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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Elderly couple found frozen to death

This story from the Washington Post is unbelievably sad, but if you have aging parents, please read it. What I found so familiar about the family in this article was that the children of this couple were paying attention to the parents' needs and they were doing their best to respect their parents' privacy, and didn't want to push too hard. These were not neglected parents. It turned out that the parents were less independent than the children realized. Click here to read the story.

Where is the line between helping your aging parents and intruding on their privacy? How do you know when to push matters? When is it time to tell your parents they must stop driving or cooking or living alone? Changing roles so that you are the one looking after your parents can be unbelievably difficult. It stirs up emotions in the parent such as fear, embarrassment, anxiety, and confusion, as well as in the children such as guilt, anxiety, sadness and simply being overwhelmed.

I know of at least one person who feels better about recent decisions regarding an aging parent after reading this article; she feels more convinced that her proactive steps were the right ones. I hope this article may do the same for other readers as well.

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