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Topic: Any book suggestions for care of elderly parents?

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Subject: Any book suggestions for care of elderly parents?
Date Posted: 12/19/2007 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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My parents are in their late 80's and pretty sharp, though not in the best of health.

I was wondering if you've  come across any good books to help me prepare for ....anything I guess.

Thanks.....Rose

Date Posted: 12/21/2007 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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Hi Rose,

I am of the opinion that someone needs to write a really good book on caregiving.    I've read a few that I got from the public library but none of them prepared me for what I am doing taking care of my husbands parents (they live with us) his Dad is 96 and his Mom is 88.   They have lived with us for 4 years.  

If I were to write a book I'd write about how having elderly parents move in can affect ones life & marriage in ways never anticipated.   And how much care parents can need and how one person or one couple shouldn't attempt to do it alone -- getting plenty of support  & others to help up front would help.  

Of course every situation is very unique.  My inlaws have depended on my husband since he was old enough to work and provide (and as hes the oldest of 5 kids I suspect they've always depending heavily on him even in childhood).   My parents are totally different and very independent.  

I will go thru my old notes and see if I can find any of the titles of the books I've read.   I just have the vague impression that most of what I've learned I've learned the hard way by trial and error and by experience.    Since we moved back into the same town with my husbands parents 16 years ago we've been helping them - at that time they were already 80 and 72 years old then - the help they have needed increases constantly.   The actual health issues my inlaws deal with are:  insulin dependent diabetes, heart condition, arthritis, high bloodpressure,  incontinence, mild dementia, thyroid, cholestrol,  and my fatherinlaw is confined to a wheelchair now.   The other issues I deal with as a caregiver are:  changing diapers, bathing, shaving, lifting (my husband does this), laundry, all cooking, medications preparing etc, shopping, cleaning,  financial bill paying and budgeting, all purchases that they need, etc.  

Sorry, I've yet to recommend a book.   Maybe I'll be able to find my little notebook that lists the books I read.   Good luck to you,

~Chris~

Date Posted: 1/2/2008 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Hi Chris,

Yes it is January!! (LOL) I hope you had a very peaceful and blessed Christmas and my best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year. I also pray that God will give you the strength and wisdom you need for your in-laws.

I want to thank you for taking  the time to write me such a detailed letter of  how care-giving has impacted your life. I'm sure  there is a special place in heaven for care-givers. After all, it has to make us saints!

I will save your letter, and go through the points one by one in order to study up on them in the hopes that I might be better prepared should the day come...although I'm sure you might say one could never really be prepared. But if there were some ways that you wish you had, please let me know.

Whenever you find your list of books,  I would love to see it. I did a PBS search of books on  the  subject, most of which are not in the system. I posted them as wish books, just in case. But I'll print it up and take it to the  library or B&N, and begin to peruse them, with your points in mind. Maybe someday you should  write a book,  Chris.

In the meantime, let's pray for each other, because I can't imaging doing these things, no matter how much help we might get,  without the grace of God.

Thank you so much, again.

Rose



Last Edited on: 1/2/08 7:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/21/2008 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 38
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I surely admire all of you.

Date Posted: 1/21/2008 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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I had to buy a book that was recommended to me on another forum. I'm reading it now and it's wonderful. Would highly recommend it.

"When Roles Reverse; A Guide to Parenting Your Parents" by Jim Comer 2006/Hampton Roads Publ. ISBN 1571745009

I'm posting here in case someone searches this forum for book ideas.

Rose

Subject: caregiver to parents
Date Posted: 2/7/2008 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2008
Posts: 1
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Hello Rose and Chris, I like both of you started taking care of my mother 5yrs ago, I had to quit my full-time job to do this, which put a real strain on my husband and my finances. But you got to do what you got to do . My mother is 80, and god bless his soul my father 82 and was diagnosed with stage 4 liver ,lung and bone cancer the end of October, and this is hard to say but by the grace of god he did not have to suffer for long as he passed away Dec. 1st,2007.So he only suffered 1&ahalf months, this all went very fast. So just like the two of you ,I wish there was a book with advise to look to for ansewers. I am 43, the youngest of 5, but it has been me that my parents have turned to for all of their needs, medical , fiance and the phsical care of both.I do not know about your situations but I am on my own here, I cannot get much of any help from anyone, but I do get told about all the things I need to do or should be doing , or doing a different way, VERY HARD to swallow and not say anything to rock the boat, you know. But I look at it this way GOD will shine on me even more later than he already does !! This might sound weird, but I took on a part-time job , and this is my get away place,nobody can call me , except my husband and it has to be a real emergency for him to call me there. I WANT TO SAY MY HAT IS OFF TO BOTH OF YOU, WE DO NOT HEAR THAT ENOUGH< SO WE SAY IT TO EACH OTHER. GOOD LUCK . I AM HERE FOR BOTH OF YOU< TO VENT OR ASK QUESTIONS, if I can help someone else to get though this kind of situation because of my own personal venture though it I am glad to help. I do it all from diaper changing to cooking to cleaning, doc. appts. ect..., I deal with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, massectomy,thyroid, cholesteral, bathing, helping to get around the house and yes all the hospital stays.

