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By 2020, the senior population in this country will number over 115 million. Despite this persistent "graying" of America, few adult children feel prepared to take on the role of caregiver for aging parents. Those who discover they must now intervene and care for an elder they love are often at a loss. Trying to navigate the transition is like being dropped in a foreign country with no map, no GPS, and no translator---and acting as tour guide.
Nancy Parker Brummett knows what they're going through and has the means to help. She shares her own experience of caring for a mother and mother-in-law in assisted living, as well as lessons learned through study of the academic, social, and political issues involved. Each chapter begins with relevant Scripture, but the useful information here is not limited to people of faith.
Take My Hand Again offers readers the warm feeling of having someone they trust stepping up to hold their hand and share encouragement and hope. Children of the aging don't need a degree in gerontology; they just need for someone to ask the pertinent questions and give them an overview of the pros and cons of common options so they can make informed decisions. Whether they've already had their wake-up call or just want to be prepared for what's to come, Brummett's sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant book has just what they're looking for.
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
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bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A good introduction to caring for aging parentsMay 24, 2015bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5We're seldom ready when our parents need us to intervene in their care. Brummett wants us to be prepared and has written this book to be a companion in the process.
She addresses many issues, some I expected, others I did not. She starts by exploring the feelings we might have as we lose a parent as we have always known them. She explains how to watch for telltale signs and then the topics about which we will need to talk to our parents. She includes a good section on how the brain ages, including dementia and depression. She covers choosing living conditions and that tough one, when it comes time for them to stop driving.
She writes about the aging physical body, including medications, exercise and nutrition. She helps us think about the quality of life for our parents, such as whether they should continue to work and the making of new friends. She shows how we can help our parents be life long learners and take advantage of the digital age. She even writes about romance, noting that dementia can break down social mores and cause inappropriate behavior. She reminds us of the spiritual needs of our parents, including Bible studies and worship services. (If there is not a Bible study at the care facility our parent is in, Brummett suggests we volunteer to teach one.) Another area is helping our parents walk through grief. As they age, they lose their friends. Coming beside them with comfort is an important part of elder care. And then there is also the finances, power of attorney, etc. Finally, he process of dying and decisions that need to be made.
There are areas Brummett covered that I found especially meaningful. Growing older is a spiritual journey as much as it is a physical or emotional one. She suggested asking older people about their spiritual life, such as circumstances that made them trust the Lord more or maybe question His direction. The elderly are a wealth of spiritual wisdom from which younger people, like grandchildren, can draw.
A difficult subject but a very important one is caring for an aging parent within one's home. Brummett looks at the responsibilities, the role of siblings and the stress it can place on a marriage. She also looks at the very real situation of caregiver burnout.
One suggestion Brummett makes is very important leaving a legacy. She has great ideas for tapping into the knowledge of aging parents. Her ideas range from family history to faith. She reminds us how important it is to preserve our parent's story.
In our mobile society, aging parents are often a distance from their children. Brummett helps us know how to assess and care from a distance. She encourages the use of aides like Skype, knowing that not all aging parents will want to use such technology. It is worth a try, she writes. She includes great advice for making visits in person as valuable and effective as possible.
This book is a good combination of information and stories. Brummett illustrates her suggestions with her own experiences and those of many others. That makes the book very readable rather than a dry account of what we should be doing to care for our aging parents. Yet within the book is a wealth of resources. Some of them are given in the text but there is also a list at the end of the book.
This is not an exhaustive encyclopedia of elder care but it is a good place to start. The conversational style of Brummett's writing is encouraging as we contemplate the actions and decisions to come.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.