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How to Relieve the Stress of Caring for an Aging Parent: Amy O'Rourke at TEDxOrlando

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In a world where growing older can mean entering into a complex and confusing maze of difficult choices, Amy O'Rourke stands out as a passionate advocate for the elderly and their families. As founder of Cameron Group Care Management Services, she prioritizes quality of life and helps families and elders navigate the challenges of aging while supporting vital lifestyle preferences.
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Laura MiPe (16 hours ago)
This Ted Talk is not helpful at all, it only made me feel even worse about my situation. I am 33, my husband is 35. For 10 years he has been taking care of his mother, 68, after three strokes. His dad passed away 12 years ago. When I met my husband I knew about the situation, accepted it and have been helping him since we got married two years ago. At first it was easy, I remember she used to have a routine, she was still able to do sertain things like wheeling herself to the kitchen and preparing a sandwich. Over time, as she got used to me being around, she became more and more dependent. She just decided she was afraid of walking with a cane and that was it, she doesn’t do anything without us helping her and it hasn’t been easy at all. I even had to quit a job job that I loved and started working from home because it is easier if she needs me. My mother in law is not just physically dependent, but also tries to live life through us, or at least that is what I feel. If we want to do something she wants to do it too, if we say something she has an opinion about it, if we want to travel she wants to travel with us. We can’t even invite people over because she wants to be part of it too and sometimes it is just imposing and embarrassing. For me it is challenging because most people who go through this are a little older, have lived their lives, are more stable and my husband and I are still quite young and wanting to do things differently. She is also much younger than most “aging” seniors but she is just physically dependent. He has talked about taking her to a senior community but it just makes me feel guilty and like I am the problem, so I always say no. We want to do so much but we both feel trapped. We don’t even talk about having kids or not because this situation will only make it more difficult. I feel I need guidance and understanding and this video only made me feel even more guilty.
J Y (6 days ago)
this whole comment section is complaining about dealing with abusive and toxic parents and how this video isn't helpful. I would suggest to them to google or youtube something with the words:" Abusive and toxic parents." This isn't a clickbait video, this title literally says ONLY "Aging parents."
Darlene DeVegan (10 days ago)
You obviously haven't worked with people then I have severe problems
Irando Irfan (11 days ago)
I like your video . Thanks you. (irfan binhus)
vita lule (14 days ago)
Very kind
BreeZ Place (18 days ago)
I have a 9 and 11yr old and a mother with ALS. I’m drowning in trying to care for everyone. I promised I wouldn’t put her in a home. I expected caring for her when she was older but not 64 and paralyzed😢
Robbie Jay (21 days ago)
I like the theory of “being forced to slow down”, if I could train myself to think like that then maybe things would be easier. It’s still exhausting though regardless of how positive you force yourself to be, eventually it will wear away at your mental health; to anyone going through it, don’t blame yourself for having negative thoughts or showing any signs of stress, it’s stressful.
quaz imodo (28 days ago)
Thanks for that. I'm looking forward to learning more about aging. Just turned 70. My Mom is 97.
Raji Vellore (28 days ago)
Amazing speech! What an eye opener !
NikNik480 (1 month ago)
My dad is 79 now with some health issues. Just thinking about him dying makes me feel some type of way. He's pretty grumpy, but he's my best friend. I don't want to leave him and I don't want him to leave me. Hoping for more years to come.
Roli Jain (1 month ago)
Omg did you say 10 years off after kids goto college. Then responsibilit for parenst begin??? If you had spent everyday of your life knowing, caring for your parent even when you were a teenager, then it geta easier and easier to BE THERE. Your kids who are 22 and move out can actually do 80 percent of labor in taking grandparents care and you can spend 20 perecnt. That is what families are for to GROW TOGETHER. There are no slots, periods, right time for a family to grow. Everone nurture each other. Unless the phrase " we are free without kids and without parents to do whatever " changes....nothing is real
Roli Jain (1 month ago)
I wished you talked about how much time it takes to take care of elderly, how much money you loode and how much health problems come to the caregiver due to stress. You are lost . No clear story herw to inspire or relieve
Frani Dance (1 month ago)
Sorry I got to 9.38 ad couldn't listen anymore as hoping to get stress relief instead of ground rules. I doubt Hilary Clinton or Condilica Rice were stay at home carers.. Find this all a bit irritating as so stressed I feel like screaming!!
Judgment Proof (1 month ago)
Not all seniors will necessarily decline physically and mentally to the point they can't take care of themselves. I knew someone who actually ran his own horse farm and did everything for himself, he even drove well into his old age until his kids finally decided to take the keys. I thought it was kind of odd because he never had no problems driving anytime I ever rode with him and I've had some riding time with him. It's just something you know whether or not someone is safe and people can easily be missed judged when really they're trying to be safe and they're totally legal. Let's say you go 3 to 5 miles under the speed limit, that's totally fine but some people may say you drive slow when really they're the ones more likely to get a speeding ticket. You may have someone up in age who drives just fine and as long as they pass the exams then they're legal to drive. One good thing to keep in mind is if they own their home or even if they rent it, as long as everything is on the first floor and easily accessible they should be well able to age in place and live out their days at home
Susan Marie (1 month ago)
I thought this was about helping caregivers like myself with my parents of helping with stress? this lecture mentions nothing about it
karen franklin (1 month ago)
thank you so much
margaretsville (1 month ago)
I care for my dad, who is 91 and refuses to get a hearing aid. The stress that this creates is more than you would think---- many mis-hearings and mis-interpretations and the hurt feelings and confusion of everyone involved just because he didn't hear what someone said. It's a real problem. And the constant blasting of the TV and radio. Anyone have any advise?