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 6:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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God bless you, Lori. Thank  you so much fo reaching out to us. Chris seems to be ij a situation like you,  but I am not, and may never be. But being a good girl scout, I want to be prepared, just in case. My parents are both in their late 80's, and geting more frail. I don't know what the future has in store, but I thought that if I read and communicate with people like yourself, I might not be caught unawares. I will  definitely write you if I ever need any wisdom, since you have gained much from your experience.

Let's all pray for each other!

Rose

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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Hi Rose -- I thank you for the book recommendation -- I did wishlist it and maybe I will find it in the bookstore if it doesn't come thru here -- it sounds really good.  Thanks also for the PM I've really been overwhelmed the last few weeks and had not been on here.

Hi Lori -- I'm glad you wrote me a PM and now I found your post.   I am 44 years old, we really do have a lot in common.    I had thought I need a job out of the house to escape too LOL.    Right now the state pays me $6 an hour to care for my fatherinlaw for 23 hours a week.  But that doens't help me in terms of getting out and de-stressing, it does help our finances a little bit as I've always worked, I'm a former pre-school teacher.  

Well, I'm rushing this morning but I promise to be back more often.

Bye for now,

Sincerely,

Chris

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Hi Chris,

I also had the book wishlisted,  but to no avail,  so I ordered it used from B&N. I considered sending it to you, but it also had good references that I may need to look back on, so realized I should hold onto it.

God bless you,

Rose

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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Hi Rose,

I have been creating an order at B&N for awhile now wanting to wait til I had a nice amount to qualify for free shipping so I may be getting the book soon.  It sounds like a "keeper" like you said.     Sometimes I am surprised and my wishlists where I'm one of one wishing even come thru but you never know.   Today I got a book on cats that I had wished for for over a year!  And it's in great keepable shape too!!!!!!!

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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I love when that happens ;o)

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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This book looks like a good one not for "how to" but for the comfort of not feeling alone and reading about others caregiving circumstances, it's on my wishlist:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780060875305-Uncertain+Inheritance+An+Writers+on+Caring+for+Family

I hope the link will work!

 

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Thanks, Chris. I just added it to my WL.

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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I ordered some books from Barnes & Noble with my  income tax refund -- and two of them are I thought I'd jot down my thoughts about them here:

When Roles Reverse by Jim Comer -- (thank you Rose for recommending it!)

I am finding this book to be very practical and helpful -- I wish I'd had it before we undertook the care of my husbands parents.   It's going to be a keeper and a reference for a while I am sure.  I read a lot of caregiving books in the past and I find that this one is better than any of the others in terms of being a practical guide to the more difficult aspects of care like financial, and medicaid, medicare, wills, attorneys, etc.   It's packed with info and well worth the money -- if you're taking care of parents and especially if you anticipate needing to it's a great book for helping you avoid many of the pitfalls.  

the second one....

An Uncertain Inheritance edited by Nell Casey --

This is a book of essays written by a variety of caregivers and some people who were the recipients of care.  

This book is emotionally heavy stuff -- do have the tissues handy!   Because I am in the midst of taking care of my fatherinlaw in what are surely his last years if not days (hes 96 and failing) I am finding great comfort in the stories of the people who wrote their experiences for the book.    It makes me feel a lot more normal and not so crazy.   The feelings I am having (of loss of freedom, depression, etc.)  seem to fit right in with others who actually were taking care of their OWN parents not inlaws.   I know I am pretty close to my inlaws because my own parents are a long ways away and because I was so young when I got married and sort of adopted by them.   Anyway, I recommend An Uncertain Inheritance to those who may be in the middle of very difficult caregiving situations.  -- Did I mention the situations are not limited to those people caring for elderly  parents but also spouses, children, and those caring for injured service members, and sick or disabled children, it really covers many many different scenerios -- plus it has several essays from the people who needed the care -- that is unique!   

