Tigra went to doggie heaven

Carolyn and I want to sincerely thank everyone in our AgingParents family for your most kind thoughts and prayers.

Tigra our most wonderful dog and companion has gone to the great dog park in the sky.

May she rest in peace.




What Our Very Old Dog Is Teaching Us

Hello again,

Carolyn and Mikol here.
tigraOur sweet 16 year old dog, Tigra, getting frail, is in failing health now.  She is teaching us about acceptance.  I don’t want to learn it.  I don’t want to know that I will soon have to let go.

We’re losing our elders and we’re losing our aging pets.  I am reminded of our clients who describe the struggle of realizing that an aging parent or spouse getting too old to manage alone anymore or is fast going downhill, yet they don’t want to face it.  We empathize and offer support and direction. Now I feel the same about Tigra. I wish someone would offer me a direction. I don’t want to face it.

And nearly every week, I hear from friends, colleagues and acquaintances that they are losing their parents and grandparents at an accelerating rate. Their elders are in their 80s, 90s and more.  My friend’s grandmother is 104 and  rapidly declining in health.  My friend is sad and she is having a hard time with it, just as her daughter is getting married.  She is a lot like the rest of  us.  Life goes on, and there are happy things to look forward to, but at the very same time, we can’t part with the ones we love so easily, no matter what else is happening.  
I look at my beloved pooch getting weaker by the day.  The vet has kindly explained all the things that are failing.  Tigra has nearly given up eating.  I know humans often do the same near the end, too. It’s a sign, yet we urge them to eat nonetheless.  We don’t want to just say, ok, I will make peace with your choice not to eat.  We coax Tigra to take a bit of this or that and she looks at me as if to say, “Don’t you get it?  I’m 16 years old, I’m getting near the end, so just be all right with that”.  I’m not.  I’m so not all right with it. 
I am desperately trying to learn what the old gal is trying to teach me, that I must accept that her end is inevitable.  You see, she has been a nearly constant  companion for both Mikol and me these 16 years. She comes to work and sleeps at my feet or Mikol’s every day.  We’ve had thousands of walks together and done a zillion errands. 
When Mikol fell ill some years ago, she knew. She would not leave his side until he recovered two weeks later.  They have bonded ever since.
The life lesson our pets teach us is that our time with the ones we love is ever so precious.  We want to appreciate it and not take it for granted. And we want to thank the ones who have given us so much for all they have done, whether they are human or pets.  And we need to just be with the sadness we feel when it’s time to let go.  We need to grieve and not fight it.  And we need to also focus on what is good and happy in our lives too, as that is what gets us through this.
For anyone reading this who is facing a loss at this time, we’re with you. Share it with the  people close to you. Just putting it in words can be a relief. And reach out to hold someone’s hand if you can. It really helps.  And you are helping us by letting us tell you about what is going on.  We thank you.
Until next time,
Carolyn Rosenblatt and Dr. Mikol Davis

The Worst Excuse For Not Protecting A Vulnerable Parent

 This one shocked me.  

