Life With Mother: A Journey of Love, Death and Rebirth

Published By: PageFree Publishing, Inc.

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Self-Help

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Reviewed by Connie Anderson

Myriam's mother was almost 100 years old when Myriam brought her home for her end-of-life journey.

This is an important personal story because:

  • The fastest growing segment of our aging population is the old-old (over 85).

  • By 2015, there will be more that 350,000 people over age 85 in America.
  • More than 7 million Americans over 65 will need some help with their day-to-day lives.

  • The average age of the caretaker is 57; the professional caregiver is 42.
  • 72% of caregivers to the elderly are women who also have outside jobs and
    many still have children at home.

    When you bring an aging and ailing parent into your home, the rules…and the roles change as do the expectations. The author said, "It's a hard lesson to learn to be a caretaker, and also to take care of yourself." She walks us through ways to take care of ourselves during this new 24/7/365 challenge.

    The section on getting the elderly (and usually the dying) to eat was revealing. The author explains that "It had become a power struggle between us and death—that the body shuts down and the need for food diminishes. But that we are afraid for our parent if they don't eat so we do everything to get them to eat."

    When our parents lose control of their body, they lose their dignity, and as "their child," this is also hard on us. We grieve a little every day. She reveals that when there is no hope of improvement, many of the services are no longer paid for.

    The resource chapter is invaluable. My favorite line was: We don't always need to be nice with health care workers and sometimes need to be assertive to make sure our parents received maximum care.

    Armchair Interviews says: She advocated for her mother to her dying breath, a task not many of us are willing to take on. Her insights are invaluable and we'd recommend anyone contemplating such a loving gesture read this and other books—so you know!

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