The Complete Eldercare Planner

CURE, Fall 2009, Volume 8, Issue 3

The Complete Eldercare Planner guides families through caring for loved ones.

Coping with elderly parents has to be one of the hardest tasks we tackle. Whether the difficulty comes from changing roles with competent, caring parents or trying to find it in our hearts to be caregivers to parents who were less than loving, every child approaches the task with a different history, support, and financial situation.And just as there were no classes for our parents to figure out how to raise us, there is no easy way to look at managing this very critical time in the natural transition.

This is why The Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help should be in every household. Joy Loverde begins the book, which is really a workbook, by explaining that every family facing eldercare is unique and how one family approaches the task may not work for another; therefore, they need a plan.

With this beginning, she moves through the process with lists of questions and worksheets, which are large enough to write on, for every step of the way. (Loverde provides the forms for free on her website at www.elderindustry.com/downloads.html.) In the planning chapter she begins by addressing goals and how to set them. From there she has chapters on building a care team, how to take care of yourself, communicating with parents and others, keeping track of documents, and being prepared for issues involving money, insurance, housing, safety, transportation, medical care, quality of life, and death and dying. The resources section is divided into categories of books, websites, and organizations. There is also a subject index, which sounds like a small thing, but it’s important for quick reference.

I am always intrigued by an author’s motivation, and I found Loverde’s in the back of her book where she talks about the day when she, as a teenager, arrived to volunteer at a nursing home and left with a mission. It is one she has served well, as she herself has become an elder.