My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What can you expect when your parents draw near to their later years? Are there any way-points that can help you navigate this period and keep it from becoming a dark time in your relationship with your older parents? Dick Edwards draws from decades of experience in eldercare and shares it with the reading public in this 155 page softback. It is written for folks from all walks of life, and is a solid resource.
"Mom, Dad...Can We Talk?" unfolds in fifteen short chapters that cover a number of subjects. Some chapters prepare readers for what is before them, and how it may affect them. Others talk about family dynamics, the ways these play out, and how siblings can learn to communicate with one another, especially between those who are giving immediate care and those who are at a geographical distance. A few sections present ideas on how to address sensitive issues with their older parents, as well as suggestions on how to make these final years rich with memories. Truly the book "looks at roles and relationships among family members. It acknowledges and respects family history to help gauge present-day expectations. It identifies areas of potential difficulty as well as areas of potential pleasure. It asks you to stop and think, to anticipate, and to start the conversations with your parents and those who care for them" (2). Some chapters may well bring you to tears, as they did me. Others will lift your heart. And several will get the wheels turning in your head and heart.
My wife and I read this book a few years ago and have found the insights and suggestions deeply meaningful. They helped us navigate a few minefields, and have given us a good sense of how we can be a better son and daughter during this new season. As a Christian minister, I have recommended and handed out this book a number of times to parishioners who now find themselves with older parents. I even have several on our church book table for easy access. I think it might also be a good book for older parents to read so they can begin looking at their last years through a healthier perspective where they can make this season in life a more memorable and pleasurable time for their adult children. I simply cannot recommend this book enough! Snatch up a copy for yourself and all of your siblings, read it, mark it up, talk to each other about the chapters, and begin preparing for the adventures ahead. You will rejoice that you did!
You can purchase a copy here: "Mom, Dad...Can We Talk?"
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