How To Be A Better Caregiver For A Parent

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 7 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent whose book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death launches on Amazon on Tuesday November 15, 2011.

Why-Wait-small-coverAuthor Carolyn A. Brent, M.B.A. is a former clinical educational manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She is an avid activist and advocate working with the U.S. Congress for the purpose of creating change to protect seniors and veterans from financial and medical abuse. She has appeared on many local and national TV and radio shows, and is a sought-after keynote speaker.

Yesterday, Carolyn visited Dr.Caron Goode at http://heartwiseparent.com/interview-with-carolyn-brent/ or http://academyforcoachingparents.com/blog/acpi/interview-with-carolyn-brent/ , where they talked about Carolyn’s personal story and on communicating on a couple of emotional subjects.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Carolyn when I got to ask her some questions on the subject of supporting your parents while caregiving as well as the need for self-care.

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Paula Tarrant: In your book you describe bringing your dad to your home in California when it became apparent he could no longer live by himself.  It’s not easy for a parent to make that kind of transition. What are the 3 most important ways an adult child can support her parent in navigating this life-changing event?

Carolyn A. Brent: Adult Siblings should ask their aging parents about their wishes, their abilities and their options. This type of conversation is crucial for siblings and their aging parents to have now not later. The following are a few helpful tips:

1) Share your own feelings, and reassure the parent that you will support them and can be depended upon to help them solve their problems. Help the parent to retain whatever control is possible in making his or her own decisions. Respect and try to honor their wishes wherever feasible.

2) Encourage the smallest change possible at each step, so that the parent is more able to adjust to the change. Educate yourself on legal, financial and medical matters that pertain to your parent as background for your conversations, including current knowledge on the aging process.

3) Respect your own needs – be honest with your parents about your time and energy limits.

Paula Tarrant: Many of our readers may already be caregivers of elderly parents. For those of us who are not, how would you suggest beginning this conversation with a parent who is not making any financial, legal or practical preparations for this stage of life?

Carolyn A. Brent: If you’ve never spoken with your parents about death and dying, you are not alone. Even when people do talk about such things, often the right documents aren’t put in place to ensure people’s desires are carried through. Now is the time to start having conversations with your parents explaining how they’d prefer their medical, financial, and legal affairs be managed at the end of their lives. It is best for parents to handle the paper work now rather than wait for the fight that may take place later.

Obviously there are big issues of denial going on in our society about this topic. Although no plans are set in place for death, death is guaranteed. Sooner or later our aging parents will die—and so will we.

Paula Tarrant: When we are taking care of a parent as well as ourselves and perhaps even our own family, it becomes easy to put ourselves last. What would you say to our readers about the importance and need for self-care? What are some tips for enlisting our partner and our children in supporting us in this role as a caregiver to our aging parents?

Carolyn A. Brent: After going through the journey and heartache of being the sole family caregiver for my father for twelve years, and then enduring the pain of legal conflicts with my siblings, I ultimately asked myself a key question: What would you do differently if you could do it all over again? My answer was simple: I would take better care of myself at every step in the process.

To be an effective caregiver, you must take care of yourself as well. Now on the other end of caregiving, I find that exercise and meditation help me to relax as I never did beforehand. I wish I would have known to nurture myself better while I was on the journey with my father.  For family members give the caregiver a break. Treat them to a Day Spa, offer a Paid Vacation, just simply say THANK YOU! Boy that will mean a lot to a caregiver.

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Carolyn-BrentI hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death at http://www.babyboomersguide.org/book-launch/pre-launch.html

Here Are Two Reasons Why:

FREE 3-DAY PASS

When you visit the page at the link above and request a “launch reminder”, you will automatically receive a FREE pass to Carolyn’s 3-day “Why Wait? Telesummit”, with a panel leading experts preparing emotionally, financially and legally for the death of a parent. You can listen to the telesummit online in the comfort of your own home, and even ask questions during the broadcast.

This telesummit is a completely free
“no purchase necessary” gift from Carolyn

To register, go to

http://www.babyboomersguide.org/book-launch/telesummit.html

FREE GIFTS

When you buy Carolyn’s book on Tuesday November 15, 2011, you can ALSO receive a complete library of beautiful personal development gifts from authors, speakers, coaches and other enlightened professionals from around the globe including one from me

Transformation Made Easy™ Success Kit

To claim your 3-Day Pass and read about the free gifts, go to: http://www.babyboomersguide.org/book-launch/pre-launch.html

Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Carolyn tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Tom Wilson, who will be interviewing Carolyn on talking with your parents/siblings and elderly nutrition.  To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://www.caregiverpartnership.com

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5 thoughts on “How To Be A Better Caregiver For A Parent

  1. Thanks Joyce! Carolyn is really bringing us all to a greater awareness of how to love and honor our parents in this chapter of life. I look forward to seeing your interview!

  2. Paula,

    What a great interview with Carolyn! I’m really looking forward to reading her book and I encourage everyone to start this conversation with their parents.
    My blog will be on day 9 so I invite you to come over and leave a comment too!

    All the best,
    Joyce

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