Preventing Clever Elderly Scams & Frauds and The Psychological Consequences

Excellent articles plus key ways to Help Independent, Proud Elders
Avoid Feeling Foolish,

Ashamed, and Possibly impoverished
2016 and ’17 updates

Most of us would quickly get rid of an email requesting we send money for a friend whose wallet was lost in London. We’d recognize the scam immediately. But there’s a more insidious ploy with serious emotional consequences for older people, that I was unaware of until I read the just-received November issue of ConsumerReports.

Scam artists and con (wo)men targeting seniors is not news.
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What is news is reading about the personal, emotional damage to elders–in addition to financial loss. “A Crying Shame-Seniors and their families lose $3 billion a year to con artists. What can we do to stop them?” arrived in our mailbox Thursday.

These scams/frauds are so carefully conceived and executed that it’s easy to understand how aging parents–indeed all elders and possibly some of us kind-hearted souls–could be sucked in. The well-documented, personal stories of the emotional fall-out–that I, at least, was unaware of–is compelling.

Coincidently–or ironically– two pieces of seemingly scam mail arrived in the same mail as our ComsumerReports, addressed to now-deceased Sr. Advisor R. We changed her mailing address to ours, eliminating the forwarding time so we could attend to her things in a more timely manner–all categories of mail now come.

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(Apologies– I automatically tear off around name and address before recycling so had to reconstruct a bit for these photos. Click to enlarge.)

Above, a “2015 Final Notice” requesting contact info in order to pay off (nonexistent in R’s case) debt; asking if credit card debt was a minimum of $6500, as well as amount of debt.These people at the CA address would get name, address, phone #, + credit card #. A nightmare in the making.

The second seeming-scam, a first notice: “PACKAGE SHIPMENT ON HOLD” –perhaps more clever with an Official Delivery Notification For (fill in name).  Jewelry “valued at approximately $325” is waiting to be delivered. There’s a $12.95 shipping charge.Call the toll-free number.  “A valid Visa or Master Card is required.” There’s no way 101-year-old R ordered jewelry before her death months ago. ‘Nuf said.
IMG_4626IMG_4625Think about clicking this link (and do watch the short video), to read, then print out the ConsumerReports article so it can be shared with every elder we care about…or buy the magazine. It’s heartbreaking, but understandable, to read how these very savvy-seeming older people concealed vulnerability and involvement from family..

Self-image is so important. No one wants to feel stupid. Elders may fear risking independence and no longer being considered responsible if they admit to being deceived. Can we be certain our smart older relatives are immune to falling for a very clever scam?

A face-saving way of addressing this subject with elders: Start with the “I need your help” phrase, saying you read this article and ask them to read it–and if they think its information is as worthwhile as you do, share the article with friends. We can go a step further if we want and suggest that if we hadn’t read this article’s exposé, we too might have been duped.

As we try to help parents age well, we need to stay ahead of the game, don’t we.

Related: Click link from Consumer Report–excellent article: https://www.consumerreports.org/personal-finance/5-ways-to-stop-senior-citizen-scams/

Click link from the National Council on Aging–especially note about “nomorobo” at bottom:https://www.ncoa.org//top-10-scams-targeting-seniors  

 

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely tips, information and research from top universities. respected professionals and selected publications–to help parents age well.

Tailoring the Holidays for Elders’ Needs

Some aging parents are lifted by the excitement and activities of Christmas; for others there’s overstimulation and stress. And at some point, for all aging parents, there’s a slowing down. Do we notice this? Can/should we do something?

Indeed, the holidays can be tricky for some and need to be simplified for two groups: aging parents/elders and those with Alzheimer’s. (See Related below for latter.)

There comes a time when aging parents and elders we care about can’t do what they used to because of aging-related conditions. I ran the preceding sentence by our Sr. Advisor, Dr. Bud, MD, (psychiatrist) asking for his thoughts.

‘”The consequence of aging is difficult to process. You (older people) feel weakness, frustration–less and less in charge. Your expectations of yourself to perform at a certain level leave doubts.” For example: “It can be a struggle to articulate thoughts and responses, causing frustration and fatigue from trying.” …And hearing–“You keep hearing loss hidden because it’s embarrassing. A joke is told, you miss the point because you don’t hear; yet everyone’s laughing so you laugh to hide your (hearing) deficiency. it’s embarrassing to expose weaknesses in oneself.”

As I listened I gained new insight–realizing why some elders I’ve known, who appear to function well one-to-one, begin to drop out of the “social scene.” It seems to come down to at least 3 age-related conditions:

1. Less tolerance for confusion
2.  Changes in energy level
3.  Pride

Knowing this, we can offer the support and do some of the “tailoring” so the holiday festivities provide less stress and more fun as parents age.

