They're Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy
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.
They're Your Parents, Too! Great Tool For Caregivers
By Carol Bradley Bursack - February 23, 2010
Francine Russo ...has given caregivers one of the best books on sibling issues I've read....I'd recommend this hopeful and healing book to any family having misunderstandings over parent care. Russo is realistic in that many families are broken from the beginning and that these demons from the past are bound to come back, magnified, once parent care begins. If you never felt you got the love you deserved from a parent because your sibling "hogged the spotlight," you are likely to find yourself acting out in ways that are going to throw a kink in the machinery of elder care.Russo offers some suggestions that can help adult children work through, or if necessary around, these issues. Will reading this book transform every family into the Waltons? Probably not. But Russo's book does give many valuable tips to help you and your siblings understand the roles you play in caregiving and appreciate each other's viewpoint. It won't replace family counseling, but it's a great tool... read more
An excellent, helpful book! *****
By CJ Moore - March 14, 2010
So glad we were told about this book. "They're Your Parents, Too!" is a sensitive, practical, serious, yet also humorous, book. The author, Francine Russo, was familiar to us from many years of reading her articles in Good Housekeeping, Village Voice, Time, etc., and her great column in Time, "Ask Francine" which helped me, my colleagues, family and friends, on elder business and social concerns. In this new book, Ms. Russo does a fantastic job of focusing on the issues many of us in the baby-boomer generation are facing. For me, as a sibling having an elderly parent, this book taught me to see and feel issues from my parent's perspective, and, most importantly, from my siblings perspectives. Through her case studies and excellent professional resources, Ms. Russo has "zeroed-in" on the issues that cause many of us to alternatively feel guilty, self-righteous, inadequate, and confused, as she provides solutions, in a very encouraging way. I also like the catch-phrases lessons... read more
A Must Read
By M. Steward - March 6, 2010
I am 76 and took care of all four of our parents over a period of 15 years. If only I had had this book! It nailed all the problems and gave useful advice on how to deal with them, especially if you are the one "on location." I am about to purchase a copy for each of my 4 children, because the time is coming for my husband and myself. I hope they don't stay in such a state of denial as they are now and read it and think about it. The hurt and anger regarding care of a parent is almost unavoidable. But if at least one sibling has read a book like this, that person may very well be able to negotiate a better outcome.
One thing that this author suggests often is an intermediary of some kind, social worker, pastor, others. In the 70s and 80s when this was happening to us, there was no one. Our pastor was helpful, but didn't have any real insight. The best resource proved to be the support groups for Alzheimer's caretakers. It would seem that our aging population... read more