Tag Archives: parents

Healthcare Decisions for Our Parents and Us

In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Mikkael A. Sekeres, a cancer specialist. told of his first meeting with a 97 year-old patient. The elderly man had recently moved into an assisted living facility in Cleveland in order to … Continue reading

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Conversing With Dementia

I recently read a Next Avenue interview with Jonathan Kozol, author of the memoir The Theft of Memory: Losing my Father One Day at a Time. Jonathan’s father Harry, a psychiatrist and neurologist, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his late 80s … Continue reading

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Dad, Descartes, and Dementia

My dad’s dementia worsened over the course of several years. It was quite disturbing to see his memory loss, confusion, difficulty expressing himself, and inability to perform even simple tasks. The changes in him raised questions for me, questions which I … Continue reading

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Are Elderly Parents an Emotional Weight for Their Children?

I recently wrote about medical ethicist Ezekiel Emanuel’s Atlantic article explaining why he doesn’t want to live past age 75. I left off without having discussed one of his contentions, that living a long time can have a negative impact on … Continue reading

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James A. Ritzema, RIP

You’re never ready. My dad had heart surgery 25 years ago, carotid artery surgery 13 years ago, and memory problems for about 10 years that eventually cascaded into severe dementia. Three months ago, he reached the point where he was … Continue reading

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“Can You Spare Me a Dime?” Getting Ready For the Journey.

My mom and I were my dad’s primary caregivers as dementia gradually chewed at his mind. I helped them in their home for almost two years, until, at last, my mother made the difficult decision to have dad admitted to … Continue reading

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The Death of a Parent

In January, the New Yorker website had an excellent (though rather long) article by novelist Mark Slouka on the effect that his father’s death had on him. He describes himself now as “orphaned at fifty-five, nobody’s son, trying to plot … Continue reading

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Interview: Caring for an Elderly Parent

As discussed in a previous post, in 2012 39% of adults in the U.S. served as a caregiver for an elderly family member. The numbers of caregivers are expected to increase as the population ages. I sat down recently to … Continue reading

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Meeting Our Parents, Again

Jan Wilberg, blogging at Red’s Wrap, wrote a beautiful post recently in which she imagines traveling back in time and meeting her parents before they became her parents. She then performs a sort of time travel by reflecting on a … Continue reading

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How Well Do You Grant Your Parents Independence?

I found an interesting observation by Harvard professor James Wood in his recent  New Yorker article on memoirs written by the children of several mid-twentieth century writers.  Wood notes, “To bestow on one’s parents their independence is also to announce … Continue reading

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