Aging Parents Rescue: How do you care for your parents when they live far away?

Joe of Aging Parent Rescue recently interviewed me on his blog.  – Below is the interview in its entirety. 

Joe: What prompted you and who inspired you to write a book about caring for a parent in their last years? Author Carolyn Brent

Carolyn A. Brent: For years I tried unsuccessfully to have a conversation with my own siblings about the medical and financial needs of our author photoaging father, then in his seventies, who was suffering from dementia and other medical complications. Because of my Dad’s failing health I felt I should initiate this conversation since I had an especially close relationship with him. My siblings just flat out refused to have the crucial conversation with me, each other, and our father. This is the conversation I continually stress that adult children really need to have regarding their aging parents’ health and affairs. My siblings were simply too busy with their own lives, and so we put it off. In our case, this led to an extremely bad outcome.

Through struggling with the legal, medical, financial, and familial issues that come up when adult children handle such matters poorly (whether due to denial or to strife), I discovered there were no books on what needs to be covered and planned for, written from the perspective of siblings. Siblings have special needs at such times and, ideally, can be of great comfort to one another. I found no books that discussed the ideal scenario of sibling conversations versus the worst-case scenario of no conversations, as well as cases when sibling rivalry and resentment are allowed to interfere with planning and care. My siblings and I are living proof that this can go very, very wrong, leading to no one’s benefit: neither the children’s, nor the parent’s.

Joe: What is the one most important thing you want people who read this book to take away?

Carolyn A. Brent: Why wait? Have the crucial conversations, do the paperwork, and then you and your family members can go back to the routine of living your best lives, secure in the knowledge that affairs are in order.

Joe: What is the importance of taking care of yourself when you are a caregiver?

Carolyn A. Brent: After going through the journey and heartache of being the sole family caregiver for my father for twelve years, and then enduring the pain of legal conflicts with my siblings, I ultimately asked myself a key question: What would you do differently if you could do it all over again? My answer was simple: I would take better care of myself at every step in the process.

To be an effective caregiver, you must take care of yourself as well. Now on the other end of caregiving, I find that exercise and meditation help me to relax as I never did beforehand. I wish I would have known to nurture myself better while I was on the journey with my father.

Joe: I hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death at


Aging Parent Rescue is designed to help you care for your aging parents, even when you don’t live nearby or can’t be there every day. We’ll help you navigate all the products and services that will help them live independently.


About Carolyn Brent

Dr. Carolyn A. Brent, is an award-winning bestselling author and a National Physique Committee (NPC) Masters Women's Figure Champion at age 60. She is an expert on both self-care and caregiving; she is the founder of Across All Ages and two nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory Inc. and Grandpa's Dream. Carolyn's research and extensive collection of published works have made her a notable figure in her field. For seventeen years, she worked for some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and has worked as a volunteer at various assisted-living facilities. Her award-winning books include The Caregiver's Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself and The Caregiver's Legal Survival Guide: Navigating through the Legal System.

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