Claudiaexpat introduces us to a useful guide for parents aging far away.
We have already had the pleasure of hosting Ana McGinley on Expatclic, with an article on ageing parents who live far away. Undoubtedly the issue of parents ageing and developing health problems – is one of the hardest challenges for people who embark on a mobile life. Things can become incredibly stressful when parents lose autonomy as health declines, and we have to rely on a sibling, living closer to them, to be responsible for their care. We have talked at length about this problem in our online support group, and discovered that sharing our stories has greatly helped to lighten up our feelings. Today, we have one more important tool we can count on: Ana’s book “Parental Guidance – Long Distance Care for Ageing Parents”, is an essential guide to help organise this period of our lives abroad.
Nicely designed with agreeable graphics, this short guide is packed with practical advice. Ana has worked for 15 years as a social worker with the elderly. She is also an expat living 15,000kms from her own parents. Ana draws on both professional and personal experiences to compile a list of common situations older parents may incur as their health declines, with recommended strategies to cope with these situations.
There are many things I appreciated about this guide. Firstly by identifying the problem and offering possible solutions, Ana manages to convey a comprehensive scenario of what it means to live as an older person. Something we, as children who live abroad and miss important phases of our parents’ lives, are not necessarily aware of. The approach she provides, which is extremely practical, gives you a clear idea of the devastating effects declining health can have.
If dementia sets in, life can become confusing for everyone. “Distance and dementia are a complicated duo”, says Ana. Communication with your parents becomes difficult, and the strain on the siblings living close by can be extreme. A valuable suggestion in the book is to appoint a Family Manager – someone who agrees to take care not only of the practical aspects of your parents lives, but who will also be your point of reference for up-to-date information on the evolving situation. The paragraph on technology is also interesting, in that it draws from personal experience to make us reflect on what is best for our parents in a realm that can be very complicated for them.
“Parental Guidance: Long Distance Care for Aging Parents” is perfectly organized in clear chapters. You can read it in one go, or consult the pages you are most interested in, but you will definitely keep it at hand for the quick clarification of a term, a good idea on how to solve a specific problem, or just a sense of nearness in what at a distance can feel like an overwhelming situation.
Parental Guidance: Long Distance Care for Aging Parents
Buy it here (link to Amazon)
Visit the website: http://www.parentalguidance.info/