When Parents Get Frail

When parents get frail and your involvement with their lives the journey is increasing, you’ll find invaluable guidance and comfort in these resources.

Click on the images to go to the book on Amazon or go to your independent book dealer.


They are all worthwhile but I’ve placed MY MOTHER, YOUR MOTHER  at the top of the list (instead of in its alphabetical order). It is a crucial guide.  If you have time for only one book on this topic, read this one!


My Mother Your Mother Book coverMy Mother, Your Mother: Embracing “Slow Medicine”, the compassionate approach to caring for your aging loved ones  Dennis McCullough, MD  2009  Walking you through the journey with his own mother, Dr. McCullough outlines what you can expect and how to best manage each step of the way. He explains how to avoid acute painful intervention when it won’t help and provides a practical guide for understanding, caring for and helping those you love live well during their final years.



Another Country book coverAnother Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders Mary Pipher, PhD 1999 As our parents and grandparents grow older, it’s hard to find the words to talk about medicine, forgetfulness, loneliness and the myriad of other challenges. Pipher writes about young-old and old-old clarifying beautifully the different challenges and opportunities of aging.





 A Bittersweet Season book coverA Bittersweet  Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves Janet Gross  2011  A  fascinating book on the current US situation regarding age and care combined with the personal story about the author’s mother.   As a journalist Gross puts her story in the larger context of current health care in this country and how to meet the challenges in ways both wise and loving.






Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent book coverCoping with Your Difficult Older Parent, A Guide for Stressed-Out Children, Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane, 1999  This is an older book but it has been life saving for some adult children!






Knocking on Heave's Door Book coverKnocking on Heaven’s Door, The Path to a Better Way of Death, Katy Butler, 2013 This is one of the books which would fit well in a number of different categories on my website. It is the story of Butler’s journey as she helped shepherd each of her parents through their final decline.

She writes, “We are in a labyrinth without a path.”




No Ordinairy Move Book CoverNo Ordinary Move, Relocating Your Aging Parents, Barbara Z. Perman Ph.D. and Jim Ballard, 2006 A helpful how-to book.






When the Time Comes book coverWhen the Time Comes, Families with Aging Parents Share their Struggles and Solutions, Paula Span, 2009  Disability eventually will come to most of our parents even if it comes later in life than it used to. When parents get frail they may now require a great deal of assistance for a long amount of time.  The author writes “I think of When the Time Comes as a support group in print.

I agree. Thank you Paula.


The SAVAGES Drama 2007 portrays an all-too-common dilemma: after drifting apart emotionally and geographically over the years,two siblings Wendy (Laura Linney) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) must band together to care for an elderly parent (Philip Bosco).