Elder Care Expert Encourages Boomers To Move Beyond Denial
With the Easter holiday over, now is the perfect time for Boomers to consider potentially increasing needs of their aging parents.“Caring for aging parents and becoming their advocate may be one of the most important and challenging roles that a Boomer will assume during their lifetime”, states elder care expert Esther Koch, who has also been the primary caregiver to her mother over the last ten years.“Admitting that the parent who once kissed the hurts away now needs you can be emotionally overwhelming”, emphasizes Koch.
To be sensitive to a parent’s needs, Boomers need to get beyond their own denial of their parent’s aging and perhaps their parent’s denial too.Koch continues, “All denial does is reduce options.The opportunity cost of that denial, in financial and emotional terms, is far too great.”
Easter probably provided some clues to a parent’s changing condition and increasing needs.Koch suggests being honest with your answers to the following questions:
Did you notice a decline in physical abilities?
Did your parent seem less stable on their feet or did they recently fall?
Did you notice a decline in short-term memory?
Were there stacks of unopened mail or cancellation notices triggered by unpaid bills?
Did your parent or their home seem unusually unkempt?
Is the refrigerator supplied with nutritious foods or evidence of their lack?
Has your parent lost weight?
Did you have any questions about your parent’s medications?
Did you question your parent’s driving ability?
“Any one of these changes can be a tell tale sign,” says Koch.“Remember, if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.”
“If you didn’t focus on these things over Easter, make sure you do during the upcoming holidays,” encourages Koch.“ Sooner or later, your parents will need your help,” reminds Koch. Being there from the beginning will more positively impact everyone’s lives. About Esther Koch Esther Koch is a gerontologist and elder care advisor.Her firm, Encore Management, provides personal and corporate advisory services and seminars that assist Boomers with the range of issues associated with caring for aging parents and their own aging.Her media interviews and articles have appeared on television, radio and in print.