elderrageman-229x300Here at AgingParents.com we’ve been hearing elder abuse tales for a long time, but I was stunned when I heard this.
A family of 3 siblings has been worried  about their widowed father, who lives alone in the country. He is very comfortable, but not extremely wealthy.  6  years ago he got sucked into an internet scam.  He believes he has been sending money to refugees in Africa and he is going to get a lot back soon as a reward.  He is completely addicted to the contact with the scammers. They send him 50 of emails a day. He is mesmerized.  This seems to be his social life.
His daughters are worried and have of course, tried to talk him out of it.  By their calculations he has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the scammers.  When I heard about this a year ago, I offered them several alternatives.
One was to have a family meeting of the siblings to develop a unified strategy and to do so immediately.  We could be there to facilitate it.
Another was to do an intervention to attempt to get him to commit to a change of authority over the partnership that controls his wealth. That is a service we can provide at AgingParents.com.  We were ready to go.
Another was to use the legal means they already have to begin to get funds away from their father to protect him from eventually depleting everything.  Some funds were in a partnership and their father had agreed to give up control to the partnership but had failed to follow through.
There is one sibling with leadership, who made the first call. However she did not follow up for a year. When she called more recently, things had not improved, Dad had lost even more money and he was developing more signs that he needed help with his life beyond money.  Alternatives were again offered, this time with more immediacy. A crime is underway and they are still not doing what needs to be done to stop the abuse.
This time, they are “thinking about it”.   One sister reportedly wants to “give Dad a chance” to stop giving away his money on his own. I would call that a very ineffective plan.
We do know that financial elder abuse costs our elders $2.9B per year, every year.  Scenarios like the one here are part of it. Every family needs to be aware and every family needs a better plan than this family had.  If they want to watch Dad’s money flow into the hands of criminals, they can keep doing as little as they are doing.  If they want to bring it to a halt, it will take a very assertive plan of action and the will to carry it out.
Our courts are interested in protecting elders from such abuse and are willing to grant family members the power they need to stop abuse if all other efforts fail. Guardianship (conservatorship in CA) is a legal way to get control over finances so an elder won’t keep being abused. An aging person does not have to be incompetent to be a victim of elder abuse. Judges can grant guardianship (conservatorship) over just the money and not the person if that is what the lawyer and family request.  A court looking at how an internet scam drained several hundred thousand dollars from an elder would likely meet the standard the court would need to grant the guardianship to protect the financial safety of the father in this case.
What stopped this family from taking steps to impose control or, failing that, to seek conservatorship?  They didn’t want to offend their father.  I was appalled.  If they don’t think he would be offended by becoming destitute I guess that excuse would do.  In my book they were lacking the guts to do what was needed.
Every person with an aging loved one needs to be aware of the risks.  Isolated, lonely elders are at high risk. The scammers are extremely good at hooking their victims, almost hypnotizing them.  If you have aging parents, remember, it can happen to anyone.
Get advice at AgingParents.com when you have a loved one, especially with any memory problems. The memory problems go hand in hand with loss of financial judgment.
Until next time,

We are always here to help you through the many challenges in life, you can always take advantage of our Free complimentary telephone meeting. Just click HERE provide us with some information about your questions or issues and we will schedule our meeting.

This is what 66 looks like

What is the secret to successful aging ?



With retirement and aging, older adults can find themselves with a lot of free time and not many ideas of what to do. Some alternatives to keep the mind busy and active are volunteering, starting another business, embarking on an encore career, engaging with one’s community, and caregiving or taking responsibility for grandchildren or friends with limited mobility.

These things can help us to build structure and purpose into our lives as we age and as we care for our own parents. It won’t surprise you to learn that the most popular pastime for older adults is watching TV. According to a MetLife study in 2012, socialization and communication as well as recreation and exercise decreased from 13% to 10% after the age of 75. My friend, Dr. Arnold Bresky, a preventive gerontologist, has come up with a nine point system of ways to be proactive in healthy aging and both prevent and treat symptoms of dementia.  These tips can be applied to our own health in addition to our aging loved ones.

1.    Fun and laughter: have 9 hearty laughs per day.
2.    Relaxation, meditation or prayer: meditate or pray at least once a day.
3.    Tunes Rx: Play joyful and relaxing music at least 15 minutes a day.
4.    Sleep: Ideally sleep 8 uninterrupted hours between 11PM and 7PM.
5.    Physical exercise: exercise everyday and track your progress. This can be anything from a slow, gentle walk to pool workouts, going to the gym, or taking a class.
6.    Nutrition: eat a low fat Mediterranean diet. Many of our aging parents do not get the nutrients and vitamins they need. A low-fat Mediterranean diet that consists of things like olive oil, fresh fruit, vegetables, and low sugar options.
7.    Hydration: drink 6, 8 ounce glasses of water a day. So many of us forget this important step. This is exceptionally true for older adults who can get dehydrated from medications and other sources.
8.    Learn something new: Do crossword puzzles, create art, or take a class to acquire a new skill. Engaging our aging loved one’s minds can be a critical step in preventing depression.
9.    Practice Acts of Kindness: reach out and make another person smile at least once a day.

