Wednesday - February 26, 2020


January 15th, 2008

December is a magical time!!! Starting around Thanksgiving, cities and towns across the country transform themselves into a winter wonderland. Lights, trees, holiday decoration; parties and family gatherings; holiday greetings to friends and relatives. Some days, cards and letters outnumber the bills and every snowflake adds to the delight. It\’s a magical time of year! Then comes January and, as if with a flick of a switch, the parties stop, the mail is once again just bills, the lights are turned off, and we go back to life as usual. I\’ve personally lobbied to everyone I can think... Read More


December 10th, 2007

Finding the perfect gift is challenging under any circumstances but buying for an aging loved one can be particularly difficult. Obviously you want to get them something they want but it really no longer makes sense for you to get them yet another doll for their doll collection or yet another tie because, hopefully at this point, they\’re getting rid of stuff. So what do you do? Think in terms of what they really want but that they may not know they want. FOR EXAMPLE: Put old family movies onto DVDs for them – and give a copy to everyone else in the family, too. Just keep in mind that... Read More


November 15th, 2007

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. All Americans can celebrate it, we can all get together as a family, give thanks for the many blessings in our lives, and eat!-all without the stress of finding the “perfect” gift or fear of political correctness! Unfortunately, however, knowing that this might be the last Thanksgiving with an aging loved one can produce enormous pressure to make the holiday especially significant. In fact, when faced with the inevitable, many family members try to make up for 40, 50, or 60+ years of a less than close relationship in 1 day and set goals such as: ~... Read More


October 9th, 2007

It\’s Thursday and I\’m taking today and tomorrow off to give myself a long weekend mini-vacation.I need the time off. In fact, I\’m desperate for it! I\’ve earned it, I deserve it, I need it! Yet I\’m wracked with guilt. Not because I\’m not working. No, the main reason I\’m wracked with guilt is because going away means I won\’t be visiting my mother this weekend. My mother has very advanced dementia and lives in a nursing home and I visit just about every weekend. In addition, I attend quarterly care meetings with the staff and periodic family... Read More


September 10th, 2007

Summer is over and it\’s back-to-school time for your kids. If you\’re like most parents, you spent a lot of August preparing for the new school year. You bought school supplies, clothes, planned after school activities, and made after school childcare arrangements. And I\’ll bet you also made plans in case of an emergency and back-up emergency plans a mile long! Obviously you have these back-up plans so that, when there\’s a need, everyone knows what to do, no time is wasted, and no one has to panic. But what about your aging loved ones? If you\’re a family member... Read More


August 7th, 2007

A few days ago I had lunch with a friend and I was telling her about my visit the day before with my mother who has very advanced dementia and now lives in a nursing home. I was telling her how even though my mother no longer remembers who I am and that although I visit about every week or two (even though a round-trip visit takes at least a half a day) I still feel absurdly guilty that it\’s not more often. To that my friend said, “I don\’t know why you bother visiting so often anyway and I certainly don\’t know why you feel guilty – she doesn\’t even remember... Read More


July 11th, 2007

Recently a close friend confided that she and her husband were having financial difficulties. Seven months of unemployment for both of them had wiped them out financially and since they both are in their early 60s, it was devastating. But even though they had depleted all of their savings, she was optimistic that within six months they would be back on solid ground. She thought the worst was over when she got a tearful letter from her mother asking her only child for financial help. Her mother had loaned them money over the years so she couldn\’t tell her no even if she wanted to, and... Read More


June 11th, 2007

June . . . weddings, graduations, and Father\’s Day. Days of joy for you and your family. But as a Baby Boomer woman, do you find yourself once again sandwiched between celebration and obligation? If so, perhaps it\’s time to invite others into your sandwich! When I visited my mother in the nursing home on Mother\’s Day, there were a lot of women who, like me, were visiting alone. Many of them told me that they were visiting their mothers and mothers-in-laws before going home to their own Mother\’s Day festivities with their husbands and children. There were also... Read More


May 9th, 2007

WHEN DISCUSSING THORNY TOPICS WITH YOUR AGING LOVED ONE Discussing thorny topics with your aging loved one(s) is difficult even under the best of circumstances – as many family members who have tried and failed can tell you. But since resolving issues is a lot easier before a crisis, for the past 2 months I\’ve been giving you Pitfalls to avoid if you want to be successful when you discuss thorny topics with your aging loved one. Here then are the final 5 Pitfalls. PITFALL #1) Thinking there is only 1 solution (Yours!) Some of the reasons family members may think there is only... Read More


April 13th, 2007

As you know from last month\’s column, talking with an aging loved one about thorny topics can be fraught with snags and pitfalls! So thorny, in fact, that many family members will either never try . . . until there\’s a crisis. Or they will try and fail and drop the subject . . . until there\’s a crisis! Since resolving issues is a lot easier before a crisis, here are three more pitfalls (plus a bonus!) to avoid so you can be successful during this prickly time. PITFALL #1) THINKING IN TERMS OF “PARENTING THE PARENT” If one of you is the parent, by inference,... Read More