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Practical Insights for Busy Caregivers

Are you a helicopter child to your parents?


October 8, 2018, by

In a recent article in Next Avenue, Gary M. Stern describes how grown children struggle to navigate the fine line between stepping in to help their aging parents and becoming overbearing. It’s such a sticky issue that even experts on aging whom Stern interviewed had a hard time walking this tightrope with their own parents.
“The key is getting involved, when necessary, without overtaking the parents’ autonomy,” writes Stern. Of course, this is often easier said than done. The article goes on to lay out some helpful pointers. 
When having discussions with your parents, it’s often helpful to know what community services are available to keep them safe while preserving their dignity and independence. Our Find Services tool is a good place to start. We list programs and services offered by hundreds of agencies in Ontario that are often of interest to family caregivers. And we make it easy to zero in on resources in your parents’ community. Can’t find a service you’re looking for? Then just visit to see a more comprehensive listing.

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This was so relevant to me. I had a very upsetting exchange last week with my 96 year old mother who broke her arm 6 weeks ago. Initially, my siblings and I did have to take over and arrange care on her behalf without her involvement but then I just kept doing it when she wanted to have more control. I thought she was just being ungrateful for all we had been doing, but really it was a case of her wanting to assert some control. The idea of an expectation exchange is a great idea