My 91-year-old Mom is the poster girl for healthy aging. She lives alone, still drives during the day, gets together with friends often to socialize and play games, takes classes at the local community college, exercises in the community pool, takes care of her diet and walks on the treadmill for 20 minutes every morning. Although caring for our aging loved ones and ourselves can be challenging at times, making sure to take the steps to age healthily can ensure our ultimate success.

Introducing Dr. Albert Freedman age 91 years.


This will make you smile……91-Year-Old to Run Sunday’s San Diego Marathon

91-Year-Old to Run Sunday’s San Diego Marathon
Harriette Thompson hopes to break her age-group record.
Hannah McGoldrick;
harriettet hompson











Image by
Published May 30, 2014
Harriette Thompson Running San Diego Marathon
Harriette Thompson, 91, running the 2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.

When Harriette Thompson is not at church playing the piano, the 91-year-old cancer survivor is out running loops around the small lake in back of her retirement community in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why is Thompson training? She’s running Sunday’s Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.

Thompson has run almost every edition of the race. The exceptions were the inaugural year, 1998, and 2013, when she had to miss the race due to surgery for an oral cancer that took her upper jawbone and all but one of her upper teeth. The last time she ran San Diego, 2012, she finished in 6:50:03.

Thompson has also just finished another round of radiation to treat squamous cell carcinoma on her legs.

“It’s so painful,” she told the Charlotte Observer. “I just wish I hadn’t had the radiation till after the marathon.”

According to the Observer, Thompson decided to run a marathon at the age of 76 because a friend of hers was planning to walk the San Diego Marathon to raise money for charity. Since her marathon debut, Thompson has run every year on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training, generating more than $90,000.

When Thompson, who is starting in the first corral, crosses the finish line just outside of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, she will not only be the oldest finisher in the history of the race, she’ll also likely break her age-group record.

According to USATF, the 90-94 female record is 8:53:08, set by Mavis Lindgren at the 1997 Portland Marathon. Thompson’s slowest marathon, 7:05:32, was her first. Her personal record is 6:07:22, which she ran in her sixth marathon at age 81.

The oldest woman to have completed a marathon was Gladys Burrill, who ran the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in 9:53:16 at the age of 92. Thompson will get a single-age record if she finishes on Sunday, as there is no 91-year-old female marathon finisher to date.

Thompson told the Observer she feels like a 91-year-old only after finishing a marathon.

“Lots of times [after the races], I see young girls coming in and limping, hardly able to move, and I think, ‘Well that’s pretty good that I don’t feel that bad,’” she said.

The heart never forgets……….this will make you smile.

Share you story with our Aging Parents community. We all need to feel hope. Thank you for watching.

Let’s Re-define “Old”: What Does It Mean Anyway?

Hello again,

Carolyn and Mikol here.clrggbridgeswim
Who doesn’t have negative stereotypes about aging?
No one, especially Boomers, wants to think of ourselves as “old”.  We’re middle aged, we’re “senior”, we’re old-er, but old? Never.

Our society just doesn’t have a positive outlook on aging. Media everywhere imprints us with messages to “feel young”, get a lift, an implant, a surgery, take pills, and do anything to avoid the stereotypes of “old”.  Since I’m in the aging field as a consultant, here at AgingParents.com I do have a different attitude about aging, but I know I also hold some of those stereotypes in my own mind.  I don’t want to feel “old,” whatever that really means.

So I set out to challenge my own perceptions of what older people do.  If my age (66) is “old” I want to bust those stereotypes in my own head.
 This is not a new thing for me.  I rebelled against the stereotypes 4 years ago when, with fear and trembling, I took up the endurance sport of triathlon. I do the short kind only. I keep wondering if I’m too old to keep it up. There is no one my age on my all-womens’ training team, Flower Power Sports. Coach Michelle teaches you how to train smart. She does this while smiling and kicking your behind. You get stronger.  This is good. We don’t think of old and strong as going together.
My team friend, Gigi, an amazing 53 year old athlete talked me into going to Wildflower triathlon in central CA. It is in the middle of nowhere. Camping?? I don’t think so.  I first objected that “I’m too old to go camping.” But they have these comfy camper vans, all decked out. She had already rented one and that was no longer an excuse.
Then I said I didn’t want to do an Olympic distance event, as she’s doing. Never mind, they also have the short distance one, called a “sprint” (for humor, I expect).  Second excuse gone.  I’ve done sprint distance events before. This is reportedly the second largest triathlon event in the world, with athletes from everywhere. They do a sprint, Olympic distance and long course event over a weekend. OK, I’m in.
We arrive in rented camper, join Coach Michelle, her son, Nick, 16, and another teammate, Charmaine.  So far, so good.  But, lookinf around me, everyone seems to be a LOT younger.  Aren’t there any women my age here?  They always group us by age. Race morning arrives and Michelle and Gigi are support team for the 3 of us doing the mountain bike sprint course.