MJ T (1 month ago)
Nope. Can't help just sympathize.
Mustang MD (1 month ago)
Hi, Please seek assistance with the NAMI (National Alliance for the Mental Ill) 1-800-522-9054; also please call 211 from your home phone or cell. Advise you need some assistance with caregiving for a parent/ parents. They should be able to assist. Find the local chapter for NAMI in your area. Please be encouraged. Take care & God bless. Find a support group in your area to assist and reach out to local church groups also. Try to be as positive as possible, read and listen to positive audiobooks. YouTube Encouragement for yourself. Seeking a Counselor or LP Therapist will help too. Be Encouraged 🙏
Getthefuckoffmylawn (2 months ago)
I've been taking care of my father for the last 2 plus years with major heath problems solo. No siblings live nearby. The stress has become unbearable and too much. I just want it to end.
MJ T (1 month ago)
"I just want it to end." Exactly how I feel. I don't recognize myself anymore.
TheWheelofLife100 (2 months ago)
This is the price we pay for living longer, our bodies have a cut off point, but with modern medicines keeping us alive longer, our cut off points are being stretched to the limit to the point our bodies start to break down, no one wants to die, but no one wants to suffer either.
Getthefuckoffmylawn (2 months ago)
TheWheelofLife100 exactly
Rupinder thind (2 months ago)
This talk should be for young parents to slow down when you raise your kids. We rush our 2 year olds as we r getting late for work. These old parents raised us with rush and now we have to change for them? . If parents raise their kids keeping in mind that one day they want these people to take care of them it will make a lot of difference. Parents yell at their kids - this becomes their default behaviour and it comes out when parents depend on them.
Cool (2 months ago)
Inaccurate title. She does not address how to relieve the stress facing caregivers. She gives valuable insight into what the older person is going through.
Mina Mi (2 months ago)
This is why ppl need to talk more openly about euthanasia !
Michael Chin (3 months ago)
Amy, you just gave me approval on how and why I am such a great caregiver to my mom. It has been ten years since my mom had a stroke. Left her left side paralyzed. I am so grateful I am in the position to help her. In return she has made me feel so good about myself. We do live in a fast paced world and she is a reminder to me that we need to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. I believe we have more Ying and Yang in our lives because we have each other. Thanks for your video. Too many here are lost to what you are trying to say. I can tell from the comments that many in this situation are frustrated and need to vent. Not easy being a caregiver. Most challenging situation anyone can be in but can be the most rewarding too.
JoeD60 (3 months ago)
Man did I like watching that! I was caretaker for my grandfather and my mother for 14 years.
R J (3 months ago)
I just wasted 15 more minutes of my life watching this. This information was useless for caregivers. When do you tell us how to relieve the stress? This sounds more like a recruiting video. I understand that you have 30+ years working with the elderly. But when it's time to clock out. You go back to your regular life. Things that make you laugh, things that feel good to you, things that you enjoy. However you unwind or shake the day off. Some of us don't have that luxury. Some of us eat, sleep, and breath our ailing parents. NO time to focus on yourself, "your" health is changing, "you're" fatigued, Your whole world is being consumed by this dying person and "their" unwillingness to accept reality. Most of us aren't even medically/or professionally trained to be caregiver, Doctor, Priest, cheerleader, life manager, overall breath of life! More seniors than you think are closed-minded and rigid and have very toxic ways of thinking and expression. You love it? I don't! It's the most horrific experience I have had yet. It's suffocating and it built off of guilt. "Oh no! I must be a bad person to put my parent in a nursing home. Even though their status is way beyond my level of expertise and I can't go into the casket with them. I HAVE NO LIFE NOW. It revolves completely around the next calamity, bed changing, food prep, dr. appt., Battles with people in the hospital dietary dpt. who can't get the food right, Paying bills by snail mail because that's how they did it and they don't trust doing it online or by phone. I don't care what anyone says, this is a HORRIBLE way to exist. And those who think otherwise haven't actually lived it. Watched your relationships fall apart, your children become detached, your work performance suffer because it becomes of lesser importance. I don't agree with you at all, obviously you've only "worked" it; never had it in your home and in your face, with you being on call 24/7. Alone. All the well-wishers and prayers being sent but no work. I'm feeling this at all. 6 months straight and it's time for a major change...
MJ T (1 month ago)
She doesn't 'work' with the elderly. She's in administration.
Getthefuckoffmylawn (2 months ago)
R J That's my life. I've never had so much misery and stress and unhappiness in my life. It's taking a toll on my health. I daydream about it ending.
Lisa Thomas (3 months ago)
You nailed it. This was the best comment by far. I am in the same boat. Please respond, what will/did you do to change things up ?
Ethel Bentancourt (3 months ago)
Ann Tucker (3 months ago)
She has good information. But if you don't take care of a parent(s) 24 hours a day, than you wouldn't understand. I took care of my step-father for years, it will wear you out! I built a house and put an apartment on the side for my Mother, seems like she wants to control everyone's life..smh...she is 85 years old and has always been this way..I have tried for 11 years to take care of her. Now I'm putting my house up for sale and getting an apartment, because I'm tired...and have the under eye bags and high blood pressure to prove it! She doesn't want to live with my brothers or sister, but I can't do this anymore. I would never want to live with my kids and depend on them to take care of me. It's so overwhelming!
