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Why Wait? the Baby Boomers' Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent's Death Paperback – September 13, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A timely, thought provoking page-turner that should be considered a desk reference for caregivers and those who would be caregivers of all ages."
-Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., Regional Vice President, AARP

"A personal, compelling account. It is thorough, accurate, and highly credible. Brent's straightforward advice can serve as an excellent help to anyone in the situation of working with siblings on parent care. I highly recommend it!"
--Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R.N., attorney, author of The Boomer's Guide to Aging Parents

"As a pastor and counselor, I endorse Brent's book as an excellent resource. I recommend it for inclusion in all church libraries, homes of family caregivers, and the offices of pastors who work with people who care for aging parents."
-Rev. Dr. Mary Newbern-Williams, Pastor, Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church (St. Louis, Missouri)

"It takes real courage to reveal your darkest hour and deepest vulnerability to benefit others. Brent is truly inspirational. Her book offers us the universal wisdom of her life lessons. She has set a new, elevated standard for turning adversity to love and redemption."
-Mikol Davis, Ph.D., geriatric psychologist, CEO of AgingParents.com

"As a pastor, physician, veteran, and one who was also a caregiver and suffered loss, I know Carolyn Brent has stripped the cover off of one of life's most painful processes. Why Wait? challenges us to take an honest look at our deepest fears and rejoice in our hope of true reconciliation."
-Charles Woodridge, M.D.

From the Author

According to Senior Journal, there are over 79 million Baby Boomers in the United States. Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. The parents of Boomers in their late forties have reached their sixties and seventies. Boomers in their sixties have parents already in their eighties and nineties. The point is, if you're a Boomer, then preparing emotionally, financially, and legally for your aging parent's end-of-life needs and death is increasingly relevant. The need for planning has become even more imperative than it was in decades past because our aging population is living longer, but not necessarily healthier; meaning, we are confronting a different set of medical concerns and choices than our forbears did.

For the elderly, now is the time for conversations about end-of-life issues to take place with their children, not later. And if your parents don't bring the subject up, as a concerned child you should. I call these conversations "crucial" because the outcome matters. I like the definition of a crucial conversation in the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler (McGraw-Hill, 2002). These co-authors say a crucial conversation is one in which opinions may vary, stakes are high, and emotions run strong. Tough issues are being addressed and the results have a huge impact on your quality of life. If crucial conversations are done effectively, they transform lives and can help a family to bond.

Why wait to begin talking? Why wait until there is a crisis? It is much better to hold these crucial conversations early when your parents are still healthy and can articulate their wishes, needs, and concerns. When a family has a plan, it is much easier to work together as a team.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: GrandPa's Dream (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615475019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615475011
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Reviewed on FEBRUARY 1, 2015 | Self-Help
Library Journal
Not limited to addressing the needs of Alzheimer's patients, this compact manual from Brent, founder of Caregiver Story and Grandpa's Dream, two nonprofit organizations geared toward providing comprehensive support for caregivers, walks readers through the crucial issues of moving their aging loved ones into an assisted-living facility as well as discussing emotional, medical, legal, and financial issues with them. Checklists are provided for gathering important information. A particularly helpful chapter delves into the frequent dilemma of dealing with the loved one's resistance to even talking about these issues. VERDICT An excellent, comprehensive guide to everything both new and seasoned caregivers need to know.

Carolyn Brent, also known as Carolyn A. Brent is an American author, elder care legislation advocate, and inspirational speaker. She is best known as the author of the best-selling books, The Caregiver's Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself and Why Wait? The Baby-Boomers Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent's Death. Brent is also the founder of the nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory and Grandpa's Dream.

Brent travels throughout the United States, lecturing about the importance of adult siblings and their parents having what she calls "crucial conversations" in preparation for the end-of-life issues they may face. One of her special skills is helping families avoid being torn apart and helping families come together as a much stronger family unit. As a result of her work, families have the opportunity to create the type of supportive, loving environment their parents need in order to depart this world with dignity.

Brent's passion was ignited when she was caring for her own father, who was diagnosed with dementia in 1997. From that experience, she found that neither she nor her family truly understood the medical challenges related to aging and chronic illness, or the financial and emotional weight of these issues on the family. In 2009 she founded her organization, Caregivers Story, which works to disseminate information through books, speaking engagements and a web-based info portal, to empower families who are being challenged by the need to plan for their aging parents' medical, financial and legal well-being, as well as dealing with their own heartaches and intra-family dynamics.
Having herself been a victim of "vexatious litigation" initiated by a family member while caring for her father, she has become deeply involved in the national movement to change laws to protect long- term family caregivers from similar malice.

On February 19, 2013, Brent testified before the California State Assembly's Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care. She told the state legislators her caregiving story, emphasizing the fact that her "father's wishes were stripped away from him" because a baseless legal action was launched against her and urging them to take action to stop this practice. She is currently working with the legislature to put forward a bill that would make vexatious litigation a felony. The bill is slated to be enacted into law in 2015. After that, Brent says, "I plan to take my reform across the country, to all the states my daddy defended while fighting for our great country. If you wish to help, contact me at my foundation, at CareGiversStory.com. I've got to change the laws. I've dedicated my life to this."

