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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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End of Life Medical Quicksand

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Caregiver, Caregiver Fatigue, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, End of Life Dilemmas, Planning Dilemmas, Siblings

We all know someone with a family member who has fallen into end of life medical quicksand and suffered an excruciating outcome. In his article ” I Know You Love Me–Now Let Me Die,” Dr. Louis Dr. Profeta, an ER physician, reminds us that there was a time when we treated dying family members with a communal dignity that was not focused exclusively on “death prevention” at all costs. Instead, it offered a sacred transition space to honor the expanse and contributions of a person’s life while we kept them safe and close to us until the end…

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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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The Secrets of Aging Parents

Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Caregiver, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, End of Life Dilemmas, Planning Dilemmas

Adult children are frustrated by their aging parent’s unwillingness to share important information about their plans, health or finances. The withholding weakens the caregiving partnership and sets everyone up for poor outcomes. So why are they so secretive at the worse possible time?

Some people believe it is generational where personal information is held more closely to the social vest. Maybe, but I believe there is more going on here, deeper currents reflecting a need for control in world of fading choices. At their core secrets share the same power as the blunt “no” without comment.

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