Inspiring Opportunities Free E-Newsletter
Family A dynamic and evolving part of our lives that provides an anchor and challenges us to meet new needs is our family. From caring for aging parents to finding housing -- coping with adult children, to reveling in the role of grandparent, it’s good to know that there are many resources to help.
Dealing with the imminent death of a family member or a dear friend is difficult at best. Knowing what to say (or not say), what words would be meaningful to the dying person and to you, and whether it is the right time to say goodbye are among the questions that Bruce Feiler, the author of this New York Times article sensitively addresses. He divides his thoughts into topics: "Say Nothing," Say Something Before It's Too Late," "Say the Obvious," "Say it with Deeds," and "Say it Even if They Can't Hear You." This article makes it clear that there is no one way to say goodbye...and that it is among the hardest things to say.
Caregiving by the Hour?
How often have you wished that you could call your father's home care agency and say that you will need his aide for the normal two hours on Monday, but just a half hour on Tuesday to drive him to the doctor's office. It makes sense to hire someone to help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, errands for only as many hours as an older adult needs help. But, it is rare that home care companies will provide a flexible schedule for these services. This article talks about a company using this approach. The jury is out whether others will follow suit. Would you use this kind of hourly service if it were available?
Planning Fido's Future
Animal lovers take note! If you love your pet like a family member, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests that you consider planning for your pet's future care as though the animal were a real dependent. Under the law, since pets are property, they could easily end up in a shelter—or worse—if you die or are unable to care for it. To help alleviate the worry, the ASPCA is teaming with online legal-documents provider LegalZoom.com to promote the company's Pet Protection Agreement. To learn what that includes, click here.
Facing End of Life Issues
Ellen Goodman, writer of a widely syndicated column, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and nationally-recognized speaker on topics from friendship to feminism, recently had a new assignment: family caregiver. She traces her latest mission, leading a new campaign called the Conversation Project, to her role as “designated daughter” for her mother, who died five years ago at age 92. This campaign includes a "Starter Kit" to help people communicate with their loved ones about their end-of-life wishes...and a website that offers a place for people to share their experiences and learn more about this difficult issue.
Grown Kids Home Again -- A Celebration?
Our fragile economy is impacting a lot of families; for some, it means having their college graduates move back home while they search for work. Many might see this as a nightmare scenario...doesn't graduation mean independence for both the parents and the child? The authors of this article cite research that says this continued connection is not only okay, but it should be celebrated. Grown children benefit greatly from parental help and support, developing clearer life goals and more satisfaction by having their parents stay more involved. Keep reading for the positives of this arrangement...
Their Kids, Their Way
This article has lots of good advice and should be mandatory reading for "newby" grandparents. It provides two "Golden Rules" to follow in dealing with adult children around their parenting. While grandparents undoubtedly have had the experience of raising their own children, it is important that they let the new parents make their own mistakes and keep in mind how it felt when their parents and in-laws offered unsolicited advice. Grandparents that respect their children's desires and choices will be most appreciated...and can play a real role in doling out love and suggestions (when asked!)
Planning for Aging with Dignity
As people age and their health begins to decline, it can be difficult for family members to discuss topics such as personal finances and future living arrangements. A new online guide, "Ten Conversations to Plan for Aging with Dignity and Independence" published by The SCAN Foundation, offers tools to help older adults plan for their future. According to the guide, 70% of people 65 and older will need help with activities at some point in their lives. This useful resource can be accessed in English and Spanish.
Managing Care from Your Computer
Caregiving for parents and other relatives from afar can be a nightmare. Taking care of those who are nearby can be just as difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. It's hard to believe, but help is as close as your computer. Caregivers are in the forefront of those willing to seek resources online, with adults ages 50 to 64, increasing their use of social marketing sites by 454 percent from 2008 to 2012. Among the caregiving sites available are LotsaHelpingHands, Saturing, and CareZone. And if you need respite care in the Philadelphia area, contact Time Out, a program of Temple's Intergenerational Center that can provide students as companions.
This article, written by a woman who never had children and was past regretting it, brings up an issue that lurks in the hearts of those who see their peers spending time with their grandchildren. Grandchild envy! During the child-bearing years, careers, travel, and romances took precedence for many women. But, seeing and hearing about others' grandchildren has engendered a new feeling...the desire to have an adorable little person to hug, play with, enjoy... and give back! If you don't have your own grandchild to spoil, what about finding a child who needs you? You can make a real difference and get all the good stuff, too.