Tip #1: Surrender Diﬀerent from caving, this noTon implies trusTng the process. What might seem irreconcilable can break through wondrously. When my mother passed at 89, my obsTnate father suddenly opened to my cleaning his “hoarders on steroids” home. (Yes, this is a real picture before I was per-‐ mired to intervene.)
Tip #6: Understand what elders are actually going through. Your parents’ “naughty” behaviors aren’t necessar-‐ ily about you. What if they’re essenTally afraid of dying? The unknown beckons. Tired glory-‐day sto-‐ ries may be all they feel is leg. Please accept my parTng encouragements.
Tip #2: Self-‐care is not a luxury but a necessity
Beneath the surface turmoil, you seek to call forth benevolent eﬀort so the best for all concerned is arained.
Exactly when you’re drained, you must recharge. “Extreme self-‐care” doesn’t equal selﬁshness. Nur-‐ turing yourself is analogous to donning your oxygen mask ﬁrst in an airline emergency.
I implore you to not become a staTsTc, though. Do not join the 63 percent of caregivers who expe-‐ rience higher mortality rates than non-‐caregivers of comparable age.
Tip #3: Express appreciajon
Instead, permit me to leave you with these reﬂec-‐ Tons:
ImpaTence incites crankiness whereas kindness raises collaboraTon. What if you expressed graT-‐ • Senior care is a draining marathon. Just when tude for your parents’ posiTve traits – silently or you think you can’t take another step, you will ﬁnd out loud? strength. You may not believe it now, but you will.
Tip #4: Maintain your power
• Profound personal and familial transformaTon is possible through this journey. I’ve healed a signiﬁ-‐ Grace under pressure lowers everyone’s stress lev-‐ cant part of my dysfuncTonal past by transmuTng els. Don’t let exasperaTng aging folks’ amtudes, my loathing into compassion over Tme. beliefs and acTons vicTmize you. No one can • Surprising hidden gigs are embedded within the pinch your competence without permission. back-‐ and spirit-‐breaking hardships. My father Tip #5: Feel all your feelings used his waning days to impart priceless wisdom – lessons that will forever accompany me as his leg-‐ Did you know it’s 100 percent OK to experience acy. so-‐called “negaTve” feelings such as anger and re-‐ sentment? You need not demonstrate Mother Teresa or Papal-‐like dedicaTon to prove you’re a “good” son or daughter.