Offers understanding, support, and guidance for people caring for their aging parents and facing the emotional upheaval that may bring—from taboo feelings to the stark realization of one's own mortality.
With medical science, health care, and healthy lifestyles extending our lifespans as never before, more and more midlife adults are finding themselves caring for their aging parents. This role can trigger not only logistical and financial challenges, but also great emotional upheaval. There is a reversal of roles as the child—often in the midst of raising his or her own adolescent or young adult offspring—becomes the caretaker of the parent. A parent's aging and mortality elicits strong feelings of loss, and a stark realization of one's own aging and mortality. Past, present, and future paths converge, and the caretaker is at the center of that crossroads. Psychologist Praver—a specialist working with such caretakers—shows us their inner worlds, and how they used a difficult point in their lives to embark on a journey of self-understanding and self-transformation—a journey toward a more meaningful life for themselves.
Readers can gain a better understanding of their own lives— and know they are not alone in their struggles to contend with and find powerful benefits from the emotional side of caring for an aging parent. Distress can become peace of mind, as we see in the stories of men and women who sought Praver's help. Relationships that might be weakened by a caretaker role—relationships between caretakers and their children, spouses, and friends—can actually grow stronger with the experience. Profound issues affecting caretakers are shared in this evocative book, which is an enlightening and enjoyable read.