Brent's professional background gives her rare insight into the complex medical issues facing seniors and their families. For seventeen years she worked for some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. As a clinical education manager for Pharmacia, she worked with key opinion leaders in the medical field. In her role as a senior therapeutic sales representative for another major pharmaceutical company, Novartis, she provided information to doctors and staff on a variety of subjects, including health care plans.

Brent has worked as a volunteer at various assisted-living facilities, including the San Joaquin Behavioral Health Evaluation Center. Since 2008 she has volunteered her services to the United States Congress, doing advocacy work for frail and disabled individuals. In 2008 Brent worked alongside Congressman Jerry McNerney in California in the effort to make the Veterans Administration responsible for protecting disabled veterans' decisions about the appointment of a fiduciary representative in the event of their disability. Other issues she is committed to resolving are vexatious litigation, reforms to Medicare and Medicaid that will bring financial relief to seniors, and the elimination of profiteering at assisted-living facilities.

Brent received a B.A. in business administration from National University in Los Angeles, California, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix in Pleasanton, California. She resides in Orlando, Florida.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maryam A on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book could not have been available at a better time! Its a step by step guide that really touches on areas that families don't really want to to talk or think about. Its really a great book for not only us caregivers and siblings, but also for our parents. A must have in every home! Very Helpful and informative!!Thank you for putting this amazing book together and for all of the great things that you are doing to help and empower seniors and their children as they go through their final golden years!
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Format: Paperback
In "Why Wait?" Carolyn Brent boldly addresses all the topics nobody wants to talk about, but absolutely must. This book is a goldmine of information not only for Baby Boomers facing the challenges of caring for their own parents, but also for children of us Baby Boomers as we begin to replace our parents as the older generation.
~ Lynn Serafinn, marketer, coach, author of The Garden of the Soul and The 7 Graces of Marketing
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lookingnpolitic on October 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book for preparing your family for end of life decisions. It explains the do's and don't about the importance of living wills, trust, and power of attorney. It is a guide for babyboomers who need a tool to use for caregiving. It is a must read! Please pick up a copy on the launch date of Nov. 15th. You can even purchase a copy for your friend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jem on October 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Why Wait? A solid straight forward book with a sibling's loving perspective to help family, friends, love ones and others who care for the elderly prepare for the inevitable--life ending care of a loved one. If you have thought about this sensitive topic, this book will help you move forward to put those affairs in order.

Jay - MPA, Training Manager, Veteran,
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Irene Conlan on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a book that is long overdue and is a must read for those who have aging parents as well as for the aging parents themselves. This book is filled with the wisdom about caring for aging parents that comes from experience and with the compassion that comes from love. Brent walked the path first and then wrote about it in an effort to help others avoid some of the pain,confusion and pitfalls she had to experience in caring for her aging father.

Our society has kept the subject of death and dying hush-hush. It wasn't a subject we talked about as if not avoiding it would keep it from happening to us or our loved ones. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross brought it to the forefront with her revolutionary book, On Death and Dying in 1969. Since then many books about grief and grieving have been written and many websites are dedicated to the subject of grief.

There is little available, however, on how to prepare for your care when you begin to decline - becoming unable to totally care for yourself. Furthermore, there is little available to help your loved ones prepare for your decline and death. Carolyn Brent helps you find ways to do this kind of planning together BEFORE its to late to have a viable discussion.It isn't ever pleasant but it is absolutely essential.

Brent covers such subjects as finding an acceptable long term care facility and what is expected from them and what they expect from you. She details caring for them in your home. She helps you approach the discussion about money issues, end of life directives, and care for the body after death. She talks openly about family upheavals, jealousies, interference and ultimatums. She gives encouragement to the caregiver and offers great tips on how to be a caregiver without ruining your own health in the process.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Meshelle Holt on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Why Wait is a must read for all not just Baby Boomers. This book is a page turner that offers a wealth of information. It will truly inspire you to have the necessary conversation(s) with parents and siblings before it's to late as well as communicate your wishes with your loved ones.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Attention-Matters on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well needed! This is one subject that we do not want to address until it is (almost) too late, by then, we have done ourselves and our families a grave injustice! I love how the author offered guidance by telling her story. This book made me think of things that I would have never thought of before. Though my parents are no longer here, I am dealing with end of life issues for another relative and the information is very helpful. I would highly recommend this book to everyone! It helps us deal with our own mortality. Thank you for writing this and sharing your story.
Margo
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Order your copy now! Why wait? This book is very well written and empowers one to embrace end-life
concerns with competency . I read it right from my phone; experiencing a page turning look
into someone else's life as I considered my own. I am an aging "sandwich" caregiver. Going forward
I will use this information as both, a caregiver and to secure end-life concerns as I look
forward to growing older :)
Thanks for putting this book in the Market ePlace.
Love, Marsha
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