A few years ago, it became clear my husband’s parents (who were almost as old as my grandparents) would no longer be able to live in their home out-of-state. That was the beginning of a couple of extremely difficult years trying to homeschool our daughter, while my husband tried to work a demanding job – all while caring for his parents who we had moved into a nearby assisted living facility.
We had no guidebook. My husband was an only child and my parents had not had this experience with my grandparents. We were exhausted and clueless. It never felt like we were making the right choices. And we were blessed that my in-laws could even afford assisted living! I can’t imagine how we would have managed those first two years without the help of assisted living and then Hospice.
If you have recently found yourself in this position, do yourself a favor and read the new book The Caregiving Season by Jane Daly. I know you don’t think you have the time or energy, but I urge you to make the time. Daly has obviously walked this road herself. I found myself identifying with almost every scenario in the book. Because she has been there, she gives you the permission to feel natural emotions, while still encouraging you to act and react in godly ways.
Faced with trying to take away the car keys? Feel manipulated to jump at every whim of your parents to the possible detriment of your own children? Worried about depression, physical and mental decline, money, scams and all of the other things that often come with helping aging parents? This book will help you navigate the emotional and spiritual side of things.
This is not a step-by-step book for understanding Medicare (seriously, it was very difficult to ramp up an understanding of in an impossibly short amount of time and even after several years, I still don’t think I totally get it) or how to choose the best assisted living facility or caregiver. The ironic thing is you can eventually find a lot of help with those things.
People are much more reluctant to give you the permission to feel the wide variety of emotions you will experience and help guide you how to be godly in the process. I found that in some ways that was what we needed the most. (I still feel sorry for the first sweet lady at Hospice who had to listen to me bawl as she offered to help us manage everything.) Having someone like Daly tell you that you are not a horrible, sinful being because you feel manipulated or a host of other negative emotions is worth its weight in gold. Yet, I appreciate Daly is not afraid to help you draw boundaries for when those feelings could begin causing you to make ungodly choices.
There are probably other helpful books out there for those who suddenly find themselves navigating the intricacies of helping aging parents. This is one I would highly suggest you add to your reading list.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.