“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” — Chili Davis
Ron and I love public television. It’s very rare that we watch the commercial stations…we just want the information, not product pitches.
One Sunday morning, we were watching a show that was created by AARP and originally aired on WGBH in Boston (I believe it’s Channel 21 here on Long Island). The beginning of the program focused on how to start the caregiving conversation with a loved one. It was followed by a 30-minute panel discussion led by the medical correspondent, Dr. Art Ulene. Guests included two experts on caregiving, Hugh Delehanty and Elinor Ginzler, who are the co-authors of the book Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide.
I can’t tell you what a wonderful program this was. It provided so much information for those who are at every stage of caring for a parent or loved one.
I would definitely recommend the purchase of the aforementioned book. Moreover, I would highly recommend getting the DVD, which can be purchased online at www.shopwgbh.org. That will allow you to experience firsthand the emotions expressed by those interviewed and learn about their individual struggles in the caregiving process.
The important thing to bear in mind is that you are not alone as a caregiver. A wide variety of resources are available, starting with the National Family Caregiver Support Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The main thing to remember is that you need to care for yourself as well; it’s not a journey that you should undertake “solo.”