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Fashion Flash Book Review: How to Have Fun with Your Aging parents by Christina Britton Conroy
My mother was a force of nature. WHen she was 88 she went off on tour of Italy with Elder Hostel Just wo years later a series of falls changed this once brilliant, fearless women into an angry confused person who I did not know. For the next 10 years, our roles reversed and now I had to handle both the big and small issues in her life. It was very difficult for both of us and I wish “How to Have Fun With Your Aging Parents” had been published years earlier. This small, easily read book is packed with tips and guidelines to make life for aged parents better for the entire family.
The book begins with an invaluable guide to the four adult parent personality types, then applies similar questions to analyze your relationshi with your parents. Once you have identified these issues, Conroy then offers tools and tips to deal with aging related problems. I also appreciated her honest realistic view of the difficulties of caring for an elderly, confused, dpendant parent. She honesty shares the problems she faced with her own family and how small successes are real successes. She acknowledges the exhaustion and frustations of dealing with parents who had been less than perfect– and now needed the care they never gave to their children. In addition to walking the walk, Conroy has professional credentials that include years as a director of a seior center and is a Certified Music Therapist.
One of the hardest issues is dealing with parents who gradually disappear into dementia. Conroy offers genuinely valuable answers to difficult problems. For example, she discovered that the “safest” topic of conversation lets the parent just to talk about themsellves. These are the stories you have heard for years, but they are almost a magic pill for reducing anger. I noticed this with my mom, and I now wish I had tried to stay in the past with her.
If you have an older parent, don’t try to navigate these years without “How to Have Fun With Your Aging Parents”. Published by Black Lyon Publishing and also is available from Amazon.