It starts with a swim.  I struggled through but was ok, then hiked up the 1/4 mile to the bike start.  The course had been changed from the prior year.  We did not know about that.  I had gotten moderately knobby tires for my mountain bike, suitable for what was described as a dirt trail with some paved portions.  As I got to the first sharp turn, I found loose, rocky, deep dirt, requiring the fattest tires you can get with the heaviest tread available.  OMG!  I have the wrong tires! Traction on this is going to be impossible. Bang! Down I went, opening a small gash in my arm.

I then began a pattern:  get back up, pedal a bit, lose traction, fall, repeat.  It was the steepest, most treacherous mountain bike course I’d ever seen and I was trying not to lose my nerve the entire time. My arm was bleeding.  About halfway through, there was an aid station, staffed with adorable college student volunteers who were all over at the weekend events.  I stopped.  ”Will you clean this off for me?” I asked.  A pleasant faced young man offered up bottles of water and began to pour them over my arm. “Do you have any gauze?”  
He looked in his first aid bag and pulled out a small white wrapped packet.  Opening it, he said, “I don’t know what this is.”   I said, “It’s a sanitary napkin.  It will have to do.  Just dry me off with it and put a bandaid over this cut, please.”  He obliged and quietly asked, “Are you going to finish?”  Maybe he thought I needed to be carried off or something.  I said, “Yes, I’m finishing this race!  This senior has gotta do this.” I took off. No more falls. The course got less rocky and loose and I made to the transition area where you change in to your run shoes for the last leg.  You can’t run in bike shoes.  Bags with our run shoes were supposed to be deposited by the bike.
6000+ racers

6000+ racers


I racked my bike and noticed, to my shock, that the bag with my run shoes and hat was not there!  OMG again!  It had somehow been misplaced. I desperately asked more of the college kid volunteers to look for my misplaced bag. No luck. Maybe 20 minutes ticked by. This is a race and it was going to be over if I didn’t get moving.  How was I going to get the run done?  It was only 2 miles and I was sure I could get there somehow, but not in bare feet.

I was so discombobulated from repeated falls, I could barely think.  I asked the nearest girl volunteer her shoe size. “I’m, an 8″, she said. Too big.  I’m a 6 1/2.  I asked one of them to find me a volunteer with a shoe size no bigger than a 7.  Promptly, a sweet girl, Natalie returned. “I wear a 7,” she said. “Oh, good,” I said.  ”I need to please borrow your shoes.” She thought she could walk around barefoot for awhile and gave up the shoes. I put them on. They fit!  By now the sun was hot.  ”I need to borrow your hat, too”, I said. She obligingly gave it to me.  I thanked her a lot, got her name, told her where I would turn in the shoes and I was off.

I am not sure how I stumbled through that last leg, but I did it.  Finally, I ran across the finish line!  Michelle, and teammates were all there cheering.  This did not fit my images of “old”. I have no stereotypes in my head of arm-gashed seniors running across finish lines in borrowed shoes. Immediately I went to the medic tent, where they cleaned and bandaged my arm. The MD suggested that I get a couple of stitches. I got directions to the nearest emergency room for later.  I looked around at the people in the tent with IV’s, ice on their knees, and various other injuries. I actually felt fortunate, as a cut and scrapes will heal and it could have been worse.

