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Observations and commentary on aging, caregiving, and the complex journey through the second half of life.

How To Talk To Aging Parents About Where To Live

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Caregiver, Caregiver Fatigue, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Declining Health & Frailty, Housing Dilemmas, Magical Thinking, Planning Dilemmas

I was recently interviewed for an article entitled “Conversation vs. Confrontation: Guidelines for Effective Communication with Your Aging Parents.”

In it I discuss how often the insistence by older adults to “stay put” in their home despite deteriorating circumstances prevents them from considering more optimal living arrangements. While the refusal to move affirms their right to choose, it sadly ignores other options that may offer a longer run of independence and infinitely better quality of life.

I go on to outline a three part “how to say it” script for adult children to use in these delicate and emotionally charged conversations. The goal is to acknowledge control but expand its application for maximum impact in last phase of life. This is information you will want to share with family, friends and colleagues who are facing the same vexing issue with their aging parents.

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Aging Boomers Playing the Cohabitation Card

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Boomer Dilemmas, Boomers, Housing Dilemmas, Planning Dilemmas

“The rising number of cohabiters ages 50 and older coincides with rising divorce rates among this group. With the higher divorce rates and a growing share of people who have never been married in this age group, more individuals are unmarried and available for partnering or re-partnering. In 2016, 61% of adults ages 50 and older were married, compared with 64% in 1990.

Most cohabiters ages 50 and older have previously been married, including a majority who are divorced (55%). Just over a tenth of cohabiters ages 50 and older (13%) are widowed – a share that rises to 27% among cohabiters 65 and older. Still, about one-fourth of cohabiters (27%) ages 50 and older have never been married.”

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What do you do when aging in place isn’t working out for aging parents?

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Boomer Dilemmas, Caregiver, Caregiver Fatigue, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, End of Life Dilemmas, Housing Dilemmas, Planning Dilemmas

I was recently asked this question by a professional in the senior living industry. Here is what I said:

While the need for control is a consumptive task for aging parents in the final phase of life, it doesn’t necessarily operate in their best interest. Poor control choices about any aspect of aging leads to poor outcomes. Choosing where to live is a prime example.

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A New Set Design for Nursing Homes

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Caregiver, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Declining Health & Frailty, Discovering Legacy, End of Life Dilemmas, Housing Dilemmas, Planning Dilemmas, Siblings

This is a fascinating innovation in the physical design of a nursing home. Forget the clinical model of mini-hospitals and consider bringing the outside inside with a neighborhood look and feel. How comforting to have a front porch with your accommodations, a softening of the harsh decor of skilled nursing spaces. While you can’t unwind the need for a higher level of care, you can choose to have physical aspects of that care honor your need for community and familiar surrounding…

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Aging Parents Dance Cards

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Caregiver, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Driving Dilemmas, End of Life Dilemmas, Housing Dilemmas, Preserving Stability

Introducing “Aging Parents Dance Cards,” which were created for adult children of aging parents. The photos below are from the front and back side of one of the cards in the twenty-card set entitled “Reset Expectations.”

Each card offers a bite size coaching moment designed to help sustain caregivers caught up in a world of competing obligations, increasing complexity and inconvenient timing.

Their goal is to offer concise, timely insights for decoding, reframing and navigating tasks or problems common to caregiving. As such, they help reduce conflict with aging parents by providing clear and effective strategies that promote more dancing and less wrestling.

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The Rise Of Dilemmas

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Boomer Dilemmas, Caregiver, Caregiver Fatigue, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Dementia, Driving Dilemmas, End of Life Dilemmas, Housing Dilemmas, Planning Dilemmas

The landscape of old age is populated with dilemmas, which represent a new and confusing layer of complexity. Here’s why. Dilemmas are not complicated problems. They are rightfully in a class by themselves. Caregivers need to understand and appreciate this crucial distinction that impacts all aspects of their partnership with an aging parent.

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