Caring For Our Aging Parents

Caring For Our Aging Parents
Do you shudder when you think about having the The Parent Care Conversation with your parents?

Author Dan Taylor, has written a book to help baby boomers and anyone who has concerns about tackling the touchy child/parent subject of parent care. In writing The Parent Care Conversation: Six Strategies for Dealing with the Emotional and Financial Challenges of Aging Parents Dan Taylor has done adult children with aging parents a huge favor and service.

Taylor, a twenty-year veteran of the financial services, an attorney and owner of an advisory firm, has paved the way for children to open conversations with their parents about insurance, estate planning and more.

If you have not yet reached the age where you have concerns about caring for your parents as they age, you probably will in the next five to ten years. I have been there, done that, and I would not want my worst enemy to experience what my family and I went through as we worried about and cared for my dear mother.

In the introduction of the book Dan Taylor talks about his own experience. He says, “No parent wants to be a burden on his or her children, but very often that is exactly the result of ignoring the parent care issue.” That immediately caught my attention. Taylor shares strategies to create necessary and positive dialogue between children and their aging parents. Part One: Opening the Door, is an eye-opener, he starts this chapter with “Excuses, Excuses”; no explanation is needed here. No one wants to talk about finance, wills, or the inevitable.

This is an easy to understand and useful book. The tools (charts) that Taylor offers are some of the best I have seen, I was particularly impressed with what he calls The Parent Care Property-Description Tool in Chapter 5. You learn how to take inventory and catalog where furniture and object d art are stored.

One of the most important tools is the financial fact-finding tool. This helps you to see exactly how much (or how little) money your parents have. My personal experience in gathering this information from my mother was horrendous; her answer to everything was “your daddy took out good insurance policies”. My parents were from the depression era, so what was considered good then, would be considered a disaster in today‘s economic climate. Dan Taylor’s tip box on page 80 would have helped family members open what was obviously a thorny issue for my mom, in a very different way.

Part Three: Implementing Parent Care Decision of this book, is particularly important because it deals with the necessity of certain key documents; wills, power of attorney, declaration of a guardian and in some cases DNR (do not resuscitate) documents. Other documents are listed as well. Taylor warns us that, “Caregiving is not for the fainthearted.” I certainly agree.

Dan Taylor does not just offer advice; he gives solutions you can use. He addresses issues of long-term parent care, aging and nursing homes, death and dying; and everything in between. Visit his site for more information and to download his parent care solution tools.

The Parent Care Conversation, by Dan Taylor is a fine book to have and read before it is needed. The Parent Care Conversation: Six Strategies for Dealing with the Emotional and Financial Challenges of Aging Parents is available from

Highly recommended.

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