Health and Wellness

Hope, Healing and WellBeing

Mary Treacy O'Keefe

Hope, Healing and WellBeing – Caring for Elderly Parents with April Fan, RD, CD

In this episode of Hope, Healing, and WellBeing, host Mary Treacy O’Keefe interviews April Fan, a registered dietician who works with senior citizens and is committed to helping adult children take better care of their aging parents.  O’Keefe and Fan discuss several of the issues facing caregivers today and how to cope with them.

The fear of being a burden to their loved ones runs strong in many elderly parents.  “Sometimes they start to hide or deny that they need help or find it tremendously difficult to ask for assistance,” says Fan, addressing this troubling issue, adding, “It’s really our job to find out what is going on in their hearts.”  Fan then details the 9 Questions Everyone Should Ask Their Elderly Parents before it’s “too late.”

Learn “why caring for aging parents on your own is dangerous to your health and what to do about it.”  Learn how to address your parents’ living situation.  How to find a good nursing facility.   Learn how to put together a plan over time.  And how to handle the situation if you live far away from your parents.  Fan encourages early–and frequent!–communication with elderly parents and dishes out practical tips and advice for adult children in all stages of the “Should I or Shouldn’t I?” parents-into-a-nursing-home dilemma.

Fan also discusses the resentment many senior parents feel about “role reversal” (they were telling you what to do your whole life and now you’re telling them what to do!) as well as the difficulties that come with raising children of her own while attempting to be a caregiver to her parents.

O’Keefe also brings up the “Magic Bullet” mentality that many caregivers have when it comes to seniors and food.  “We [think we] can give them a can of Ensure or whatever [and they’ll be fine],” says O’Keefe.  Fan displays her skills as a dietician and tells why a “food first” mentality is important when making seniors as comfortable–and healthy!–as possible.

From food to family to living arrangements, April Fan has the answers.  Tune in!