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Thanks, Chris. I put the second book on my wish list.

God bless you,

Rose

Linda S. (thk) - ,
Date Posted: 5/9/2008 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2006
Posts: 317
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AARP has a book on caring for elderly parents.  I don't recall the exact title. 

I am caregiver for my older sister.  So I have a different set of baggage than if it was my parents.  My sister Edna was caregiver for them, so in my turn I am caring for her.

Date Posted: 5/11/2008 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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ELDER RAGE or Take My Father....Please!  by Jacqueline Marcell.  This book is written with commpassion and humor.  It offers advice on behavior modification techniques for handling difficult elders.  Also, valuable advice and resources to make caring for your loved ones easier. 

Subject: Can I join your group? I think I may fit in...
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2008
Posts: 38
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I applaud you both Chris and Rose! I take care of my father.  He is a wonderful man who last year went thru ?>{}*&^ (you get the picture). I figured it all started Jan '07 when my mother was diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time. That was 3 days after my daughter's 14th bday. (that was fun) Then she went out with her boots on and with the grace the GOD gave her 3 days before my b-day in Feb '07. Granted it was wonderful that she didn't have to be in pain anymore because she didn't take anything until the very last days if not hours of her life. (She was 77.) The following month, my dad fell backwards off a stool and broke his back. April was another problem but that was on my in-laws side and another story. May - can't remember. June dad had back surgery and cousin died on same day. July - dad's b-day still in rehab & found out he won't be able to walk again- brother #1 took over famly business. Aug - problem on inlaw side. Sept - still in law problem, dad in rehab. Oct rehab. Nov dad came home with 24 hrs (out of pocket). Dec went back to hospital for severe bedsore. Jan 08 Hired aid dropped him from 3ft to floor.  Other than that life is peachy like you! :P

I am 37, youngest of 8 and have 15 yr and 8 yr old. Have 2 aids that are private hire. Yes I do get help from brothers but I have to scream and almost threaten to hurt dad to get it! Family! :P :p I have read thru your posts and will be adding on those books that have been stated. I do have 2 jobs believe it or not! I am a massage therapist and I help a friend at his nail saloon. I do it so I can remember who I am.

It was said to me by my mother that a person has to defend themselves from their parents as well as their children. You can't let either take total advantage of you or you'll lose yourself.

I pray that everyone is doing well. If you would like to chat please feel free to pm me!

Carrie :)

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
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Hi Carrie,

You are so wise to hold onto your own work and identity.   I did lose myself quite a during the last year or two of taking care of my fatherinlaw (it was a 6 year tour of duty).    Now he is 96 and in the nursing home (since May 8. '08) and I am finding out who I am again.    My motherinlaw opted to move in with her daughter so my husband and I are home alone for the first time since we first married 23 years ago.  Our son is in the Air Force and married with 2 kids now.   DH and I are parents to 2 fur babies - cats!

Bedsores and falls are very scary stuff.   I've been there with my inlaws.     You continue to take care of you and get out as much as possible.   The incoming help can be as much of a pain as blessing but God willing you'll find some good people to help with your Dad.  

: ) Best of luck to you and your family!  I am sorry you lost your Mom -- I view 77 as so young because of having lived with a 96 year old and 88 year old -- plus my husband is 63.   I'm 44.    The books really help - especially "When Roles Reverse" by Jim Comer - I think Rose suggested that one.

~Chris~

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2008
Posts: 38
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Thanks Chris! I am starting to have my daughter do stuff with my dad every day. I know she hates it at times but my dad keeps telling her to put it on her resume~. It is now starting to be a running joke but it is very true. I just have a problem with the one lady dad hired. She is a very good person with a great big heart. BUT, she wants to know everything and woke me up today and got a major ear full.

Glad to here that things are better for you. I know that this could be long term but I am willing to be here for my dad. The rest of the family wants to put him in a nursing home. I laugh! I told them that you might as well be ready to bury him because he already said that he would die within a week. ( I personnaly think 3 days but that's me) He doesn't want to die but he doesn't want to be in lots of pain. He is getting better about a lot of things. So it's up to him and his will to live. It makes him feel better knowing that I'm here for him. To me, that's all that matters.

