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Book Review – Let’s Talk About Aging Parents, Laura Tamblyn Watts

This May, Laura Tamblyn Watts released her new book, Let’s Talk About Ageing Parents: A Real-Life Guide to Solving Problems with 27 Essential Conversations. This book is dedicated to helping children and loved ones approach the challenges of caring for elderly parents. Laura Tamblyn Watts is the founder and CEO of CanAge, a Canadian non-profit organisation dedicated to the betterment of elderly people’s legal rights and education and policy research on elder law issues.

Caring for elderly parents can be an immense task. As we grow older, we begin to see the challenges associated with ageing and the increasing vulnerability with our own parents. Issues often occur when parents begin experiencing health issues or issues with capacity, such as dementia. As people begin to lose their capacity and abilities, it can be difficult for children to help elderly parents who insist on their own independence.

This book aims to address some of these complex issues and is split into four parts, namely: the home & long-term care, mental capacity & powers of attorney, love, loss & grieving, and health issues. Each section then delves into the 27 essential conversations one should have with their elderly parent. For example, ‘does my parent require assistance around the house?’, ‘is it time for my parent to stop driving?’ or ‘how should I care for my parent who has dementia?’. There is also discussion on more specific topics such as divorce amongst elderly parents, scams against the elderly and litigation issues like power of attorney disputes.

Each topic is approached in a delicate and easy to understand manner. Those previously unaware of the often-complex subjects such as mental capacity, power of attorney or elder abuse will be better informed and mindful of these topics. Likewise, those who struggle to approach more emotionally nuanced topics with their elderly parent such as moving into long-term care, substitute decision-making, or substance abuse will find great assistance here.

Lets Talk About Ageing Parents is an excellent guide and educational tool to approaching the difficulties faced by Canada’s elderly. This book is helpful to those with elderly parents, those who have elderly people in their lives and even those with younger parents. For elder law practitioners, it provides further nuance and depth to the issues faced by elderly people and how we can better understand, empathise and assist in what are often challenging and complicated circumstances.

Thank you, Laura.



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