Frances hones in on the transformative experience of becoming your parents’ parent when they can no longer care for themselves. She wrote the book because she found no other like it when she encountered her parents’ initial crisis. She has produced a work that is absorbing, encouraging, and an outstanding resource for those who confront similar eldercare challenges... Frances has written a thoughtful, touching, and illuminating book that will help anyone who is fortunate enough to read it.
As a caregiver of 10 years' duration and a gerontologist, I wish I had had this book at the beginning of my journey. That said, the book is still valuable to me and is mandatory reading for anyone taking care of his/her parents. The author raises many issues that resonate with me and my experiences. Two in particular stand out: on pp. 27-28, the author writes, "Sitting with my thoughts that day, I also uncovered a new feeling, an odd sense of power and influence I was pretty sure I didn't like...It wasn't power that I wanted...What I really longed for was a magic wand so that my Mom and Dad wouldn't be ill, in pain, disabled, or die." That is exactly how I feel: I am uncomfortable with the role/power reversal and long for the days when my parents, now just my father, were young and healthy (yes, even after 10 years). Second, Ms. Wolf Frances writes about how to look at caregiving. On pp. 28-29, she says, "One definition of the word `sacrifice' is `something we make sacred,' like an offering. Remembering this, I was able to re-visit the notion of loss by asking myself: was this reversal of customary roles something I could choose to make sacred rather than fill it with struggle and loss? All of a sudden, I saw an opening in my thinking. I'd found a way to look at this choice that moved me from potential losses to possible gains." Reading that was highly comforting and made me consider the honor it gives me to take care of my father. There is much more I could write because the book is richly layered with valuable information. I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to savor it.
Parenting Our Parents: e” takes the guess work out of parenting older relatives and loved ones, by helping the reader make informed decisions, offering tools for communication, and plans for going forward at a time when confusion and denial can run rampant.... I whole-heartedly recommend this book.
This book is a revelation, a generous, comprehensive and wise guided tour of all the issues we confront in struggling to meet the needs of aging and increasingly dependent parents. It's loaded with wisdom, practical advice and inspiration on everything I and my family faced as our parents aged, got sick and faced death, needing their kids more and more. Frances writes as a longtime counselor seasoned with geriatric experience, but I found just as moving--and helpful--her unflinching accounts of her own journey in coming to terms with the needs of her aging parents. As I read, kept finding myself drifting off to replay something that happened in my family, and how something she said so perfectly applied. As our parents went through the end years of their lives, my husband and I kept reminding each other of nuggets of wisdom from the book--"Under-react!" my husband would remind me with a smile when I started getting upset about something that my elderly dad had said. Now that my husband and I are approaching the stage of being "aging parents" ourselves, I want everyone in OUR family to read this book to help them support us with wisdom and love. And as a longtime developer of training programs for major companies, I see the Frances' book as an invaluble learning resource for people in all walks of life. I recommend the book wholeheartedly.
“NHS helps middle class families obtain excellent long-term nursing home care paid through government benefits while preserving and protecting family assets. We have been in the field of nursing home care for over 40 years. Parenting Our Parents is critical because so many people are dealing with caring for their parents long before they realize that they have a problem. The issues have likely been happening for a decade. The lack of understanding of what they are dealing with have caused them to make poor decisions that is completely unfamiliar. Parenting Our Parents gives individuals the guidance, insight and direction they need to navigate these potential problems and ensure that mistakes are not made that can be extremely harmful and in some cases disastrous.We strongly encourage anyone currently caring for an elderly parent or will be providing that care in the near future to read the book and get the answers you will need now.”
8/26/20: Author interviewed for feature in The Kiplinger (circ: 140k); “Don’t Be a ‘Helicopter Child’ in Retirement.”