Confusion: Too much going on can be confusing. Think: holiday events–too many people to remember, too many conversations to pay attention to; too much energy in the room; too much noise–makes listening difficult. The solution: Encourage small festive gatherings of friends and family. They work best.

Dad enjoyed people, regardless of number. He held a high position in the Hospitality Industry and loved speaking at large conventions (introduced Ronald Reagan at one). Yet, in his later years, he slowed down–preferring fewer people, more easily-heard conversation. On short notice he (in his early 90’s) let us invite his friends for New Year’s Day 6 months after Mom died. We were visiting, made the suggestion, and offered to make the calls and bring in the food. Around twelve elders (88-90+) arrived that afternoon–ate, talked, laughed, watched TV. Our effort was minimal (Trader Joe’s everything) but their enjoyment was great. An easy way to lift spirits at the start of a new year on a small scale.

Similarly Sr. Advisor, R, remarkable at 97, had an unusual amount of energy for her age–even after her recovery from broken hip surgery. At 99 she was rationing her energy–declining invitations to go out two days in a row and avoiding large holiday parties. Shortly after her 100th birthday party, at her insistence a smallish affair–just family– she lost the “oomph.” Doctors say her health at 101 is “excellent for her age,” yet she uses lack of energy as her reason for staying home. She controls– has tailored the holidays as a time of giving to others. She no longer wants the festivities.

Energy: Older people’s energy declines. “Energy is always a problem,” according to Sr. Advisor D, now 89. She says sometimes it’s necessary to “pick and choose” what you’re going to do and it’s often dictated by the energy involved.

For example, this year she didn’t attend her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, an hour’s drive away. A family member could easily take her and bring her back. Just recovering from a bout of something, she said she didn’t have the energy to make the effort.

Do we realize it takes energy to have conversations? The need to quickly remember things and people can cause stress. It also takes energy to dress especially nicely to go out. It takes additional energy if a long drive is involved.

No-longer-driving elders are dependent on someone for transportation, which creates an additional obstacle: if they  want to go home early for any reason, they don’t want to impose on their driver, according to Sr. Advisor, D.

One solution: Someone (their friend?) drives elders to the event. They can call you on their cell phone if they want/need to come home early. We’re not talking about an every-night responsibility. Most likely an available family member can handle that responsibility during the holidays. ls this payback time? Isn’t this what parents did for us, should we have needed to leave a party early when we were teenagers? Of course, they may decide to stay and go back with the person who brought them.

Pride: Older people may not want friends and/or former colleagues to see any lessening of themselves.

One 90-year-old with advanced macular degeneration, for example, declined all invitations to large social activities, rather than risk the embarrassment of misidentifying or not recognizing people she knew.

While we can’t tailor large parties, there’s a solution so those with low vision can feel comfortable going. Several older people with macular degeneration go to parties with an early detection device– a good friend or family member who stays with them and discretely whispers in advance “Here comes Sally.” Can we be an early detection device for low-vision elders?

If this works for the President, who has people standing behind him quickly whispering the name and position of the person coming up to greet him at events, why not use this “crutch” for aging parents who have low vision and even those with bad memories?

After all, connections with others help older people age well. Isn’t that our goal?

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.


Related: 
Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s blog. Especially read comments.
                For Elders Who No Longer Drive at Night: Suggestions for enjoying the Christmas lights

Aging Parents: Control and Respect–Do We Inadvertently Mess Up at Thanksgiving (and other times)?

                                        You may have received the Thanksgiving forward below–or not…

In any case, I share it. Supposedly it’s from a grandmother. Disregarding its length and the possibility that a non-grandmother created it, it conveys an important message–irreverently highlighting elders’ values–exaggerating basic, irksome things younger people, whether adult children or beloved grandchildren, do. Even if we don’t get caught up in the specifics or the humor, the need for elders to have control and respect comes through loud and clear.

I’ve become even more keenly aware recently. For Senior Advisor R, now 101, life has become hard work. There may be no other 101-year-old in this country who still lives alone in her own home of 65+ years, getting regular help only 4 hours a week from a cleaning person. Admittedly neighbors on both sides and across the street discretely watch out for her 24/7. I’ve written about this previously. They treasure her.

Maintaining control–basically of her well-being now, is her occupation. She wants to do things her way and resents what she considers interference from us or anyone else.The elasticity of her younger years is gone. Yet her appreciation of and concern for others continues and has always endeared people to her.

