Your mom had a fall. Your dad is becoming more forgetful. Your folks change the subject whenever you bring up future plans.
You feel like you should DO something but you're not sure what. You want to "honor your parents" but aren't sure how. You feel like you're in a fog, or like a deer in the headlights. You feel confused, maybe even overwhelmed or paralyzed.
This is not how you are, normally. This is all new.
Someone to talk to.
For a whole hour; focused on YOU.
Someone to bounce ideas around with.
Someone who can provide perspective.
Someone who can help you prioritize.
And help you make a PLAN.
I can help.
I've been doing executive coaching for years. I've seen the kinds of things that you are dealing with. I can help you take your jumbled ideas and make them actionable. I can stand beside you and support you. I can share resources and ideas, but even more, I can help you see what resources and ideas you already have, and how you can put them to work.
Coaching Adult Children of Aging Parents
For the past several years I’ve been doing executive coaching: helping people with career changes, special projects, time-management, people management, etc. It’s always the same kind of process: you can read more about it on the the page, “Taking Your Jumbled Ideas and Making Them Actionable.”
Recently I realized, through my own personal experience and that of my friends, that people with aging parents can also benefit from coaching.
As our parents grow older and start to need us more (whether they think so or not), it’s as if we just got a new job, and not necessarily one that we applied for or trained for. It’s multi-faceted, and may seem to change from month to month (or day to day). And it often calls for specialized knowledge (e.g. Medicare rules, housing options) that we don’t necessarily have.
When a person finds him or herself dealing with multiple priorities and a bunch of unknowns, hiring a coach can help.
In a typical coaching session, my client "dumps out" all of their thoughts on the table, and together, we organize and prioritize them. I help people figure out how to bite off what they can chew and how to find resources for further support. Clients have told me that they come away from their coaching session feeling more organized, confident, comforted, and hopeful.
I’m not a therapist. Nor am I a doctor, a lawyer, a senior housing expert, or a medicare expert. But I’m familiar with the wide range of concerns that adult children of aging parents might be experiencing, and my job as a coach is to listen with empathy, cheerlead with energy, and facilitate your organized thinking. (I can also give referrals to specialized experts.)
A NOTE about who benefits from coaching: Coaching involves working together to generate possibilities and explore and experiment with new resources and also new ways of thinking and acting. This may not apply to you, but I’m including it just in case it resonates:
Clients who benefit less from coaching are those who get stuck trying to change their parents. I cannot help you change your parents. But how you respond to your parents and situation has the potential to create profound changes in your own experience. Among adult children of aging parents, there is much that we cannot control, but that doesn’t mean we are helpless to change our situation.
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Would you like to get some coaching? Or do you have some questions about the process? If so, please contact me by calling me at 303-886-5116, or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my Contact page on this website.
I just met with an “Aging Coach” about my situation. She helped me plan and look at options. It was exciting to meet with her because I knew I needed help organizing my thoughts and making a plan.
I just met with a supportive and engaging coach about my situation. We explored the challenges I encounter with my elderly parents, particularly in how to navigate more delicate topics. It was helpful to meet with her because I could discuss the topic of my parents in a continuous time frame, as opposed to the choppiness of these discussions with my spouse or sister.
I just met - with my sister - with a coach/ advisor/ consultant about my situation. She listened to our concerns and helped me see new perspectives of my situation. It was helpful to meet with her because she was more objective than I am about my situation.
We just met with a process facilitator/coach about our situation. She listened to my brother and me explain the big picture and also the immediate details about our aging mother who has dementia. She acted as a sounding board and guided us to use our own skills and understanding to make clear to us what the real priorities were. This made our choice suddenly seem simple! From there, we decided upon a strategy, and decided who would take care of which parts. It was helpful to meet with Maggie… It’s like we couldn’t see the forest for the trees, but she made it a more enchanted forest so we did not have to feel so intimidated and overwhelmed. Or, to use another metaphor, Maggie helped us see that we were already wearing the ruby slippers on our feet.
I recently met with a life coach who is expanding her business to help people navigate all of the unknowns about living with our parents as they age, all of the challenges and questions that come up. For which none of us have any answers or guidance. I enjoyed meeting with her because she is a third party with no skin in this game, who I can bounce things off of and compartmentalize my own thoughts and expectations. And to help me come to my own conclusions about all of the questions that pop up.
“Certified Senior Advisors (CSAs)® have supplemented their individual professional licenses, credentials, and education with knowledge about aging and working with older adults. It is recommended that you verify the validity of any professional’s credentials with whom you conduct business. Be sure you completely understand what those licenses, credentials, and education signify. The CSA certification alone does not imply expertise in financial, health, or social matters. For more details visit: www.csa.us”