A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BAR…. How Companies Can Help Aging Seniors, Boomer Caregivers, and Their Siblings Deal with a New Family Passage
Monday, April 18, 2011 at 01:18PM
YourParentsToo

 A woman walks into a bar—after work.

True story. …well… except for the part about the bar.

She needs a drink…bad! But, instead of lifting a glass or three, she goes home and calls me, a consultant on family dynamics in the multi-generational Boomer/Senior family.

“I’m desperate,” she says. “Every day after work I go to my Mom’s and help her out, and I have to spend the night because my own house isn’t close enough. My job is so demanding that I’m overwhelmed. I’m stressed and can’t focus. Some days it’s all I can do to drag myself into work. My mom won’t let me hire anyone; she only want me. And my brother is useless. I feel totally on my own!

This woman, whom I’ll call Julie, is just at the start of what will be a long journey in which she will confront not only huge emotional and practical issues around eldercare but dilemmas over finances, legal powers and much, much more.

Julie is your prospective client. She is one of the 44 million people in this country taking care of a parent or older relative. That number, growing larger every day, presents huge opportunities for companies that serve the Boomer/Senior populations.

In researching my book, They're Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging, I identified a family passage that's new for Boomer children and the seniors who are their parents.  It comprises a period of up to a decade in which adult children, their siblings, and their parents have to interact intimately and intensely and make decisions together about how to meet the needs of the aging parents—in ways that will also work for the adult children and their siblings

FAMILIES HAVE NO MODEL for how to do this: They are desperate for guidance on how to interact with each other and to make decisions in many areas:

            °ELDERCARE... including

                        Home Health Aides

                        Senior Living Options

                        Technology, Home adaptations and many other areas

 

            ° MEDICAL  DECISIONS, including

                        Choices of drugs and devices

                        End of Life treatment

 

° FINANCIAL MATTERS, including

Who should have a parent’s legal powers when the need arises—and  how those powers should                          be  used 

                        Estate planning and inheritance issues

For companies in the aging arena, these family dilemmas present opportunities to present themselves as having this desperately needed expertise. I like to help them reframe these family conversations in constructive and productive ways that also position these companies as thought leaders.

The need is desperate. The prospects for addressing it are huge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on YourParentsToo.com (http://www.yourparentstoo.com/).
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