Connie Caracappa (3 months ago)
Thank you.🙏I needed to hear you. I’m looking for more of your presentations. If your ever in Ft. MYERS Fl. I would love to hear anything & everything you have to say.
Hamza Khan (3 months ago)
Indeed.. it is a rare opportunity..!
opal1920able (4 months ago)
Dammed if you do provide them weed, dammed if you dont give them broccoli.
Gracefull4 (4 months ago)
I posted this comment on another string about caring for senior parents...I have to agree with most the comments, BUT at no time in history, has there been 70 year olds taking care of 90 year olds, let alone they also have to deal with their middle age children and their children as well, its more than a sandwich generation, its more like a club sandwich generation. At 70, you are not young and probably have your own health issues as well. I predict that the baby boomers will be shorter lived, never in history have senior citizens been asked to take care of even older senior citizens. This is not biologically an acceptable situation, something has to give, and I am afraid it will be the health and longevity of the baby boomers. This is not something that will biologically sustainable. As much as they like to have support groups etc like this saying "everything you feel is normal..stress is normal ...dealing with ...well hey..yea..well ya know" is not a solution to this first time in a generation problem.
Lisa Thomas (3 months ago)
nailed it. I am 57, disabled, and caring for 96yo mother and 70yo sister (she never married, had no kids, was caring for mom while I raised my kids but I helped too) who had a stroke 2 years ago. I have 3 grown kids, one son does help but I feel like I am going crazy.
alina m (4 months ago)
This gave not even one stress reliever. Just made people feel guilty for 15 minutes. Like a lot of other comments have said, what about abusive parents?
MJ T (1 month ago)
EXACTLY!!!! What does she know?! It's her JOB!
Faster Pussy Cat! (3 months ago)
exactly. it sucked. she is an administrator, talks and walks like one. so removed from reality.,
blueminnie13 (4 months ago)
Amy makes some good points, but everyone's situation is different. Not sure about the stress relief part. (She gets to go home at night.) I often think my 94 year old mother will outlive me because of the stress. Mom is argumentative and wants to be in control, so I've learned to not to get her started. Don't argue, redirect or say "oh!" Mom never wants to eat, but if I put food by her chair and don't say much, she eats it. she never wants to wear her support hose = big fight. Now I say, okay, you decide. Some days she wears them. So, like that. There is something to be said about "being in the moment," and trying to slow down. But, it IS so stressful to be a caregiver.
Peter Raypold (1 day ago)
blueminnie13 I absolutely understand and agree with you 100%
MAGMK&W 20:114 (4 months ago)
Wow. I thought I was the only one condemned with a narcissistic father and mentally ill mother who are now both dependent. After reading the comments below, I feel a bit more normal.
G Walsh (4 months ago)
What about abusive parents? And how can you claim this is going to remove the stress of caregiving when it's still a 24/7 job which requires an endless amount of Labor. Also this woman was a nursing home administrator not a caregiver herself so she didn't have the same responsibilities as a nurse or a CNA or any other kind of caregiver who works all the time on the floor with people in their Twilight years
Darlene DeVegan (10 days ago)
Dads are extremely hard to work with when they don't want to be cared for or changed
MJ T (1 month ago)
EXACTLY! It's her JOB.
tersia harmse (4 months ago)
Mym mom stays with me and even though I am 57 she still tries to abuse me emotionally as she did when I was a child. Of course I can fight and stand up to it now. It is tough to forgive unconditionally and hurts to love unconditionally.
blueminnie13 (3 months ago)
I know! My mom was always controlling and perfectionist and often said cruel things when I was a child. Much of that behavior is still present (I'm 62!) Now I have to constantly remind myself that she is sick (dementia) and I need to be understanding. It is really , really difficult. Sending positive thoughts and prayers.
The Resistance (5 months ago)
Emelia, sounds JUST like my grandmother :o( I've gone through this process twice, before...I thought it would be easier the third time but each time feels like the first. It is indescribably painful to have someone you love, forget who you are and treat you as if you're a stranger :'o((((
Anna Karathanasis (6 months ago)
She is talking cheap because people who work in homes take advantage and hate the elderly only to force them to give up all their possessions with LEGAL PAPERS. So don't lie -nobody can handle old people with love!Ha we want them gone! Why do you love them strange lady?
Lisa Thomas (3 months ago)
Money and extra support makes all the difference, but this fancily dressed admin has zero clue. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
good health (6 months ago)
Get a free Medical Alert System For you or a Loved one 1-866-948-9051 call now for more info!! Best wishes
Glamorous Taee (6 months ago)
Children are so cruel to their parents! Their parents raise them and give them the best in life, and they turn around a throw their parents away in nursing homes! It’s despicable!
Stacy Fletcher (2 months ago)
Glamorous Taee Don’t assume all parents acted like that. Families are not all Donna Reed.
Noneya Business (6 months ago)
I’ve been taking care of my mom for 18 years. She complains about everything, never has a good day. Doesn’t matter that you try to fulfill every request. I’m tired, frustrated, my blood pressure is up. Feel like ending my own life! Just want some peace. I want to be left alone! I always thought I was strong, not now!
Peter Raypold (1 day ago)
Josh Moore I should remind you that this is only a “season”!of life. It is okay to have these feelings and want your life back.
Mustang MD (1 month ago)
Hi, Please seek assistance with the NAMI (National Alliance for the Mental Ill) 1-800-522-9054; also please call 211 from your home phone or cell. Advise you need some assistance with caregiving for a parent/ parents. They should be able to assist. Find the local chapter for NAMI in your area. Please be encouraged. Take care & God bless. Find a support group in your area to assist and reach out to local church groups also. Try to be as positive as possible, read and listen to positive audiobooks. YouTube Encouragement for yourself. Seeking a Counselor or LP Therapist will help too. Be Encouraged 🙏
Josh Moore (3 months ago)
+Noneya Business  blueminnie13  thank both of yall...
Blanka Hagge (6 months ago)
Very eye opening on how to except elderly. I am a caregiver for the elderly and it is the best job I ever had. They just want someone to listen what they have to say and I am learning something every time.
M 3 (7 months ago)
No words can replace your position as a caregiver of a person with a difficult personality, regardles of how you try not to take it personally.
Rupinder thind (2 months ago)
Specially the mother in laws who treated you so badly when she was the bossy person. Now in her 80s she still wants to boss you around and you have to take care of her. You remember all the mean stuff she said and did.
Michael Chin (3 months ago)
God bless you. Not easy.
Michelle Staunton (7 months ago)
What a lovely lady ! God bless her
Kitty Vortex (7 months ago)
Engaging and humorous but doesn't do what it says on the tin, i.e. suggest practical advice on how to relieve the stress of caring for an aging parent. It is a full-time, unpaid job, is absolutely draining, especially when you don't get to 'escape' to your own home and switch off. It is a problem for many live-in carers with elderly parents, and is only going to get worse as we all become older and require support.
Marcie Willis Awesome comment. You made me smile, Thankyou 🙂☺️🙃👍🏽🌷
Cool (2 months ago)
You're right, the title is misleading. She does not directly address coping skills to lessen caregiving stress. She makes some good points but doesn't address the burnout and stress caregivers face. In that respect, it was a disappointment.
Marcie Willis (2 months ago)
I'm currently taking care of my 74 yr old mum ...made a rule for myself ..get up before her have my coffee & alone time ..make breakfast for both of us ..eat wth or without her ..but it's prepared so I can just give it to her...bad mood I take shower, if nice may sit /talk.. while she gets ready 4 day ...I check calendar of appt..options of activity or needs of the day ..my cut off time for service ends after dinner / bath . ..learned to say NO just like u would a kid ...have her set up 4 night (tv/book ) ..I relax in my room Options: (draw,meditate,tv,Dvd,YouTube comedy,or things to make me smile ,play game to conquer something (therapy)...talk to husband/friends , ) ..brush teeth/ bedtime is 10:30pm or earlier ...Learn to say NO, I'm not here to be a robot , quite time,me time , team up wth someone to physically remove myself even for 2hrs is pure bliss , cry and force myself to return , Im human so take power naps whenever possible....knowing I am not alone..others are doing this 2 ...secretly knowing this to shall pass ...just not on my terms ..
Michael Chin (3 months ago)
I find cycling helps. I call it cycle-therapy! Try it.
BUSHIDO of FAITH (5 months ago)
Stay strong kitty vortex am in the same boat, when people say it's not hard it makes me mad, for only a carer knows how hard it really is. Then i explain it as best I can, I say pick up half a brick an hold it out straight, it's easy at first but keep holding it an see how you go. We never can put it down. God bless you an keep holding on💛
jimin666 (7 months ago)
I really want to be there for my parents, they're not old but they need a lot care and attention, but I'm at university right now and I'm going through the most important years of my life studying medecine..and I feel so drained and torn..I wish they were able to live sufficiently without my assistance all the time. Idk what to do n how to cope
deepika rajput (6 months ago)
Yes these are the most important years of your life and you have to choose without any guilt....
99delsur (7 months ago)
So, to help you figure out what's truly important to you, ask yourself, when your parents are gone, what are the memories you are going to treasure? time spent with them? the day you aced that exam? getting your medical degree? (Or if it's easier for you -- what are you going to regret for the rest of your life doing/not doing?) Wishing for the impossible just adds stress. Spend more time and energy in determining what resources are available to help you help them. Can you stretch out your time at university -- take fewer courses at once, over a longer period of time? Would a tutor for you make things easier? (Sorry, got to comment on -- "most important years of my life" -- really? all the rest is downhill? That's a depressing thought. Childhood, growing up, nothing to treasure then?)
Rosa Santiago (7 months ago)
Thank you so much for your tips and advises God bless
I hear Ya (7 months ago)
D Bee (7 months ago)
Splendid lecture! The speaker is a fantastic elder avodocate which is desperately needed in the world today. I know professionally and personally caring for the older generation. The greatest we can give ourselves and the seniors alike is acceptance. We have to accept that we can't change a senior but we can try to take the chance to change ourselves to become more patient,tolerant and forgiving. The caregivers of today will be receipent of caregivers of tomorrow. Teach the younger generation how you want to be cared for by how you care for the aged today.
MJ T (1 month ago)
It's her JOB.
Michael Chin (3 months ago)
Well said!
Joy in Dementia (4 months ago)
Sheila Diuguid (8 months ago)
I have a friend who is on the brink right now and I watch this hoping for some nuggets of wisdom to help her through. Not so much
356 Pounds TO FIT (3 months ago)
some situations just are what they are..it hurts, the stress doesn't go away for long because the next day it starts again..but I don't dilute myself anymore...I don't wake up thinking that things will change anymore, because the reality is that its likely they will not change, unless death changes it..entirely situation specific of course..I try and remember that its one part of the day, not the whole day and I didn't make the situation what it is. I pray for your friend's strength, guidance, and peace.
Rachel the booke (8 months ago)
If you are dealing with a toxic parent the best thing you can do for yourself is practice self care religiously.
100anti (1 day ago)
Both is exhausting. However, taking care of self is important.
J Y (6 days ago)
its not about toxicity, its about the diseases and differnt thinking that comes with aging, like alzheimers.
Missy Cheesehead (8 months ago)
I took care of my sociopath father until he died, and take care now of my mom that has many issues, and it’s so hard, but this made me giggle and I’m thankful for that!
BUSHIDO of FAITH (5 months ago)
God bless you an keep you strong. Respect from me to you 24/7 carer myself, know the battle well praying for you an all us warriors to stay strong 💛
Janice Bowman (8 months ago)
My mother is never going into a nursing home. I am going to take care of her in my own home.
Noneya Business (3 months ago)
Janice Bowman It’s tough overwhelming tough!
Okalani5000 (3 months ago)
GL with that. They get spoiled like a kid does.
99delsur (7 months ago)
I have cared for many elderly family members. I'm currently living with and caring for my mother in her home. Never is a long time. There are situations where caring might require a different setting. I HOPE it never comes to that.
Yolanda Estrada (9 months ago)
Old people are not all cute and wise. Caring for them can be like caring for your abuser. You force yourself due to guilt and pressure. I can't stand when people say things like " you should visit more often" I see my parents 3-4 times per week and take care of their issues ongoing daily. What more do people want? They want the ultimate sacrifice of me moving them into my home and destroying any small amount of peace I have in my life. Please never put your opinion on caregivers when you are not the one living the nightmare
Spacely Man (1 month ago)
+356 Pounds TO FIT I think Medicare and Medicaid needs to give more hours to elderly people. Also, whenever a person gets sick a family should make sure they all help out whether it's giving that person physical help, food, etc. The physical help matters the most. In life no human knows when godforbid something may happen to them personally so it's good for people to give other family and friends compassion.
356 Pounds TO FIT (1 month ago)
+Spacely Man when it gets to the point of round the clock care, the 4 hours a day 2-3 days a week didn't cut it.
356 Pounds TO FIT (1 month ago)
+Spacely Man she was at home, though eventually had to be sent to a facility after having some other health problems..difficult decision..I empathise with these choices being so difficult
Spacely Man (1 month ago)
+356 Pounds TO FIT Was your parent in assistant living and/or nursing home? My parent lives with me but I barely get any help from my sister and she's in her mid 30's while I'm 29. The only thing that has somewhat helped is having a home health aide but other than that everything else falls on me. I don't understand how a sibling or even other family members can be so selfish. I learned from this situation that you know who your real friends and family are when your down and out.
356 Pounds TO FIT (1 month ago)
+Spacely Man we can't control what other people do, only our own actions..there is a time for everything..I disconnected for a while and stopped visiting and after months, her sisters and brother started to help..hard decision..but not caring for myself wasn't helping anything..I pray for your guidance and direction..that God's will be done in your life, whatever it is. I believe you will find your way as well as your loved ones. Take care of yourself
Ghel Aveunalliv (9 months ago)
My inlaws always remove her diaper whenever she poop and then rub it in her bed... She always do that im exhausted 🙁🙁🙁🙁
Philippa Slatter (6 months ago)
Oh, your life is hard. You remind us that sometimes there really is role reversal, except that when I wipe my grandson's bottom I know he will grow out of it. When I wipe my mother's I'm just glad when it's just pee in her nappy pants.
Cathy Irwin (9 months ago)
I so needed this. Thank you!
kate golden (10 months ago)
The Hillary Clinton and Rice have no problem killing people
Lupita Lozano (10 months ago)
Thank you so much!! I am facing this reality and I desperately needed to listen this. I didn't know how to deal with my dad's care. He is sick with POTS and needs 24/7 assistance and that led me to be bossy and missing the opportunity to enjoy and accept that this is part of life. I promise, I won't miss this rare and unique opportunity. Again, thank you♥
Sassy me (11 months ago)
Took care of mom with dementia for 6 years full time at home. This should never be a one person job,impossible. In a nursing home one CNA cares for 30 residents. We were better off when we died in our 50:s
MJ T (1 month ago)
I'm hoping not to live past 65
G Walsh (4 months ago)
That's so horrible I'm sorry. I agree
kim kims (11 months ago)
I am studying Gerontology in my Social work programme and this helped me. Merci boucoup.
Stella Bell-Murray (11 months ago)
Some of this could also apply to caring for (or just being compassionate/understanding/supportive with) your chronically ill family member who is in say their thirties.
Ibnziyad Tariq (1 year ago)
I am already my parents parent but damn they wont accept it, my mom atleast wont accept getting corrected by her Son, which is weird.
Melanie McCann (1 year ago)
The bulk of my comments are under 'courtshannon' replies but here's cliffnotes: things that get me through even after 15 years of Alz & dementia parent care by myself. KEEP repeating 'it won't last forever' (constantly even), eat REALLY WELL so your body doesn't crash, tons of B-complex (and C), relish at least a few sips of your coffee/tea while it's still hot!, a few primal screams are REALLY cathartic - seriously - get stuff OUT of inside you (even writing rants down gets it out), and I'll add, do something nice for someone else no matter how tiny just to feel like you still participate in 'life' and that your whole life wasn't really taken over completely. We caregivers know each other are out there.
posterboyuk1 (1 year ago)
Outstandingly good talk. Thanks.
Judith van Dijkhuizen (1 year ago)
This clarified my denial for me -- how I wish that hadn't happened. Wish I'd seen the talk sooner.
kimcase9 (1 year ago)
Bah...it is horrible...
ScottOne (1 year ago)
MAYBE people talk to their elderly parents like they are their children because IT WORKS. If you can't get your parents out of bed, if you can't get them to bed, or have them get ready for an appointment....sometimes you have to treat THEM like kids. "MOM we have to get ready to go, your appointment is in 30 minutes, we have 6 minutes before we have to be out the door". And they just sit there and do nothing until 5 minutes later when they have to get their stuff together. fml
MJ T (1 month ago)
Yep. It's like getting toddlers out the door. The biggest difference, it's not cute! And for the most part NO-ONE understands or commends the caregiver for their valiant efforts. We're criticized for not doing a better job or being more understandable.
little red rose (9 months ago)
Tell them the appointment is in half an hour when really it's in an hour. Result: Calm parent and offspring.
edward kent (1 year ago)
this woman knows absolutley nothing about older people......making up a script for a talk is just shocking....adding fictitious name s to her story is just wrong................somebody, please slap the liar................................................
Lisa Thomas (3 months ago)
I agree, and wonder if this well dressed, obviously well off woman is being paid by some entity to encourage ppl to put their parents in their expensive nursing home.
tom11zz884 (1 year ago)
Parents need to make better choices when they are younger so they won't be a financial burden on their children when they get older. Put money aside now for a old folks home when you are still young and working.
jennifer bee Hey Jennifer, you're right there about a good system needed. Same needs here in UK, more should be done to make things better. I was surprised to hear Amy say on 'Less is More' TEDTalk that there's no research done on old age care. Guess it's not much of a money maker ey..
MJ T (1 month ago)
My parents did relatively well on preparing for the future but so much changes; Medicare, politics, social security, senior laws. I cashed out my retirement thinking that helping my folks was the answer. I was wrong.
jennifer bee (1 month ago)
tom11zz884 Facility care for my mother at 64 would cost about 100k a year and there isn’t reason to think she won’t live another 20years. Even if she had put money away it wouldn’t have been enough. What we’re lacking in the US in a system that addresses the costs and problems while supporting the caregivers.
C Liberty (1 year ago)
While speaker gives excellent points....it's still the most exhausting time of your life. The dependency, the need, the demands, etc...and my parents live in a very nice retirement facility! They are good and loving people but the stress on my own life is taking its toll physically (emotionally and mentally came first.) I had to start setting boundaries. That has helped a lot.
Michael Chin (3 months ago)
Totally understand. I exercise every morning before mom wakes up. Seems to help.
Joy in Dementia (4 months ago)
C Liberty, I did the same thing with my parents. Boundaries are everything!
Olivia Mae (8 months ago)
C Liberty Hi, consider yourself lucky you don't have them both living with you, you are blessed, you can leave them and go home. Be grateful at least for that.
peterc (10 months ago)
C Liberty - I am 56 and have an 87 year old mother who is slowly succumbing to dementia. I live with her and I find my life now consists of shadowing her every activity. Among other things she leaves taps on in the bathroom sometimes with the pug still in. I now have to put her medication into her mouth and spoon feed her meals. She can just about still toilet herself. But there are frequent unpleasant problems. My sister urges me to put her into a care home. I am despairing at the moment. Caring for an aged parent is challenging enough. But once they have lost their minds it becomes impossible.
Sy Hussaini (1 year ago)
My parents moved in with my wife and I when I was only 33 years old and my wife was 25. That was my dads retirement plan. I never questioned it and simply took care of them, in concert with my elder brother. They have lived continuously with us , with us being 100% responsible for everything. Food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and welfare. Over the last 28 years we have raised our families and taken care of our parents. Mom passed away from Parkinson's , at home, over 20 years ago. Dad is 92 and with Alzheimer's. We are caring for him. It is not easy. Lots of sacrifice of resources, the most important one being time. Now my mother in law who is 76 is needing help. We will see them thru as best as we can on this journey of life. Maybe in the final analysis that is all that we can say. We took care of them and did the best we could as their children.
Peter Raypold (1 day ago)
Sy Hussaini I hope that this season of your life passes and you will have time alone with your husband to “enjoy” your life....it’s okay to miss the time you could of had. It’s even more okay to enjoy your life without the worry and stress of caring for others. Just thought u should know that.
Kathy Matlock Wigley (1 year ago)
My 74 year old mother moved in our home August 2016. It has been stressful for all of us. I appreciated your words. Thank You!
Darlene DeVegan (1 year ago)
my mother constantly and chronically complains nags moans and groans very difficult to be around
Peter Johnson (1 year ago)
Sorry I shut it off as soon as you mentioned Crooked Hillary.
Glenna Rose (3 months ago)
A bit narrow-minded, eh? It was not about her politics but that she was an incredibly busy, high-profile person who took care of someone who needed her. I am quite sure it would have been spread all over the media by people like you had she not done it! Instead of being political, take from it what might apply to your own life and leave the rest.
Melanie McCann (1 year ago)
So you missed the point of the talk just because of that (no matter what party you are)?
Peter Johnson (1 year ago)
DAVID EVANS - that’s a good question. Not sure why you’re asking me. All I said was I’m a conservative. The Dems are for the illegals and for socialism.
DAVID EVANS (1 year ago)
Peter Johnson Are the Republicans for the working man .. I thought they were about Big Business being allowed to ride rough shod over the people.Depriving them of safe working conditions, healthcare & Education & sticking their money made on the backs of others into offshore accounts .You can't be happy with Trump . His need to use social media like a teenager, tell you all you need to know about the man .He's not good enough to be president .
sirbuddysworth (1 year ago)
I've been doing everything right up to the point where you said "you have to slow down" well in my situation for this is the opposite, I have a hard time keeping up with my grandfather. He always wants to go do something everyday when I just want to relax sit on my front porch and listen to the birds. Then he's always talking like he is going to die tomorrow all the time it's really annoying we know death will come sometime even for me, but talking about it all the time is a real downer and it ruins my day...
shannon (1 year ago)
This is unhelpful when you have someone who is toxic
J Y (6 days ago)
then google "HOW TO DEAL WITH TOXIC PEOPLE", this is about aging parents lol..
Megan Pederson (7 months ago)
Also I am only 21 so my folks are only in their mid 50's and early 60's so I don't take care of them. I possibly will eventually because they refuse to live in assisted living
Megan Pederson (7 months ago)
+Olivia Mae you are so welcome. However you cannot force change. They are who they are and younger ppl just need to respect them for who they are but all you can do is smile and maybe add humor.
Megan Pederson (7 months ago)
+Olivia Mae great question. Sometimes we have a really toxic relationship with all people no matter the age, race, gender, etc. Not everyone is going to get along and all we ever will be is human. Nobody is ever going to agree with everything. I am sorry that you may have a toxic relationship with your loved one. Sometimes it's an age thing. Elderly people are cranky, stubborn, sometimes they don't think about their words (like everyone else)... My grandma is just like that. I have had toxic relationships with clients and such. Sometimes I dont get along with them but I know that in the end I may have just been a difference maker in their life. Even when it is the slightest thing. I have no exact, pin pointed answer for you and I am so sorry to hear of a possible toxic relationship. Sometimes talking with your loved and listening to them whole heartedly is the best thing because they then feel like they still have a purpose in life. I know that it may sound like something you may not want to do (I don't like doing it either) but it is helpful to clear up misunderstanding. Be kind. Be respectful. Take it as a kind reminder.
VietVet 1970 (1 year ago)
A person should have the right to make the conscious decision to not be a burden on their children. Some parents will not accept the role reversal that's required to successfully navigate the caregiving maze. I didn't work for 46 years to take on caring for a newborn in the form of an elder parent.
Glamorous Taee (6 months ago)
WOW!!! So, your parents didn’t work to take care of you? Cruel!
99delsur (7 months ago)
You wouldn't exist if it weren't for that said parent. There are problems with the role reversal model of what's happening. Two are rather glaring. One, you're dealing with a person who has lived independently more years than you have. (And you think you're not happy giving up your independence to care for them?! You feel life is giving you a raw deal? You still have a choice - care for them or not. They have no choice but to be dependent. Who's the one with the greater need?) Two, unlike most children, the elderly person is only going to fail more and more in health, physical ability, etc. Instead of becoming more and more independent, they increase in dependency -- plus there's no time horizon on this -- no end point in 18-20 yrs. As the speaker said, it's not a role reversal. You need another way of looking at things. Both sides need to give, not just a little, a lot. Never going to work one-sided.
Monika Ballah (1 year ago)
Christina Jinez (1 year ago)
This is helpful & comforting. I need to know though, because I'm feeling defeated, is it possible to work, raise a family, and be there for the aging/ ill parent? I heard you talk about powerful women who have done it, but HOW did they do it? I recently graduated from college. My plans were to start working afterwards, but now my mom has cancer & has asked me to stay home to take care of her. How do I do this? How do I care for her & also tend to the needs of my family?
Glamorous Taee (6 months ago)
Your parents did it when they worked and raised you!
99delsur (7 months ago)
With you on the sibling regret. Might be a lost cause there now. Time to look elsewhere for help -- from more compassionate, caring resources. Check with your local gov't agency on aging to help you get in contact with local resources.
Jeff Swartz (8 months ago)
Its good to ask for help. There are compassionate people around. Use social media. Ask for help for maybe one day a week.
Ale Rodriguez (10 months ago)
It's all about time management! I have been caring for my mother for 17 years and I don't regret it all. What I do regret is allowing my siblings to get comfortable with, me not asking for any kind of help from them and now that I do need their help they are MIA. a little background story.... I've been married for 14yrs, have 3 children and resently
Email Spam' (1 year ago)
sometimes we need to choose. talk to me. i have same situation here.
MsOrchidBouquet (1 year ago)
So interesting and relevant.
Phantom Anna (1 year ago)
when you are a care giver, you are the eyes and ears of the elderly you care for, and there will come a point where you will hear them say they want to die. let them die! it's their choice not to be part of this wver demanding world anymore! what is the point of prolonging their suffering until their dying breath when they can die with dignity and honor witout having to have some stranger wipe your ass? oh, right, it's not for love, it's SELFISHNESS.
Email Spam' (1 year ago)
Phantom Anna if we can choose to get out from this world. i think 90% will choose to get out.
rob leach (1 year ago)
i guess it's different for everybody. i can't imagine who i'll be when this chapter of my life is over. i wasn't important enouph to be a part of my father's life until he needed help. i wonder everyday if i wouldn't be happy to jump in the coffin in his place...
BUSHIDO of FAITH (5 months ago)
Rob you will be stronger if you don't quit for going through this chapter, I hope your still in the battle be it as a carer or just in life God bless either way💛
Philippa Slatter (6 months ago)
I'm reading this in Sept 2018 and wonder how Rob is now. I do hope he has survived. It is only human to feel deep resentment and despair. I thought the talk was good until the last anecdote, which must have been so hard to take for those who are responsible for difficult, dependent parents who nobody wants to meet. I am writing my Advance Directive (UK law) because I don't want the family or the NHS wasting resources on me if I want to die. It should be my choice.
Monika Ballah (1 year ago)
live your life. you only got one
AlyArt (1 year ago)
Overwhelmed today, your advice helps. I'm a single mom (sole $) raising a teenage and caring for my unhealthy elderly father. Please address the sandwich generation. I get it from both ends, and with that my health has diminished (no insurance can't afford). Plus, my father has put me in to considerable financial problems, I try to talk to him about finances but he will not listen. He get the mail before I get home and hides it from me. He would answer why. ( he has signed me and himself up for numerous Credit cards and try to get loans in my name). Dealing with everything now, but it's a black hole.
MJ T (1 month ago)
And there is no help. I'm going to an attorney this coming week who practices Elder law and see if he can help
Glenna Rose (3 months ago)
AlyArt -You post is a year ago, so this may be too late. However, if not, if you have not already, get a post office box for your mail. That will solve the problem of him getting your mail! You can also stop mail delivery to your house if you want to do that which would solve the issue of him trying to get credit cards in your name.
99delsur (7 months ago)
AlyArt, little late for you perhaps, but maybe it will help someone. You can now put blocks on your credit (& take them off when you want a new credit card, loan, or whatever) for free.
Melanie McCann (11 months ago)
AlyArt Hearts & good thoughts out to you so much. P.O. box such good idea Christina L! This is a good vid but has not much to do with the realities of caring for someone at home like so many of us have to. The new lifestyle - just to endure!...(and endure, and endure,...). The reason why is sad but at least we know we're not alone by far. Oh! Almost everywhete in the country has an Area Agency on Aging. They're non-profit so can tell you things & processes & laws & other agencies who can help you & what you/dad may qualify for; answers that you'd never get out of Medicare & Medicaid. Wouldn't have made it w/o their help. Hard part is squishing one more thing into a schedule to get there, eh!?
Christina Lowther (1 year ago)
Sorry for your troubles, I'd get a PO box for mail or sign up for electronic bill pay. It sounds like your dad may have dementia and I hope you've found help. Hang in there.
mirka narika (1 year ago)
going through this and what i want to do once i am 60 is tell my fam that if something happens to me do not resucitate or put me through surgery. just let me go, i dont want to be a burden.
Getthefuckoffmylawn (2 months ago)
mirka narika everyone says that until it happens and then you want every surgery in the book.
Michael Chin (3 months ago)
I will be 64 in a few weeks. I am in fantastic shape. I cycle 120 plus miles every week and I do pull ups, chin ups, dips and leg raises every single day. Seems to help. Have always lived an active life. If I become ill and get into a situation where I cannot take care of myself...my wife knows what she has to do.
M 3 (6 months ago)
It would be helpful to your family to put it in writing--advance directives, living will, etc
Spacely Man (8 months ago)
mirka narika I kinda see how you could believe that.
Heidi Jacobs (1 year ago)
Leigh Piatt-Gonzalez (1 year ago)
Thank you so much this really helped me get clarity.
Ilan I (2 years ago)
great points
Homestead Wannabee (2 years ago)
perspective, thank you :) I try to always remember, she is a person (my mom) still living her life. She is not living mine.
James Maceroni (2 years ago)
I find it way to stressfull my life which i don't have one any more it totally revoles on taking care of her.Sample can't even finish this comment got to go.
MJ T (1 month ago)
3:52 a.m. and I'm up with anxiety due to my dad and is UNHELPFUL doctor. I also have to go to work today! I'm exhausted.
annb blogs (10 months ago)
yes been there or there in the garden its stressful but everybody is an individual did care work going back into with a purpose got a vision boards for the down days when u feel so frustrated
Debra Seiling (2 years ago)
Thank you for helping viewers better understand the feeling of caregivers and those they love in this process!
Patty Dixon (2 years ago)
How many times have we heard that you become your parents to your parents. Powerful message that, nope, you will NOT. This was a great talk, Amy, and I learned much. I feel better, less scared. Thank you.
bantachey3 (1 year ago)
Patty Dixon d
aahhhyess (2 years ago)
i listen to a lot of Ted Talks & this one will be really useful in my life & it opened my heart. thank you for posting it!
Petula Morris (3 years ago)
Thank You .
MartyMoments (3 years ago)
Very great advice. Thanks for the info and interesting tedtalk.
lenowz (6 years ago)
I loved it ,, i wish people can feel her, i guess if they did there will be less sad older people
فاطمة (6 years ago)
an incredible talk really I enjoyed it and like it from the bottom of my heart ! Thank you lady.

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