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Book Reviews

As Parents Age

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Ilardo has written a step-by-step philosophical account of the aging process, and a practical guide which will help adult children and their aging parents deal with specific areas of concern. The author, a psychotherapist and educator, includes checklists and stresses including parents in discussions of decisions such as moving to a retirement or nursing home or making end-of-life choices. He suggests ways for adult children to deal with changing roles in the family, and feelings of denial, disbelief, resentment, impatience, frustration, guilt and shame not only with their parents but also with their siblings.

Older readers could learn needed steps for making their homes safer and barrier free, and how to organize living wills and other end of life directives. The final chapter brings closure by discussing the impact of death on the survivors. Sometimes overwritten, the book includes case studies and chapter summaries that are perhaps too brief and the proliferation of models and tables evokes a textbook-like look.

Nonetheless, As Parents Age provokes a welcome examination of a prickly subject generally avoided, and a blueprint of what to expect by the adult children of aging parents, defined by the author as 65-75.

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