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Relating To Our Aging Parents


Elfreide Massier, Ph.D., Gerontologist with Washington State University writes about relating to our aging parents and accepting their increasing dependency.


Family Treasures and Heirlooms


If your parents have possessions that you would like to have one day, speak up. It may be uncomfortable but if you are reticent they might think you are not interested. It's important to discuss this with them.



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Changes to the Family


Changes such as divorce and/or remarriage can change the family structure and compound problems associated with distant living. Here are some helpful articles:


>>When grandparents divorce each other


>>How divorce between parents effects the grandparent - grandchild relationship


>>Tips for parents whose children are getting a divorce

How to Tell Dad He Needs Help

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 04.10.09


There are difficult conversations ahead between us and our aging parents. No matter how close we live or how far, just the thought of these "talks" is stressful. They involve such things as losing the ability to drive, loss of hearing, and moving to assisted living.

>>More | Comment

Oral Histories Can Strengthen Families


Listening to the older members of your family talk about their lives can be an enriching experience. Taping the experience and taking notes can add treasure to your own life. >>More




Complicated Families



As We Grow Older

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 02.10.09


Family relationships take different forms. There are parent-child relationships, relationships between grandchildren and grandparents, there are siblings, and more removed family relationships with cousins and in-laws.


These relationships are influenced by distance, divorce and remarriage, favoritism, family heirlooms, and money. In families, resentments last longer than people.


Families Often Live A Long Distance Apart


We are not there as our loved ones change. Grandparents living a distance apart can miss the first steps of a grandchild and often don't know the newest favorite bedtime story. The toddler can become a chatty child between opportunities for a cuddle.


grandfather and baby girl

Young men and women can mature as they grapple with life's problems and decisions but parents, living too far to visit often, do not have a chance to see or appreciate these changes. The older people, having their own experiences, change too. As a result, parents and children can love one another profoundly, but not really know each other very well. This makes communication difficult when the ageing parent becomes frail or ill and needs help.