Natalie found me later from her neon green hat I still wore. She got a beautiful new pair of shoes from a race sponsor for her generous gesture, and she got her hat and old shoes back too.  My shoe bag showed up finally. We watched Nick (3d place in his age group) get his medal. I did not stick around for the other results of the race, as I was exhausted.

We went back to camp, I made a trip the the ER, I got the stitches and I was ok, despite a sore arm. The next day, after the Olympic distance event, race results were available on laptops they provide so you can see how you did. Super Coach Michelle placed second in her age group and Gigi did respectably well also.  Out of curiosity, I asked Gigi to look at the prior day’s race to see how many women were in my age group. Over 6000 athletes show up for this event, from kids age 10, to challenged athletes to seasoned elites.

Finishing Triathlon Race

Finishing Triathlon Race

She checked. “Carolyn, you are the only woman in your age group!”.  That meant that despite all the craziness of my day, I was first in the 66-69 age group. They give you a medal for that. I haven’t stopped laughing since.tri medal

So much for aging stereotypes.  I redefined “senior moment” for myself that day. Life experience teaches us how to get past obstacles. We have some advantages over our younger friends. We know about persistence. We trust ourselves to overcome difficulty because years of living have shown us we can do it. Aging is more, not less. If aging feels like this, I’m happy with it. Now where’s that ice pack? 
Until next time,
Carolyn Rosenblatt,

Does retirement mean we’re getting OLD?

Ah, retirement.  Most look forward to a time of enjoyment of life and everyone wants to age successfully in retirement.  Do we ever really consider what it takes to age successfully?  It is a new responsibility that few of us consider in our vision of how we expect to live after the end of a long work life.Successful aging can be boiled down to a few basic components. These have to do with overcoming our culturally reinforced negative mindset about aging in general.
Jack 85yrs Triathlete

Jack 85yrs Triathlete

We don’t necessarily revere the aged. We may refuse to see ourselves as aging. We hate the word “elderly” unless we’re talking about our parents or grandparents. We ourselves couldn’t possibly be elderly!  Who needs to deal with it if we’re not there yet, right?And yet, successful aging requires taking responsibility for the fact that we are moving toward being elderly ourselves.  

So, the first component of successful aging is to overcome reluctance to face aging.What does that mean?  If we cant to be confident and empowered as we age, we need to bear in mind the adage that no one gets out of here alive.
First and easiest is the paperwork. We need to  have our estate planning done and updated. Every document our lawyers want us to sign needs to be fully signed and ready when needed. They will be needed. That’s what we are reluctant to face. My estate planning lawyer friends tell me that most people do not do estate planning (will, trust, power of attorney, healthcare directive as basics). Studies and articles confirm his.
These colleagues tell me that they go to all the effort to prepare the necessary documents and lots of clients don’t ever even sign the paperwork. It’s too much reality and they they can’t accept it. Their reluctance mirrors a general society-wide attitude that death is optional and it may not happen to me.  Overcoming one’s own reluctance is part of successful aging. Acceptance of aging is fundamental.  Embracing it gives you confidence.Another component is to be informed about the healthy aging process.  

Most of us just don’t want to learn about aging until we are dealing with an age-related problem ourselves.  Before that, ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s risk. For example, if we study what makes others successful as they age, we can learn how they do it.

Things like daily doses of humor, exercise and getting rid of unhealthy things in our diet and lifestyles can really help us. As an example, I often think of comedian, writer and actor George Burns, who lived to be 100 and and worked at what he loved until shortly before his death. If you look at his lifestyle, you see all the essentials of successful aging.  He was happy in his work. He exercised in his pool daily.  He laughed at aging itself as well as his own age-related limitations.  He did a lot of things in an ideal way and he reaped the benefits of his choices.  He must  have educated himself about what to do.  We don’t learn this in school unless it is our professional field of study.  Healthy aging research is abundant, as lifespans are increasing. Read up, as exemplary seniors can inspire all of us.

