If I could be granted three wishes, here’s what I would wish: First, I would wish our society would start caring more for our aging seniors. In today’s world, when people get old, we just seem to throw them away is if they don’t exist. It’s tragic to see so many wonderful and wise people become lonely, forgotten or even mistreated simply because they are too old or too ill to help themselves. But the fact is, we’re ALL getting older and none of us want or deserve to be lonely, forgotten or mistreated.
My second wish would be to ensure that everyone who is serving an elderly person as a care giver would be able to find the emotional and legal support they need. At last count, there are over 79 million Baby Boomers in theUnited Statesalone. An estimated 13 million of them are caring for their elderly parents. It’s not an easy job. Care givers have a tremendous emotional, legal and financial responsibility, which is not often recognized by government or other family members.
AND my third wish would be that families would come together as one, and that they would have those very important discussions about who is going to take responsibility for their loved ones, especially their parents, when they get too old or too ill to care for themselves. When a parent is ill or dying, it isn’t the time for siblings to argue among themselves about who should care for their parents or what kind of care their parents should be given. All of this should all be discussed long before their parents ever get ill. All too often, this kind of arguing can tear families apart.
I know this personally. It happened in MY family. And it made me wonder, Why do people WAIT until the worst happens before they sort these things out?
And that is why these days I am activist and keynote speaker on this very topic. It’s also why I have been working closely with members of the U.S. Congress with the aim of improving our laws protecting the elderly, Veterans, and of course, care givers.
And that is ALSO why I wrote my new book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for the Death of a Parent. This book is a comprehensive handbook for parents and adult siblings, addressing the crucial end-of-life issues that nobody WANTS to discuss, but absolutely MUST.
In the book, I give you a step-by-step process that can spare you and your family the stress of conflict at a time of grieving and loss, so you can mend fences and renew the connection and communication you once enjoyed with each other.
The book Why Wait? is coming to Amazon and Barns & Noble on November 15th, 2011. When you buy the book on the day of the launch, you can receive a collection of wonderful free gifts donated by many of my close friends and colleagues, who share my passion for protecting the rights and dignity of ALL people—young and old.
And, as an extra gift to you, I would also like to give you a free pass to my “Why Wait? Telesummit”—a very special 3-part online event with a discussion panel of some of the leading authors, speakers, lawyers, doctors and government officials on the topic of how baby boomers can prepare emotionally, financially and legally for the death of a parent.
This is Carolyn A. Brent. Thanks so much for listening today. I do hope you will help grant me my three wishes by supporting this important work, and by checking out my book Why Wait? on November 15th.
Author and public speaker, Carolyn A. Brent, provides a comprehensive handbook for family caregivers, highlighting the crucial conversations siblings and their aging parents must have. She draws upon her own heartbreaking family experiences, plus exhaustive research on the subject, outlining a step-by-step process that can spare caregivers and their families the stress of conflict at a time of grieving and loss, but also an opportunity to mend fences and renew the connection and communication they once enjoyed with each other.
You can also download a free Medical Check List by clicking this link.
And please do leave a comment below. I would love to hear about your personal story or experiences on this topic.
Carolyn A. Brent, M.B.A., is a former clinical educational manager in the pharmaceutical industry. During her role as a panelist on many clinical studies, she developed a passion to inform the public about the many side effects of drugs, especially those used in the care of the elderly. When her own father became ill with dementia in 1997, she began to experience firsthand the frustration of not only coping with the medical world, but also the legal, financial, and, of course, emotional aspects of caring for her aging father. Today, Carolyn is an avid activist and advocate working with the U.S. Congress for the purpose of creating change to protect seniors and veterans from financial and medical abuse. She has appeared on many local and national TV and radio shows, and is a sought-after keynote speaker. She resides in Northern California.
Her book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death is coming out Nov 15, 2011.