Aging parents have a different psychological agenda from their adult children. The agenda of the last phase of life has a laser like focus on preserving control and creating a legacy. It’s all about Lasting and Leaving.
Adult children need to appreciate they cannot out smart or out maneuver the overriding need of their aging parent to preserve some semblance of control over their lives. Nor can they afford to ignore the second and equally powerful second aspect of the agenda, which is the deep mining of their lives to clarify the values and beliefs that will frame legacy.
Compassionate caregiving of aging parents involves the “art” of preserving control while at the same time facilitating life review stories about people and events that are an important part of how they want to be remembered.