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Call out the Elephant in the Room

There are a lot of complicated emotions that go into the transformation of your relationship with parents as they get older. I have been helping my own mother through managing life post-stroke for 20 years, and it's still messy and evolving. It's hard for a parent to migrate from being the caregiver to receiving the care. The adult kids are also in the firing line when parent's frustrations bubble over. And it can be scary for the parent to suddenly be dependent on someone else to make critical decisions, no matter how much they love them.

A good start might be to acknowledge how weird and scary it is for everyone. Just having someone validate that can be helpful for parents who might be feeling isolated. Try to explain issues honestly and get their buy-in frequently, whenever possible. This is how you build trust. Everything gets easier once you have that.

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