It’s 3 AM and the neighbor calls. Your dad left the house looking confused and rumpled more than twelve hours ago and no one has seen him since.
It’s 3 AM and your sister calls. She thinks it may be time for your parents to consider a retirement home. Can you tell them? You’re so much better at that sort of thing.
It’s 3 AM and you wake up worrying.
Author Laura Tamblyn Watts understands these late-night worries. Not only are her own parents in their eighties—she’s also spent her career informing others about aging people’s needs. Here, she transforms her experience into a handbook of practical advice on doing the right thing while caring for an older loved one.
Watts addresses every aspect of elder care, covering living situations (at home or in a retirement or nursing facility), mental changes like dementia, money management, complicated family relationships, and changes in physical ability. She has advice for everyone, whether they live far across the country from their parents or right nearby. Whether they’re involved in their lives a lot now or haven’t been in contact for years. Whether they’re an only child or one of twelve kids.
Tough issues like mental health, addictions, abuse or neglect, estrangement, an “unsuccessful son in the basement,” second or third marriages, and divorces are all covered with grace and humor that make this tough stage of life seem a little easier. With Watts’s help, getting informed and making a plan will stop 3 AM worry sessions for good.