Prepare for your own successful aging by taking action.   I look at how my own grandmother lived as she aged. She died at 93 after  successfully navigating her own aging process for many years.  She was widowed and lived alone, but maintained her house as a comfortable place for her children and grandchildren to visit. She had the means, which helps, but it was intentional to create an atmosphere around her where family would want to visit.  And they did.  Engagement with family and frequent visitors kept her involved in positive things. She read daily and worked crossword puzzles. She followed world politics and world news. She went outside for at least a mile walk every day. She stayed active in her local church, and community organizations for as long as she was able to get out.  As she became more frail and developed dementia, she stayed at home with a full time caregiver. Family were around her constantly. She died in her own bed, in the presence of family, probably with no regrets. I always thought she modeled a good way to go out of this life.  She taught me that aging is not a passive thing. You need to put energy into it.

If we want aging to be a successful long term proposition for ourselves, we have to look at how it gets to be long term and how we keep our vitality.  We can’t expect healthy aging to be merely a matter of luck.  At least being informed and inspired by those who manage this phase of life successfully can inspire us to take action in our own lives.

Retirement opens the door to change our focus from our work lives to our opportunity to make aging a positive experience. It will probably involve some limitations from the wear and tear of years of living in our bodies, but that need not stop us from healthy aging.  My hope is that with millions of Boomers retiring every year, that our generation will embrace aging as something more than we were before, not something less.  Let that be a resolution.

Thanks for listening

Carolyn Rosenblatt & Dr. Mikol Davis


Where Can LGBT Seniors Age Without Discrimination?

rainbow flagWe have some thoughts about emerging solutions to an aging part of our population, the LGBT community.

For the longest time, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community got little other than negative press and highlighting of controversial issues.  But things are changing.  Millions of people who are retiring include LGBT individuals.  What is our society is going to do with these folks? 
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates 3 million LGBT elders live in the United States. As Baby Boomers age, that number will grow.  In some places, forward thinking people are creating LGBT friendly retirement communities where acceptance and a supportive environment are available to anyone.  Can we do this without special, prejudice- free facilities where aging LGBT folks are welcome?  Maybe not.  READ MORE
For LGBT older adults, a lifetime of employment discrimination and other factors contribute to disproportionately high poverty rates, according to the National Consumer Law Center.  Discrimination in care facilities likely mirrors society-wide discrimination, adding to the difficulties any aging person must face in deciding where to live and how to receive care in a dignified way.  For low income LGBT seniors, many of whom do not have children, there may be little or no family to take on the task of caregiving..
World News reported recently that Spain is getting its first LGBT retirement center in Madrid.  The article quotes Federico Armenteros, founder of an NGO for Spain’s LGBT community.  He cites the reason for building the center is that “elderly LGBT don’t exist” in the eyes of most people. That, he says, “pushes people back into the closet,” often those who have fought for equality during their younger years.For those who have been out of the closet for some time, it would likely be very depressing to have to go back to it and hide one’s orientation in order to get needed assistance in a care facility, senior’s apartment complex or assisted living community.
 In my own area, a new LGBT friendly community has recently opened at Fountaingrove Lodge in Sonoma County, CA.  It was the concept of a family with a personal interest in the issues.  Members of the LGBT community approached the Gallagher family and got their commitment to do the project.  They wanted aging people to be welcomed, and not judged in a beautiful retirement setting.  Part of this population has been marginalized. Many have lived most of their lives in the closet.  The project has 70 homes of varying sizes and offers a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care and hospice care.  It has been opened just 4 1/2 months as of this writing and the memory care portion is almost filled already.
This is an upscale  place, according to its marketing staff, for those who can afford the hefty entry fees and monthly rent.  A low income LGBT friendly retirement home is in the works in San Francisco, with financial qualification criteria. Staff training at Fountaingrove Lodge includes advice about what language to use that is considered politically correct in this population.  The staff are taught to respect everyone, what challenges their residents are likely to face and how to deal with sexuality.  Employees are carefully chosen to screen for an open attitude and willingness to accept everyone without judgment.  There are other LGBT friendly projects across the U.S. but according to Fountaingrove Lodge staff, none of the others offer a continuum of care, with memory care and hospice also available.
Here at AgingParents.com, we have witnessed many of the ongoing challenges of aging which are difficult enough for elders without adding discrimination to the mix.  We support the concept of creating LGBT friendly places for all seniors to live. No matter what a person’s sexual orientation, the problems of aging are the same, and LGBT folks have to cope with financial capacity issues, loneliness, caregiving, family conflicts, elder abuse and dementia just like anyone else.  
Every person deserves to age with dignity. In a community such as Fountaingrove Lodge, those with sufficient means to enjoy a great quality of life can do so without fear.  For those with less means to pay for care, we hope to see more Federally approved retirement communities where anyone can live and age in freedom.
For help with age-related issues in your relationship or your family, contact AgingParents.com, a resource for you.  We offer expert  advice, conflict resolution services, assessment of financial capacity and decision-making ability, and many educational videos and blog posts to assist you.  Request a complimentary 15 minute consultation by clicking here.