You have a great day! Keep in touch!

Carrie :)

Subject: How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris
Date Posted: 10/11/2008 2:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 27
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Hi Rose,

 

Here is my choice for a caregiver's bible. It got me through five years of caring for my Mom after she suffered a stroke. It addresses the needs of both the caredfor & the caregiver, it's a one-stop resource on the medical, emotional, legal and financial issues involved in caring for an elderly parent. You"ll learn the options, get help sorting through the confusion and receive day-to-day reassurance that you are doing ok.

Title is  "How to Care for Aging Parents"  by Virginia Morris    Workman Publishing, New York

I always say a special good night prayer for anyone who is caregiving because I know how difficult  it can be and it helps me remember the rewarding parts of it  and why it is important to be able to give back when someone needs it. So good luck and know you will have peace in your soul when the caregiving is done.

Pat S.

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 8
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I just found this thread. Thanks everyone for the book recommendations. I have added several of them to my wish list.

I care for my dad, who now lives with us. He's 79, my husband and I are in our mid-40s, and we have 2 boys ages 5 &6. Two years ago I quit working full time to stay home with my boys, and that was good timing, because when my dad needed care after a CHF diagnosis, hospital stay, and nursing home stay, I was already at home. We did buy a new house for all of us to fit into, though.

I've only been doing this since April, but it started back in December with his suspected heart attack that was diagnosed as congestive heart failure. I'm dealing with diabetes, arthritis / using a walker, chf, copd, kidney failure, catheter, fixing meals, home health, weekly outpatient visits, long term care insurance, and homeschooling.

Nancy

Linda S. (thk) - ,
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2006
Posts: 317
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Here's the title of the AARP book.

Caring for Your Parents: The Complete AARP Guide by Hugh Delehanty, Mary Pipher

 

Synopsis

Drawing on AARP’s deep wellspring of expertise in the topic, AARP’s Caring for Your Parents offers both sensitive counsel and a practical road map through the complex emotional terrain many of us face as our parents age. This eye-opening book guides readers through a new, creative approach to caregiving that turns familial duty into a journey of emotional development and resolution.
Based on a 32-page National Magazine Award-nominated special feature, Caring for Your Parents documents the innovative ways that real people cope with this age-old issue. Throughout the book you will find useful, field-tested recommendations from AARP’s staff of experts. Topics explored in depth run the gamut from locating quality health care and dealing with the bureaucracy of Medicare to avoiding consumer scams, organizing caregiving from afar, and planning the disposition of an estate. There are tips on designing your parents’ house to make it more elder-friendly, navigating the hidden dangers of assisted living, and dealing with the invisible sibling issue. A resource guide in each chapter lists help lines, websites, and consumer action groups.
Thirty million Americans are looking for a new, more effective approach to eldercare. Caring for Your Parents is the answer.

 

Library Journal

Caring for an aging parent may be the most difficult task adult children will ever face-physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Yet caregiving can also be a profoundly rewarding experience, say AARP staffers Delehanty (publications editor in chief) and Ginzler (director for livable communities). Their outstanding addition to caregiving literature offers brief but up-to-date information on financial management, age-related physical changes, Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders, Medicare, housing and nursing home care, and practical caregiving techniques illustrated with anecdotes from older adults and family caregivers. Readers will also find useful strategies for initiating the emotionally charged "Conversation" with parents about their future care needs and wishes; significantly, the authors suggest specific techniques for handling this sensitive subject and parental reactions-a subject often neglected in other caregiving guides. Other chapters offer concise information on family care planning meetings, long-distance caregiving, locating community-based and professional care management services, self-care for the caregiver, and coping with the death of an elderly parent. Short yet current resource lists at the end of each chapter highlight essential web sites, publications (many from AARP), and organizations. This comprehensive package is essential for all collections.-Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Lib., Cleveland Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Date Posted: 7/4/2009 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2009
Posts: 1
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Even though not directly related to your situation, I thought some here may benefit from this suggestion - A fantastic book for those dealing with aging parents and dementia is:

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life.

Bless those who choose the path of caring for others - although challenging and the rewards are not always tangible nor immediately evident, the heavens sing when we take responsibility for those unable to care for themselves.

Michelle

 

Subject: Christian Caregiving
Date Posted: 7/9/2009 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 1,320
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I recommend the book Christian Caregiving by Kenneth Haugk. It was very helpful to me. Blessings, Peggy

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