She is frazzled by anything that disrupts her routine–no deviation unless necessary; no unasked-for gifts (clutter); no surprises or unannounced visits–even from her 2-year-old great niece (her home is not childproof, she values her possessions); or from her son coming unexpectedly to do an errand she requested.

She considers it disrespectful.  She calls it “thoughtless” for people to take it for granted that she’s home so they can just drop in; or they talk too long on the phone, tiring her out because she can’t gracefully end the conversation; or they leave a gift on her doorstep that’s heavy (for her) to lift or requires additional care on her part. (Avoid giving any box filled with styrofoamish “peanuts.”)

Self-esteem. Dignity: so important in aging well. Being respected reinforces self-esteem. With a shrinking network of contacts, as people age, there’s a loss of the positive feedback from others that most of us regularly get often without even realizing it. We do a job well (we know and so does our boss or the people we do it for); we get the compliments; our dog greets us as if we’re the best person in the world.

And of course there’s the need for control, for feeling independent. ‘Nuf said.

Grandma’s Letter

Dear Family,

I’m not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.
Dinner is at 2:00. NOT 2:15. NOT 2:05. Two 2:00.
Arrive late and you get what’s left over.
Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.
Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.
Now, the house rules are slightly different. This year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.
House Rules:
1. The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.
2. The “no cans for kids” rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.
3. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.
4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.
5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That’s nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That’s why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy… look at me. I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.
6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.
7. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.
8. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.
9.Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.
10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?
11. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn’t have to be difficult.
12. Dominos and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.
13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.
14. In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.
I really mean all.
Love You,
Grandma

“Many a true word has been spoken in jest”–from an old adage

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.

Aging Parents: Do We Help or (Inadvertently) Diminish Them–3 Self-esteem

Good job!” How often parents say this simple phrase to their children. Good parents praise and reinforce self-worth. No elaboration needed. What is needed is the reminder of how easily self-esteem can be unwittingly undermined in the elderly–be it by strangers, acquaintances, or family members.

Is it due to assumptions people make about older people?
Is it that a well-meaning phrase, used to show affection, is actually belittling to a proud elder?
Is it that an unthinking remark, in response to an elder’s age-related issue, hurts?

Assumptions

While Katie’s mother, at 85, had mobility problems, her mind was excellent. When she went places where much walking was involved, she preferred a wheel chair. Katie–a perceptive daughter–realized the wheel chair caused receptionists, sales people, and other strangers to aim conversations at her, not her mother. Katie quickly and nicely told them they needed to speak to her mother, not to her.

That said, we don’t always catch the disrespect in time. I took my m-i-l, then 99, to a specialist when she visited NYC two years ago. We sat in his office on one side of the desk, he on the other with her X’ray images on his computer. My m-i-l sat across from him. I was farthest away on her right. He could look straight across at my m-i-l, but turned to me when he spoke. The words to nicely make him aware, didn’t come to me fast enough. I heard my m-i-l’s voice–strong and clear–saying something like: “Dr., I pay the bills for my care, please direct your remarks to me.”

Older people who have learned to stand up for themselves, speak up. But whether they’re take-charge elders or “shrinking violets,” the result is the same: they feel belittled, disrespected. My m-i-l would not go back to him regardless of how skilled he was. She still brings up the experience and it was over two years ago.

Affectionate Expressions and Informality Can Convey Disrespect 

While Katie was a pro at deflecting disrespect, she too had a surprise. She took her mother to a bridal shower. While they were not seated at the same table, Katie could see her mother was animated and engaged in conversation throughout the afternoon. On the way home Katie asked about the girl her mother was talking with. “She was insulting,” was the response. Katie was taken aback. It seems they had a “very nice conversation,” but when it was time to leave the girl said “It was so nice talking with you, Grams.” “Grams?!” Katie’s mother had felt equal, not old; and no amount of explaining that this was undoubtedly a friendly expression, could placate Katie’s insulted, aging mother.

Unwanted informality can also cause problems. I remember a representative from a California college who came to speak with our 12th graders. Looking at her watch, she mentioned to me the 3-hour time difference and her worry about her elderly mother who had undergone difficult surgery the day before.

She explained that her mother was a strong woman, accustomed to being treated with great respect. If the hospital staff used the “honey-sweety” language, she feared her rather helpless-after-surgery mother would feel lessened, and her will to embark on the difficult recovery process ahead could be affected. “She needs to be called Mrs–not even by her first name…that’s too familiar,” said this college rep.” She planned to phone the hospital as soon as the morning shift was on duty to alert them.

Mrs. M (who died at 104) had one child–a dutiful son. While not needing hospitalizations until she  was 100, her son quickly realized that she would not cooperate with staff she decided was “beneath” her intellectually or otherwise. When she was given a room, the first thing her son did was to apprise the staff that she should be called “Mrs. Miller.” Things went perfectly for those who did. We won’t discuss the fallout when they didn’t.

