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Parenting: Thought You Were Finished

Aug 17, 2007
Most of us were raised by our parents. Some of us go on to be parents ourselves. But what happens when the parents who raised us need parenting?

This phenomenon which I will call re-parenting is occurring more and more today. Since none of us plan to get old and need help what happens whether we like it or not is that we get old and we need help. Many of us have not made wills, powers of attorney, estate plans, health directives and many of us do not think about this until the inevitable, a health emergency occurs. Why plan ahead when we can always act in crises later? Why not put off what we can do another day?

The truth is planning ahead is better. It is less stressful and we feel less inclined to make a bad decision because of pressure to make a decision. Sure we children do not want to talk about what happens when our parents age so we talk amongst ourselves and keep our parents out of the discussion. Our parents do not want to talk about it either, maybe. You might be surprised to know that some of your parents and hoping and waiting for you to bring up the subject. They just do not want to burden you with their upcoming changes in life.

My in-laws were actually relived and willing to have a discussion when my husband and I went to visit them a month ago. Because of my profession I kept telling my husband to bring up the subject with his parents. They could not have been more ready to talk. While probably more prepared than most, they will need someone to handle things for them when they cannot. And the time is approaching sooner that anyone would like. Questions like where do you want to live when the other passes away? What financial resources are available to pay for care? Monthly budgets, prescription costs and the list goes on.

Re-parenting. Doing the things our parents taught us to do when we were young about preparing for growing up and preparing for life. But now we are doing it for them to prepare for the latter years of their life. Afraid to bring up the conversation? Give them a copy of this article and perhaps the conversation will develop naturally.
About the Author
Pamela Dombrowski-Wilson is an author and owner of In Home and Family Services, Inc. a counseling and direct care company serving older adults and their family members. Visit http://www.inhomeandfamily.com or http://www.pameladwilson.com for more informaion
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