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The Life Transition Blog

New Book For Adult Children With Aging Parents


A just published book for adult children and their aging parents is "The Daughter Trap: Taking Care of Mom and Dad ... and You" by Laurel Kennedy. This is a valuable resource for all adult children, daughters and sons alike. Ms. Kennedy bases her work on hundreds of interviews with baby boomers in the thick of caring for their parents and the anecdotes help to illustrate her key points and make the work come alive.

The first half or so of the book frames the problem. While this section doesn't introduce much in the way of new insights, it does effectively capture the issues faced by so many who care for aging parents and summarizes many of the important studies and resources that have been published on this important topic over the past few years. At the end of each chapter, Kennedy has a section of "what we've learned" where she tries to guide the reader on actions they might take or things to think about. Some of this tidbits are more helpful than others. For example, at the end of Chapter 4, Kennedy writes, "When you need outside help -- ask for it." This sort of feels like motherhood and apple pie. On the other hand, in the wrap up of Chapter 6, Kennedy wisely opines, "Acknowledge your limitations and those of your family. Develop a plan B if caregiving becomes overwhelming to the detriment of your life..."

The second portion of The Daughter Trap focuses on solutions and here is where Kennedy forges new ground. For example, in Chapter 9 entitled "It Takes A Village", Kennedy does an excellent job of bringing her readers up to date on the various initiatives underway to explore alternatvie senior living models and later chapters focus on ways that corporate America can make a difference and technology solutions that are needed.

Kudos to Kennedy for this well researched work. For those who are well versed in the issues of baby boomers and their aging parents the second half of the book provides some "aha" moments. For those who are just getting involved with this critical demographic reality the first half provides a thoughtful overview.
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