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Transcript: Chat With AARP President Rob Romasco on Caregiving

Missed the Dec. 11 conversation? Read the transcript

Comment From Melissa: I take care of my mother, who is a stroke victim. She has to have constant care. She is mobile, but my question is how can I encourage her to get better? She had nurses coming in at first, but I can't seem to get her to do anything for herself, like her exercises. She gets mad at me. I get depressed myself and I have found that the only thing that helps me is to exercise.

Rob Romasco:
Hi, Melissa. I appreciate your question and especially your concern and frustration. It's one we often hear.

You might consider another outside resource – such as an adult day health care program. These centers can help provide socialization for your mother, which could include exercise.

Another benefit: it might give you a break.

To find more information on these centers, visit eldercare.gov or call 800-677-1116.

Comment From Cynde:
My father is ill. He is currently caring for my mother. In the near future my mother will need another care option. What should I do while both parents are still alive to take over her care?

Rob Romasco: The great news, Cynde, is that you are starting to think about this now, before it becomes a total crisis for you as you try to manage the care for your mother and father.

The best time to start talking about a plan is now, and there may even be ways that your father can get help in his caregiving duties.

Here is a great article on how to start that conversation and get organized with your caregiving plan.

Connecting with Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov) might uncover some services and supports in your father’s area that he may not be aware of!

While we're on this topic, let's talk about those sensitive conversations that I know about from personal experience and from many of my friends.

The first is having that sensitive conversation with your mom or dad when it's time for them to move into a more-supportive environment.

That could be either assisted living or in with another family member.

The second hardest is with your siblings – your brothers or sisters.

No one wants to feel guilty for abandoning mom or dad.

How do we work together to get to a good place with everybody?

I've been down this path too.

It's challenging, but worth it. Here's a few resources I hope can help: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/housingoptions/ and http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-12-2011/siblings-disagree-on-parents-care.html.

AARP: Well, I think that is all the time we have.

Rob Romasco: This has been a great session with great questions.

As you can see and read, lots of different issues – from how to have a conversation about the car keys, about care – that are never easy, but important.
Each of us has had these challenges.

They're difficult, but inevitable.

That's why AARP has created a whole set of resources and tools to help you. (www.aarp.org/caregiving)

It's about dignity and purpose for each of us – the ones we love, ourselves and our families.

Remember you're doing important work, difficult work – and you're not alone.

You can replay this chat event and watch the questions and answers again and then we'll post the transcript.

I encourage you to visit us for more information at www.aarp.org. Thank you all for joining us!

AARP: Thank you all for coming and many thanks to Mr. Romasco for the great chat.

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