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Are Your Parents Driving You Crazy?
How to Resolve the Most Common Dilemmas with Aging Parents
by Joseph A. Ilardo, PhD, LCSW, and Carole R. Rothman, PhD

In chapter 1 of "The Context" section, "Harsh (and Not So Harsh) Realities," you learn why dilemmas can present such a challenge when you try to find ways to resolve them. Excerpts

In chapter 2, "Talk So Your Parents Will Listen, and Listen So Your Parents Will Talk," you read about communication strategies that can increase the chances that you and your parents will resolve the dilemmas together. Excerpts

If you reach a stalemate, chapter 3, "At an Impasse?," can show you how to break the impasse. Excerpts

In chapter 4, "S.U.R.V.I.V.E.," you learn how to keep your sanity throughout the process—by using strategies summarized in the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.E. Excerpts

In "The Dilemmas" section, the authors use a problem-solving model that is divided into two parts. The first part consists of six questions designed to help you clarify the problem you are confronting. The second part provides you with six steps for solving that problem.

This model is applied to twenty-five of the most common dilemmas adult children face with their aging parents (see the table of contents for a list of all the dilemmas). Following are two such dilemmas.

Dilemma 3
My brother and sister won't offer to help take care of Mom and Dad.

Dilemma 10
My mother won't discuss end-of-life issues.

If you want to take notes for your own situation as you read the dilemmas, you can print out a copy of the dilemma worksheet, Notes for My Own Situation.

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