Archives For Seniors

 

A Brief Review of

Working with Aging Families:
Therapeutic Solutions for Caregivers, Spouses and  Adult Children
.
Kathleen Piercy.
Hardback: W.W. Norton ,2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Jennifer Price.

As our population includes many more people over the age of 65, we are forced to address the question of how do we take care of aging people?  Our little nuclear families are not always equipped to take care of aging parents and more often other support is needed, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Our families often include step-children and step-parents in a mobile culture which add to the complexity of caring for our families.  This book provides resources for counselors and therapists in navigating the golden years in the outpatient realm.

In order to get a grasp on this challenge, one must start with understanding the family dynamics and the transitions that older people make.  This book offers help in the aging process in the earlier years of aging, as well as the later years.  It offers examples of families who sought out therapy, with challenges such as, how to communicate with a family member or spouse who has MCI (mild cognitive impairment) or lessons in communication in marriage counseling for the later years.  Piercy suggests, that addressing these challenges sometimes involves psycho-educational  seminars at a senior community center for those reluctant to see a therapist. She offers several vivid examples of therapy sessions that demonstrate how people learn to cope, problem solve, and give resources.  Her research is thorough; in coordinating the care of the elderly person’s families she provices resources for various contexts, both urban and rural.  This can ease the stress placed on families in such situations.  Many times the children of elderly parents like to reciprocate the care they once received, but with health issues it can still be taxing to the caregivers.  Piercy explores complex family situations such as elderly parents who have a developmentally disabled adult child for whom they provide  care.  Another complexity, which is happening more often, is grandparents who are taking care of grandkids whose parent is absent.

Through reading this book these problems are addressed with lots of counseling interventions and resourceful examples for families that are described in a practical manner.  WORKING WITH AGING FAMILIES is a good resource for church families as we seek to care for both our birth parents as well as our older brothers and sisters in Christ.