5 Success Tips In Caring For Difficult Parents

Dr Mikol Davis & Carolyn RosenblattFirst, we do have to put ourselves first sometimes.  What’s best for us, best for our own families and our own peace of mind must be a serious consideration.  Sacrificing our sanity for the sake of caregiving is not the best choice. Delegate and find others to help if having too much of the caregiver burden is getting you down.

Second, know our own limitations.  Caring for aging parents can become very time-consuming and emotionally wrenching as we watch our loved ones decline in health.  Trying to bravely go it alone, taking in an ailing parent, or assuming other large, long term chores is not for everyone.  It’s okay to say “no”.  Every adult child is not the same and many are simply unable to do a good job of being a primary caregiver.  Admitting this to ourselves is both healthy and necessary.

Third, forget trying for praise, appreciation or recognition of a caregiving job well done when our parent has dementia.  Our parent’s brain is not functioning normally with dementia.  The cognitive impairment may mean that he or she is unable to appreciate your efforts.  It may mean behavior changes, such as suspicion, accusations and nasty outbursts in your aging parent when that sort of thing didn’t happen before.  Do a good job for your own sake and because it’s right, not because you have to have your parent’s approval.

Fourth, we need to love ourselves for trying.  Our efforts may not always succeed. We may feel doubt about what we’re doing. We may feel guilty that we get mad at an aging parent who is so difficult.  But we keep trying to make life manageable, keep up their quality of life the best we can and go at it with sincere hearts.  We need to tell ourselves that we are brave and valued for forging on in the face of difficulty.  We need to appreciate our own efforts.

Fifth, we need to take breaks.  We get so lost in caregiving, directing others, managing our own jobs, families and problems, we forget how much time we’re putting in. We forget to stop.  This is really important!  To nurture our own bodies and soothe our own spirits is the very thing that gives us the strength to carry on and keep it up.

So, my friends, be very good to yourselves.  Love your own heartfelt work of helping aging parents, especially the most difficult ones.  It takes a strong will to put up with the resistance difficult parents put up.

Mikol and I are with you. We have difficult people in our lives, too.  My Mom was mentally ill and the challenge to my strength and patience was there for years on end.

We are on this journey together.  We can help each other along.

If your aging parent is driving you nuts, let us know about it,  We do like to address your questions.

Until next time,
All the best,

Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney and Dr. Mikol Davis

Housing And Support Services

Part I – So Many Choices – An Overview 10:01podcast
Where is “home”? Perhaps the most important aspect of our life. But as we age, our housing requirements start to change. When we talk about housing, where our parent lives, uppermost in consideration is the need to maximize their independence. The good news is that there is a wide range of housing options between complete independent living at one end of the spectrum and a skilled nursing home at the other. What would you want for yourself? Obviously living at home is the number one choice. This program, and the other podcasts in this series, will help you focus your thinking so that the complexity of where your parent lives begins to make sense.



podcastPart II – Living Independently at Home 5:16
Living independently at home is the preferred choice for seniors and if you’re an adult child it should be your first choice as well. But how can you prolong the time that your parent can live at home, alone? The trick is to bring in support services. Services that can be done by you and other family members and services done by others –paid or volunteer. Sometimes just a few little things can be done to keep an elder viably independent at home. Listen to this program to get a good understanding of how to keep mom or dad at home.



podcastPart III – Assisted Living 10:16
When the time comes that a parent can no longer live independently at home is no longer viable for health or safety reasons, an assisted living facility is a great alternative. Assisted living options are for active elders who need some daily or occasional help with the activities of daily living. It’s a social community not a nursing home. This program will clarify what an assisted living community is and is not, how to choose one, how parents can thrive in a good assisted living community, and what you can expect from moving a parent from the old home/house to the new environment.

