during a time when unity is crucial.
For these newly challenged care providers, the tide has turned. For those who don’t know what signs to look for, this can happen without notice. As almost all of us will face this dilemma at some point, Parent Talk is a must read source of expertise and information for any adult child. Throughout this book, the author draws on his years of experience in senior healthcare to assist you in anticipating your parent’s decline, understanding the best care options, and making sound decisions. Come gain the invaluable insights revealed through The Nine Conversations as you become your loved one’s keeper.
In Parent Talk, there are 9 Conversations that you should have with your parents or senior adults for whom you will be responsible. The sooner we begin the conversations with our senior loved ones the better.
A Preview of the 9 Conversations from Parent Talk
1. Driving. Introduce (and periodically revisit) the difficult conversation regarding what will happen when their driving becomes unsafe.
2. Physicians and Primary Care. Talk about all of the physicians. Most seniors have several “ologists”. Make sure your parents are seeing physicians who have experience working with the senior population.
3. Medication. You should be knowledgeable of any and all medication that your parent takes.
4. Diet and Nutrition. Talk to your parent about what they had for lunch and supper. Check the refrigerator whenever you get a chance. Have a clean out each week, casually making a list of things to replace and throwing away food that could cause them harm.
5. Cleanliness and Hygiene. The cleanliness of a senior and his or her surroundings can have a greater impact on health than any other single factor. If deemeed necessary, a cleaning service should be arranged, or family members can set up schedules to "help" with cleaning.
6. Personal Emergency Device. No one living alone after the age of 65 should be without a wrist or necklace pendent emergency call system. You should be familiar with the working and testing of the equipment.
7. Living Options. When it is no longer safe for your parent(s) to live at home alone, what housing options are available/preferable?
8. Finances. Someone (in addition to your parents) should be familiar with their financial situation.
9. Health Insurance. You should be familiar with Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, as well as your parents’ health insurance and what it covers.
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