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04 May 2010

Book Review: They're Your Parents, Too! by Francine Russo


Title: They're Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy
Author: Francine Russo
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN: 978-0553806991
Genre: Non-Fiction

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From the Publisher:

Your parents are growing older and are getting forgetful, starting to slow down, or worse. Suddenly you find yourself at the cusp of one of the most important transitions in your life—and the life of your family. Your parents need you and your siblings to step up and take care of them, a little or a lot. To make the right things happen, you will all need to work together. And yet your siblings may have very different ideas from yours of what’s best for Mom and Dad. They may be completely uninterested in helping, leaving you with all the responsibility. Or they may take charge and not allow you to help, or criticize whatever help you do give. Will you and your siblings be able to reach an understanding and work together, or will the challenges you face tear you apart?

Most of us enter this period of our lives unprepared for the difficult decisions and delicate negotiations that lie ahead. This is the first book that provides guidance on the transition from the “old” family to the “new” one, especially for adult siblings. Here you’ll find practical advice on a wide range of topics including

• Who will make major medical decisions, manage finances, and enforce end-of-life choices if your parents cannot? And how will this be decided and carried out?
• How will you negotiate caregiving issues and deal with unequal contributions or power struggles?
• How can inheritance and the division of property, assets, and personal effects be handled to minimize hurt feelings and resentment?
• How will you cope with the natural reemergence of unresolved childhood rivalries, hurts, and needs?
• How can caring for your parents be an enriching experience rather than a thankless chore?
• Most important, how can you ensure the best care for your parents while lessening conflict, guilt, anger, and angst?

Written by a veteran journalist who chronicles life and how baby boomers live it, They’re Your Parents, Too! offers all the information, insight, and advice you’ll need to make productive choices as you and your siblings begin to assume your parents’ place as the decision-making generation of your family.

Filled with expert guidance from gerontologists, family therapists, elder-care attorneys, financial planners, and health workers; resonant real-life stories; and helpful family negotiation techniques, this is an indispensable book for anyone whose parents are aging.


My Review:

As we age, so do our parents and for many of us there will come a time when difficult decisions must be made. Fortunately, Francine Russo thought of many of the issues that will arise and offers up some practical advise about how to deal with these issues and the feelings attached in her book They're Your Parents Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy. Russo carefully lays out each section of her book, dividing it into four sections consisting of eleven chapters dealing with issues ranging from who will care for the parent in question, the difficulties that can arise in role changes, how to get along with siblings and the rivalry from childhood that can re-emerge to the despair of watching a loved one succumb to dementia. They're Your Parents Too! is a practical, insightful and caring look into what many of us are or will be facing in the near future and Russo is offering the reader guidance in how to overcome many of the obstacles and handle the emotions that may come up when planning to care for one's parents. They're Your Parents Too! is an excellent resource tool that everyone with parents should have in their library.

I received a complimentary copy of They're Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy by Francine Russo from Meryl L. Moss Medi Relations, Inc. for review. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.

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4 comments:

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I've seen my parents dealing with this and it certainly is something to think about. Interesting book.

Becky (Page Turners) said...

This sounds like something pretty relevant for me at the moment. I am only 26 and my mother is 52 but she is already reaching a stage in her life where she increasingly needs looking after. My younger sister has just moved overseas to live and I am worried about what will happen.

Michelle said...

I'm not quite there yet, but it sounds like a good book to read when I am.

I am going to have to scroll through your reviews to find some new reads.

I am currently reading a book about Elizabeth Tudor, and have nothing waiting in the wings. :)

Happy reading!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

My siblings and I recently went through this, and I am so glad that my mother had the foresight to set up a trust ahead of time, which very clearly divided things up. I was the only one living some distance away, but it helped that my brother and sister had to keep me in the loop because of the legalities of the trust.

Now, in anticipation of what my kids will face in the future (hopefully not for a long time!), I've set up my own trust.