Empowered and Empowering  



Aging Wisely: 10 Tips for Caring for Aging Parents

By: Shannon Martin

More than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year. Individuals caring for their aging parents face challenges on a multitude of fronts: financial, emotional, medical and legal. Here are some steps to take now and in the future from Shannon Martin, a Clearwater, Florida-based geriatric care manager at Aging Wisely (www.agingwisely.com) that can help make what is inherently a stressful situation more manageable. “Whether you are currently trying to coordinate medical or in-home care for your elderly parent, you are concerned about memory loss and possible dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or you want to help your aging family member avoid a crisis, these are some common areas of eldercare or long term care planning that you can initiate today”, says Ms. Martin, Director of Community Relations for Aging Wisely, which helps families in the Tampa Bay area caring for aging parents.

1. Start Talking: Start discussions about these issues. Use this article or a friend’s experience as a conversation starter. Ask loved ones what they would want if they needed help.

2. Get Estate Planning Underway: Plan legally for possible incapacity. Documents such as durable power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will should be part of your estate planning along with a will or trust. Share what you have done with relatives and how to access documents.

3. Consolidate Medical Information: Start a “health file” with copies of medical tests, doctor’s contact information, and medicines (including notes about medicines that did not work for you). This can be kept in a simple file or binder, or you can use online tools such as “Life Ledger” or USB drives to store information.

4. Practice Prevention: Know your family and personal medical history and risks and practice prevention.

5. Evaluate Financial Alternatives: Review your financial situation with a professional. They should help you look at the comprehensive picture and anticipate how you can finance long-term care needs. Consider long-term care insurance as part of your total insurance and financial plan.

6. Discuss Funerals: Consider funeral planning, whether it simply be writing down your wishes and letting loved ones know what you want, or purchasing a pre need burial contract. Investigate options and which is best for you, but at least provide loved ones some guidance about what you would want so they don’t have the added stress when they are grieving.

7. Elder Proof the House: For parents still living at home, identify resources to manage specific concerns. Some examples include medication management systems (from simple pill boxes to electronic reminder systems), emergency response systems, grab bars and mobility devices, and meal delivery services.

8. Discuss Duties: Have a family discussion early regarding care giving duties and plans for a loved one’s care. Schedule regular conferences to ensure continuity. Consider using a professional to facilitate, especially when there are conflicts.

9. Seek Support: Talk to others who have been through similar situations, including professionals and family caregivers. For some people a support group or online network may be helpful, for others just reading and gathering information may help you feel empowered.

10. Keep the Peace: Express your specific concerns with your loved one and work toward solutions together. Engage a professional or other family members when your loved one is resistant.


A Parent Forever

By: James Walsh

Children need their parents to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. If a family breaks up it affects the parent child relationship adversely, resulting in lot of trauma and developmental problems for the child.

Divorce is a difficult phase for parents themselves but only they can help children cope with the disintegration of the family. They should talk to their children, share their feelings, explain the changes in the family and assure the children that they are not to be blamed for anything.

It is important for children to know that their parents are there for them and will always love them. Divorce is traumatic for children but those who receive love from both the parents are seen to fare the best in the given circumstances.

After a divorce it is imperative that a child not become separated from one of the parents. Children are greatly affected by this physical absence of one of the parents. In the case of an acrimonious divorce most children lose complete touch with one parent after sometime. This is terrible for a child who feels unworthy, deserted and unloved.

Divorce is the result of two partners not being able to get along with each other. They usually drag the children in the conflict and expect them to take sides. Some parents use children as sounding boards against the other parent, criticizing him/her in front of the child, blaming the other partner for the mess. Some even use children as pawns in their personal vendetta against the ex spouse.

In their fight against each other, they forget that they may no longer be partners but they are still parents. That is one bond that is not going to break ever. They need to give the roles of parent a priority if they truly love their children and want what is best for them.

A child might be living in a single parent family but it is critical that the child is able to talk to both parents openly. Love and trust are the key parenting issues in development of a healthy and emotionally sound child.

Parents have the responsibility to co parent their children in the best possible manner. Sometimes it is not easy to work with your ex spouse. Even if it means compromising your own emotions and giving up the power to be right, it is all for a good cause.

Shutting the other parent out of your child’s life is the worst thing you can do to your already suffering child. No matter how bad the relationship between ex spouses, if both the parties make up their minds to make an effort, they can have a healthy relationship with their children.

Usually, the non custodial parent (mostly fathers) drops out of the child’s life soon after divorce. The law and the circumstances might not be in your favor but do not give up on your children. The situation is not ideal for anyone, try harder to be a part of their lives and be there for them

Parents need to set aside their differences and develop a workable parenting plan. It should be best suited to the parents and should work towards developing a healthy child. Keep an open mind. Even if you do not see things the same, it does not mean that one of you is more or less capable of raising your children.

It is important to offer a safe and loving environment involving both the parents for the benefit of the child. In the heat of the moment it is difficult to focus on your children alone. Here are some things you should remember:

1. Your children need both of you as parents.

2. There are many ways to parent, but the most important part is unconditional love.

3. It is not your job to control how the other spouse parents.

4. Enabling your children to be with your ex-spouse will give you an emotional break you also need.

5. Giving up the desire to control the way your ex-spouse behaves will give you more time to focus on yourself.

6. An absent parent leads to a lifetime of dealing with a void in ones’ life; you do not want to be responsible for that.

If what you truly want is the best for your children, do whatever you have to do to have your children experience the love from both parents. They deserve it and you owe it to them. Allow them to have exactly what you have wanted all of your life... happiness.




The Demand of Eldercare

By: George Kissi

Isn’t eldercare a Problem that every person faces or has to face? Taking care of aging parents, an advanced loved one, an aged spouse or a close friend could mean a dependability, and it can happen speedily too. An aging mother has broken a bone, or a spouse has just wandered off and got lost. Such incidents could lead you to distress, and just taking commitment of such people would make you think of eldercare.

Many times a catastrophe hits a family and the aging mother or father is in require of long expression circumspectness. Moreover, in the natural process of getting old, the advanced in years setoff showing signs of mishaps. There may be illnesses, weight loss and there may be contrasting other warning signs to indicate that they are in require of special help from you or experienced Help.

For some people eldercare comes naturally, because they are temperamentally patient and have awareness of nursing. Nevertheless even that may not Assistance, if the bewilderment is serious and needs outside Assistance like a rehab facility or a nursing home to recover. Get Assistance from friends and there are institutions and centers like the Elder Circumspectness Support Alliance or Daily Living Solutions.

Look for achievable and affordable solutions. Eldercare does not mean that you have to do everything with your own hands because you love your parent extremely and desire to take trouble of them. Be efficient and look for home medical apparatus, if it is necessary or home health products, which will make life easier for you.

There are support groups for eldercare, where you can meet and discuss your problems with them, because they have thus far solved eldercare problems. Detail your experiences with them and gain knowledge from theirs, their problems could be similar to yours. In this way you can implement the special needs and essentials of your loved one.

Societal Transformation

In customary cultural drift eldercare was the commitment of the expansive family. Since families have become narrow, their living space suppressed and life expectancy of the advanced has increased, there has been a rise of homes for the aged like seniors apartment complexes, old peoples’ homes or charitable institutions.

Eldercare not only includes medical considerations but also social commitment that the family and loved ones can give the aged. It is significant that there is an air of love and caring in their eldercare, and that it is not looked down just as a dependability to be dealt with mechanically. It can be a feeling of elder abuse, if there is no personal touch to eldercare.




















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