With babyboomers’ aging, it’s suddenly a hot topic. Even the Wall Street Journal has gotten into the act with a feature story and podcast. What’s causing the sudden attention to this topic … It’s a book: They’re Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy” …
Francine, snoety’s “family” expert, crossed the country interviewing brothers and sisters about the conflicts that took them by surprise when their parents starting aging and the inevitable decisions needed to be made. Who’s in charge here? Who’s responsible for what? Which care is the “right” care? How should time and money be allocated? Who gets what?
Who knew there was so much to raise hackles about?
The good news is that Francine’s book lifts the lid on sibling issues and provides useful strategies for lowering temperatures – which may even result in all parties becoming closer in the process (or not). We think this book is a MUST read for anyone with aging parents — even if they’re not there yet, better to be ahead of the conflict before it happens.
Here’s a book description and review …
Your parents are growing older and are getting forgetful, starting to slow down, or worse. Suddenly you find yourself at the cusp of one of the most important transitions in your life-and the life of your family. Your parents need you and your siblings to step up and take care of them, a little or a lot. To make the right things happen, you will all need to work together. And yet your siblings may have very different ideas from yours of what’s best for Mom and Dad. They may be completely uninterested in helping, leaving you with all the responsibility. Or they may take charge and not allow you to help, or criticize whatever help you do give. Will you and your siblings be able to reach an understanding and work together, or will the challenges you face tear you apart?
Most of us enter this period of our lives unprepared for the difficult decisions and delicate negotiations that lie ahead. This is the first book that provides guidance on the transition from the “old” family to the “new” one, especially for adult siblings. Here you’ll find practical advice on a wide range of topics including
• Who will make major medical decisions, manage finances, and enforce end-of-life choices if your parents cannot? And how will this be decided and carried out?
• How will you negotiate caregiving issues and deal with unequal contributions or power struggles?
• How can inheritance and the division of property, assets, and personal effects be handled to minimize hurt feelings and resentment?
• How will you cope with the natural reemergence of unresolved childhood rivalries, hurts, and needs?
• How can caring for your parents be an enriching experience rather than a thankless chore?
• Most important, how can you ensure the best care for your parents while lessening conflict, guilt, anger, and angst?
Written by a veteran journalist who chronicles life and how baby boomers live it, They’re Your Parents, Too! offers all the information, insight, and advice you’ll need to make productive choices as you and your siblings begin to assume your parents’ place as the decision-making generation of your family.
Filled with expert guidance from gerontologists, family therapists, elder-care attorneys, financial planners, and health workers; resonant real-life stories; and helpful family negotiation techniques, this is an indispensable book for anyone whose parents are aging.
EDITORIAL REVIEWS (see Francine’s site for more reviews or to blog with her and get answers) — www.yourparentstoo.com)
“Russo is so insightful, so psychologically acute and compassionate that she held me rapt for the whole book…They’re Your Parents, Too! is the first book of it’s kind I have ever read and I am extremely grateful to Russo for giving us her wisdom and the help of the experts whose voices guide us through what is an extremely difficult passage for us all.” -Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Washington and author of Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years
“I wish Francine Russo had been my tutor as I faced my own mother’s decline and death. All the issues that came up for my brother and sister and me are addressed so accurately and compassionately in this book. This is a manual that shows us how to negotiate a healing path through our parents’ final challenge, and prepares us for our own.”
-David Richo, PhD., author of When the Past is Present and How To Be An Adult