Unthinking responses

On the other hand, Bebe, another strong woman who said her daughter was the best, admitted she had one complaint. Being somewhat hard of hearing, but not yet needing a hearing aid according to the audiologist, Bebe related a common occurrence that emotionally “hurt.” While she knew it wasn’t purposeful, she said it happened time and time again.

Bebe and her daughter would be having a conversation and Bebe would ask a question (that no doubt she’d asked before). Her daughter would say something like “Mother, this is the second time I’ve answered that question” or  “This is the second time you’ve asked that question.” Should we call attention to elderly parents’ imperfections–like hearing or benign forgetfulness– when they aren’t threatening life and limb?

It’s a delicate balance–physically and emotionally—where aging parents are concerned. There’s so much we can’t control. Yet we can try to control unthinking responses that tip that balance and cause hurt.

The flip-side is finding ways to help aging parents feel good. Praise, compliments, acknowledging past things we’ve learned from them, asking for advice–all raise feelings of self-worth………. as we try to help parents age well.

http://insidesantosguardiola.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/fdsfgd.jpg

 

Check out:“Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.

Aging Parents: Do We Support or (Inadvertently) Cripple Them?–2 Independence

AGING AND INDEPENDENCE

The second way we inadvertently cripple elders can be deceptive. We think we’re being helpful when, in actuality, we don’t allow elders the independence they have and need to age well. Are we all guilty of this?—–more or less?

We don’t think of it that way. That’s understandable. We’re younger, stronger, quicker and possibly impatient; while older people are weaker and slower.  Those who are going to age well have learned they need more patience to compensate for their age-related changes and continue life as they’ve known it. Independence is fragile.

Is it safe to say we’re all guilty of interfering with our parents’ independence at one time or another? When we’re busy–because of our other responsibilities to work, family, caregiving–it’s perfectly normal to want to get it done and move on, rather than wait for an older person to do it at his–or her–slower pace.

Some elders fight this, like supremely independent, energetic Eloise. At age 85 she and her husband, Earl, moved to a one-story private home in Delaware to be nearer their daughter and her husband. The adult children helped with the moving in since there was much lifting involved. But there came a point when Eloise decided the help was encroaching on their independence. Eloise told her wonderful, tuned-in-to-older-people daughter (who told me): “Your father and I are not ready for role reversal yet, when we are, we’ll let you know.”

Some older people like Eloise, have the moxie. We all know them and many live long, busy lives. They ward off unwanted help; they maintain independence to the last breath. (Eloise died in her sleep in her own bed at 95.)

Most older people aren’t Eloise, however; and we don’t want to cripple them with kindness or unnecessary efficiency. If aging parents accept dependency we’re the ones who will have the burden as they will rely on us more and more and more……

Is it dogmatic to say “Never do for aging parents what they can do for themselves?” Perhaps. Nevertheless, it’s an important concept to keep in our minds.

Last post in this series, Aging Parents and Crippling Self-esteem, (it’s pretty widespread, not necessarily by us) will be published tomorrow or Saturday.


Related: “Is Helping Aging Parents Always Helpful? 

Check out:: “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.

Aging Parents and Memorial Day 2014

  MEMORIAL DAY–MONDAY MAY 26, 2014

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Can we look into the hearts of old people?

Things change. Values change–both at a rapid rate. It’s part of today’s world and we deal with it. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the impact on our elders as we continue with our busy lives. A one-minute video, with no spoken words, looks into the heart of a WWII veteran.

In the old days the name, Memorial Day, and date, May 30th, were carved in stone– or so I thought when I was a girl. I didn’t know that before WWII Memorial Day had been called “Decoration Day,” although I remember hearing that name. The 1968 Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed “carved-in-stone” dates to days that would allow for a 3-day holiday weekend and took effect in 1971.

We’re accustomed to the 3-day weekends. We take the opportunity to get away for a short vacation. Some think Memorial Day is the start of summer. We have family picnics. There are fewer parades. In our hearts and minds we respect the holiday, see the flags flying, know “Fleet Week” has arrived in New York. But, unless we have family in the military, I doubt we can tap into what Memorial Day means to those who have served–especially those who served over a half century ago, still possessing the memories (told and untold) and the pride.

While that which old people hold dear is disappearing faster and faster, it remains in their hearts. I want to try to remember that as I interact with the elders in my life. Most of us won’t have that special commonality we see between grandfather and grandson in the aforementioned video. We have not experienced their experience.

