When a parent—or anyone, for that matter—reaches the end of life, there needs to be a way provided for that person to die with dignity and in relative peace. For children, this can be a difficult transition during which confusion and strife are not optimal.
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.
The more research I did, the more committed I became to spreading the important message that planning is critical, and families must begin talking to one another as early as possible. For the past few years I’ve traveled across the country giving lectures at churches and to members of organizations with an interest in these issues, and I’ve spoken with numerous family caregivers. I set up CaregiverStory.com to disseminate resources to help family caregivers. I’ve gone on radio and television. I’ve worked to pass new laws in Congress. Now I’ve written Why Wait?
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.
She explains everything you need to know about these crucial conversations in full detail, along with other important information covering the financial, legal and emotional necessities of aging and end-of-life issues, in her upcoming book Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death which is coming out Nov 15, 2011. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to receive regular helpful tips, and news of the upcoming book release.
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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.