Independence and the Stay-At-Home Mother


Becoming a mother is a defining experience. In less than a year a woman's body is transformed by pregnancy, her limits are tested by labor and she is overwhelmed by the all-encompassing love she feels for her child.

In the midst of this turmoil, a woman must make a decision that will have a profound impact on her baby, her partner and her own sense of self: Should she return to work or stay home?

Transitioning a Relative into Your Home


My aunt took in my grandmother for several years. My mother said it was "really hard on Sis." I am sure that is an understatement.

Still, what about Grandma, wasn't it hard on her too? She was leaving her home of many years, the home she had been in when Grandpa was alive. She lost contact with familiar faces, places and scenes.

To Tell a Story


He'd been telling the stories for years. When I was younger, it seemed as if I had far more important things to do then listen, but oftentimes they would catch me unawares and I would be swept up in the events and lives of people that I only vaguely knew or didn't know at all.

Some were delightful and some were dramatic, all were compelling. Maybe because they are my history too. Maybe because as my father related his stories of the depression or the war years I saw in them the stories of our country.

Talking About the Future


Talking with your aging loved one about difficult issues like finances, housing, or the impending future is never easy. Generally, both parties are in denial--your elder and yourself. Even when you can foresee what is going to happen, it's often human nature to look the other way with the hope "it" will resolve "itself." Unfortunately, a crisis situation can be created which possibly could have been avoided.

Parenting Your Parent


If your parents are unable to care for themselves, it is often an unavoidable feeling. While you tie their shoelaces, change their diaper and help them walk, it does feel like you are now their parent.

Regardless of the circumstances, you are not, and never will be, their parent. Although many of the same techniques work when dealing with them (such as distraction while performing a task), viewing the relationship between parent and child as reversed is potentially dangerous to both of you.

Managing Your Elder's Medical Care


Managing the medical care of your elder is one of the most important aspects of caregiving. The elderly are commonly plagued with several chronic illnesses, and finding good medical care for common problems, and specialty care for the rare conditions may seem like a job unto itself.

Making Arrangements


One of the toughest things about living with my parents is the thought of not living with them. The realization that, the older they get, the closer we get to a time when they won't be there for me any more. I try not to be morbid about it, but every now and then I find myself obsessively reading the obituaries in the newspaper, checking the birth dates, and hoping for that elusive sense of relief that I feel when I discover (more infrequently these days) that all the people listed were born ten or fifteen years before my parents.

Living with Parkinson's Disease


Four years ago, on Valentine's Day 1995, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Back then, we didn't know what to expect--how fast would the disease progress? How would we know when it was time for him to begin heavier medication? How would we know when the disease was entering a new stage?

Housing Options


Burden, worry, concern, distress, trouble, stress, anxiety, problems: If these are part of your vocabulary when the subject of caring for the elderly comes up, you are not alone. These are very real and need to be addressed no matter how much you love Mama or Papa. There is much involved in caring for the older person in your life. It involves medical, financial (money really does matter even in matters of the heart), legal, emotional, and physical needs.



Hospice (from the linguistic root of "hospitality") originally meant a shelter or place of rest for weary or sick travelers on long journeys. Hospice supports patients by helping them manage symptoms and live their final days with dignity at home, or in a home-like setting. Approximately 90 percent of patient time is spent in personal residences, while some patients are cared for in nursing homes or hospice centers.


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