That said, whether our older family members and friends are enjoying a family picnic, lying in a bed at home or in a care center, Memorial Day offers another chance to bring them pleasure, a chance to enhance their sense of self-worth by showing an interest in their past or asking about Decoration Day.

And for us, we may gather some wisdom and learn some history (possibly priceless family history), while doing our part to help parents and our elders age well. Another win-win!

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
George Santayana. The Life of Reason, Vol 1.

Changing often: “Of Current Interest” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.

 

 

Help Parents Age Well: “The Worst Advice for Family Caregivers–Parent Your Aging Parent” Forbes blog 9/4/l3

The belief that we become parents to our parents has always seemed so disrespectful. We are always our parents’ children. They are always our parents. Even if not a biological relationship (eg. adoption), there’s the emotional component of being a parent or a being child, that endures.

Howard Gleckman, currently a resident fellow at the Urban Institute, and a Forbes blog contributor posted the following on the Forbes blog:

The Worst Advice For Family Caregivers: Parent Your Aging Parents

In the always-complex, often-painful world of family caregiving, there is no worse advice than this: When your parents need help, you must reverse roles and become their parents.

Here is the reality: If you are the adult child of an aging parent, you will always be their child and they will always be your parent. They may need your help with the most intimate personal care. But you will never become their parent.

I saw this all the time when I was researching my book Caring for Our Parents. I had the opportunity to spend as long as two years with people who needed assistance and their family caregivers. I saw heartwarming successes and sad failures. Often the difference was the ability of adult children to understand their role.

I was thinking about this after seeing Courtland Milloy’s column in this morning’s Washington Post describing his experience as a long-distance caregiver visiting his parents in Louisiana.

He wrote, “Some elder-care experts say that when aging parents stop acting in their best interest, the grown children must “reverse roles” and simply make them do the right thing.”

As he learned, this advice is so wrong on so many levels.

To start, what is the “right thing?” Who are you to decide what is right? As a matter of law and, I believe, ethics and morality, each of us gets to decide the “right thing” for our own life, as long as we are cognitively able and our choice does not harm others.

A wise man once said it like this: “When I was 22, I did some things my parents thought were remarkably stupid. But I was an adult and they were my choices. Now, my parents may be doing some things that I think are remarkably stupid. But they have the same right to make mistakes as I did.”

Put yourself in the position of an aging parent. As you become physically frail and cognitively limited, you lose control of your life. All those day-to-day decisions that healthy people take for granted—when to go to the movies, when to eat, when to walk across the room and even when to go to the bathroom—are increasingly shared with others. It can be embarrassing and demeaning.

And it is why a big part of frail old age is about maintaining independence and respect.

Now comes your child. He may be 50 years old, but he is still your child. And he is saying, “Mom, you’ve got to go to the doctor. You’ve got to stop driving.  You’ve got to move to assisted living.” He may have just parachuted into town for a few days. He seems rushed and impatient. And you, who on some level still view your son as the 18-year-old who left home to go to college, are resentful, embarrassed, and maybe even angry.

Needless to say, this is not a great environment in which to make decisions.

What’s the alternative? As much as possible, share decision-making. As the adult child, never start any sentence with the words: “Mom, you’ve got to.…” Instead, try, “What do you think we should do….” Help them choose.  But work together as much as you can.

Of course, if a parent or other relative is emotionally or cognitively incapable of making decisions, you may have to step in. But that is much less common than many suppose.

To his credit, Milloy finally got it, despite starting out with that awful “reverse roles” advice.

Like the proverbial bad penny, this parenting your parents business keeps coming back. Years ago, when I was writing for Business Week, an editor suggested a consumer caregiving column. It would be called, you guessed it…Parenting Your Parents. I told her I’d love to write the column but the name had to go. That was the last I heard about the idea.

And let’s hope this is the last any of us hear about the worst advice a family caregiver can get.
*                        *                        *

Help! Aging Parents’ philosophy has remained constant on role reversal. Unless aging parents’ actions threaten life and limb (our parents’ or anyone else’s), and assuming parents still have a good mind, we remind ourselves we are their children and act with due respect.

There’s a delicate balance here, especially when certain life-changing issues, like driving, are involved. Granted people (old and young) can be stubborn and irrational. Yet there are ways to accomplish our goals and remain respectful, given that our parents still think clearly.

When frustrated, sharing our concerns and getting help from geriatric social workers or our parents’ doctors makes sense. They’ve no doubt heard the frustrations many times before and should be well-equipped to help us deal respectfully and effectively with aging parents.

Related: ARPS’s http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/transportation/we_need_to_talk/ Driving Discussion Seminar

New: “Of Current Interest”(right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities about cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.