I picked this book up at Word Alive this year, and have taken some time over my holiday to read it. Whilst both my parents are currently relatively well, I am aware that this may not always be the case, and I have found this book really helpful in thinking through some of the issues, both for my own situation, but also in considering others who may be facing this particular life challenge.
Emily Ackerman was a GP, and more recently has suffered chronic illness herself. Alongside this she has been faced with the challenge of caring for her own elderly parents, so she is well qualified to tackle the subject. However, she does not just draw from her own experience, but also from friends whose experiences cover a wide range of issues, recognising that no one situation is the same as another.
I found Emily’s approach refreshing, practical, Biblically based and eminently readable. She makes the point early in the book that this is a situation and challenge that the majority of us are likely to face, and yet there is very little preparation or training. At the end of the book she reminds us that as we have a God given duty and privilege of caring for our elderly parents, so as a church family we should also be caring for the elderly amongst us, and for those parent-carers who are part of our church.
Each chapter deals with a different aspect of parent-care, for example: “Some days I want to scream: Dealing with pressure”; “Why do I feel this way? Working with difficult emotions” and “But I’m so far away! Honouring from afar”. Each chapter ends with some questions to ask yourself to help apply the chapter to your own situation.
I found this book so very useful and would love to lend you my copy – however, I will be keeping it to dip back into it again….and again….and again, as and when I need to! But this is a book that I would recommend to any of us since at some time we are all likely to face this particular challenge in one way or another.