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A Time to Care: Loving Your Elderly Parents

By Emily Ackerman
August 2011 | Review by Katherine Glover


Emily Ackerman looks at practical and emotional issues like finding time, coping with pressure, the sandwich generation, cutting apron-strings, memory loss and caring from a distance.

  • Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-84474-487-9
  • Pages: 190
  • Price: $13.17
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Book Review

The changing relationship between adult children and ageing parents is challenging for all concerned. When we were young, our parents did everything for us.

Even in our early adult years, newly-retired parents with time on their hands may continue to do a lot for us. The shadows of serious illness, failing faculties and bereavement have yet to cross our paths. But as the years go by, things change — sometimes suddenly — bringing along new and unfamiliar trials.

Christians will want to respond in a godly way, but how do we continue to ‘honour our father and mother’ as roles change? There seems to be an ever-diminishing sense of obligation in society at large.

Some Christians, on the other hand, go to the opposite extreme of trying to do everything themselves and become burned out through a combination of guilt, worry and overwork.

This book will assist readers to find a biblical path through this minefield. Delightfully written, with a mix of scriptural perspectives, personal experiences, practical advice and humour, this would be a great help to anyone setting out on the road of ‘parent care’.

As I read, the names of many people who would be helped by it came to mind. It will be difficult to decide who to give it to first!

Topics covered include finding sources of help, dealing with pressure, worry and guilt, and how to maintain appropriate boundaries and respect for increasing infirm and dependent parents.

There is advice on handling moves into residential care, the special challenges of caring for someone with dementia, and facing terminal illness and death. Lots of other sources of advice and information, both Christian and secular, are listed at the end.

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