The new book, The Daughter Trap, Taking Care of Mom and Dad…and You, is written with much love by Laurel Kennedy: love for our elderly first, then for those of us who pretty much give up having a life to care for them when they become incapable of living on their own.
Although filled with excerpts from interviews with a cross-section of Boomers, from the youngest to the oldest of us, men and women, those caring for their own parents and those caring for in-laws, all of which serve well to let fellow Boomers know they’re not in this alone (and giving voice to the sadness, frustration, overwhelm, and myriad other emotions that go along with this gargantuan responsibility), what is most useful are her concrete action steps to be taken, resources to be accessed, and social/media discrimination that must be changed.Men still expect women to be the primary caretakers…even of their own parents, and our parents expect that, too; the media is rightly on top of the lack of services/resources for children in need, but still far too often ignore the fact that little exists for the aged and those who care for them. The few progressive/innovative programs that are out there, or trying to start, designed to give our parents wonderful choices for living fully even if they cannot do it independently, get little help or attention.
Boomers have, and continue to, change entire mind-sets, social values, and communal expectations. Laurel Kennedy makes it abundantly clear that this, the way we care for our elders and the emphasis needed on this issue if our society is ever to get to even adequate let alone stellar around it, must be our new fight. Good thing it doesn’t require sit-ins…that’s a little too painful at this point in our lives… It requires instead the use of our formidable influence in government and the halls of commerce, our consistent attention to the issue with the media, and our Boomer-proven determination to right another wrong.
Only we have the power and the ability to make this change; taking elder care from back- to front-burner.
Read Laurel’s book to find out why, and get some wonderful ideas on how, while you glean some very useful ideas/resources for elder-care if you are doing so now, or are about to take it on soon.
Then get on your Boomer high horse and start demanding better for them; in your community; in the nation.
It’s what we do, and our parents deserve it.