When Crisis Strikes

There’s nothing quite like a parent’s crisis to help you focus on what needs to be done. But it’s also true that your parent’s crisis can quickly become your crisis if you let it. This program will help you understand the dynamics involved in a crisis, how to quickly get organized to manage the crisis and how to use the crisis as a starting point to effective long term caring.

Click the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

Getting Organized Part 1 (When Its Time to Help)

Part I – When it’s time to help a parent – How you know and how to get started 7:52
When is it appropriate to intervene to help a parent? When do you, for example, say no more driving? How do you know its time to step-up and become your parents’ caregiver? This program will help you focus on what your parent’s situation is, where to get help and information about their true status. It’s a
complicated subject but this program can help!

Click the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

Getting Organized Part 2 (Developing an Extended Care Plan)

Part II – Developing an Extended Care Plan 3:53
Managing long-term caring for a parent requires having a good plan. An extended care plan deals with a parent’s total life – medical and health needs, financial status and prospects, community and support services, housing, needs for daily help. Lots of questions to ask and subjects to think about.

Click the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

Getting Organized Part 3 (Care Coordination – Making the Pieces Fit)

Part III – Care Coordination – Making the Pieces Fit 6:28
How can you coordinate all the pieces that go into caregiving your parent? How can you effectively work with your family? A look at the range of support needs that you and your parent will need while you are providing care. Where to go for help and how to make the process effective and on track. This
program will help you understand the pieces of the caregiving puzzle, how to make them work, and how to monitor the changing and ongoing needs associated with caring for an elder.

Click the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

Distance Caregiving Part 1 (Long Distance Caregiving – You Can Do It!)

Distance Caregiving Part I – Long Distance Caregiving – You Can Do It! 9:33

Many of us live hundreds or thousands of miles away from our aging parents. The distance makes caregiving more complex and difficult but it can be managed effectively. This program, and the others in this series, focus on how you can provide loving and solid care even when the miles between you are
great. Topics include moving to be with your parent, moving your parent to be closer to you, what’s the right thing to do? This is an important series for both parent and adult children.

 Click on the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

Distance Caregiving Part 2 (Long Distance Caregiving – Building A Support Network)

Part II – Long Distance Caregiving – Building A Support Network 4:49
How do you create a support network in your parent’s home community? A support network extends your capabilities to help your parents. This program will give you several great ideas to building a network and how to manage it.


Click the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

Distance Caregiving Part 3 (Long Distance Caregiving – Rural Caregiving)

Part III – Long Distance Caregiving – Rural caregiving 3:40
What do you do when your parent lives in a rural area? Rural living may be wonderful but when you need caregiving services for a parent you have new challenges. This podcast discusses how to provide help for your parents directly or to help you monitor their situation to keep you informed. A must listen
for those who have parents living at a distance in a rural setting.


Click the triangle or the podcast icon below the bar to listen!

FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
  • Tigra went to doggie heaven July 19, 2014
    Carolyn and I want to sincerely thank everyone in our AgingParents family for your most kind thoughts and prayers. Tigra our most wonderful dog and companion has gone to the great dog park in the sky. May she rest in…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • What Our Very Old Dog Is Teaching Us July 3, 2014
    Hello again, Carolyn and Mikol here. Our sweet 16 year old dog, Tigra, getting frail, is in failing health now.  She is teaching us about acceptance.  I don’t want to learn it.  I don’t want to know that I will…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • The Worst Excuse For Not Protecting A Vulnerable Parent June 26, 2014
     This one shocked me.   Here at AgingParents.com we’ve been hearing elder abuse tales for a long time, but I was stunned when I heard this. A family of 3 siblings has been worried  about their widowed father, who lives alone…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • This is what 66 looks like June 9, 2014
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief