I’d like to change that.
It’s not easy to help older parents through their later years.
And often, it’s the beginning that is hardest. You know, that time when you realize that maybe they need help.
Maybe you’ve noticed that your parent has become forgetful, or has started saying odd things, or has made some worrisome financial transactions.
Or maybe there have been falls, or you see your parents noticeably declining, and you’re starting to wonder if their doctor is really on top of things.
Or perhaps you just have the nagging feeling that your parents need help, but they pooh-pooh it when you mention it. And then refuse to let you talk to their doctor, help with their finances, or otherwise get involved.
So you find yourself worrying more and more, because you’re not sure what’s wrong, you’re not sure what to do, and you’re not sure of what can be done.
You spend hours and hours googling, only to be left feeling more confused than before.
You check out a recommended book on helping aging parents, only to find that the writer’s situation is different from yours and you’re still feeling stuck as to what to do.
And, whenever you DO find a sensible-sounding idea of what to do, you find it’s much harder to implement than expected. Or your siblings disagree with the approach you want to try.
So you feel like you’re groping in the dark, trying to figure things out while still being busy with your job, your family, and the rest of your usual life.
It’s overwhelming. You need guidance, support, practical (and accurate) information, and a way to maintain your sanity.
And now, there’s a way to get it.
You don’t have to spend months figuring this out on your own.
Over the years, I’ve seen countless families go through this type of situation.
Most muddle along for months, or years, really. They do eventually figure a lot of things out — plus crises tend to happen, which definitely moves things along.
But I wouldn’t recommend this approach. Figuring things out on your own is a method that’s costly in terms of your time, your stress, and your anxiety.
After all, being unsure of what to do or what might happen is incredibly draining. So is sifting through all the snippets you find online. Or being rebuffed by your parents, even as you worry more and more about their safety.
Now, there’s no truly easy way to get through this stage of an older parent’s life. Challenges are emerging, and difficult decisions will have to be made.
But you can get through this time much more easily.
The trick is to get the right type of guidance and support, and to do it sooner, rather than later.
So I’ve created a special program designed to do just that.
Expert guidance + the support of a group
Over the past decade, I’ve seen a lot of people go through this struggle to get started helping older parents. So I’ve learned a lot about what helps.
I do know that getting guidance from experts such as myself is enormously helpful to most people. In fact, here’s what one reader recently wrote to me:
I also know that support groups are helpful, because it’s often a huge relief to connect with others going through the same struggles. Plus, you can also share what you’ve learned.
But there aren’t a lot of support groups for people just getting started helping older parents, and I’ve never come across one with an expert moderator.
So earlier this year, I decided to create this myself, for the Better Health While Aging community: a first-ever group coaching and learning program, designed to help you go from overwhelmed to informed, supported, and better equipped to tackle whatever problems are at hand.
Have you ever wanted to be able to ask me what you might do to help your parents? Well, now you’ll be able to.
Introducing: the Helping Older Parents Bootcamp
The Helping Older Parents Bootcamp is a unique geriatrician-taught online program, designed to get you information, support, and answers.
Through this 8-week program, I’ll teach you the key things you need to know, to be able to effectively support and assist an aging parent. Even if he or she is resisting your help.
This program also includes weekly online sessions, during which you’ll be able to talk to me and ask me your questions.
This means you won’t end up feeling stuck about just how to go about helping your parents. You and your fellow students will be able to ask me — and each other!
Here’s what the full 8-week group coaching program includes:
- Weekly online group learning and coaching sessions with me.
- Every Thursday at 3p ET/12p PT, we’ll get on a live 60 minute call.
- I’ll start the call by reviewing the week’s learning material, and then we’ll spend the rest of the time on your questions.
- During this time, you’ll be able to talk to me about your situation, so that I can give you some tailored guidance and encouragement.
- The calls will be recorded, and you can listen to them or review them at your convenience.
- 8 lessons covering the skills and knowledge that are most useful to learn at this stage of your caregiving journey. Topics will include:
- How to get clarity on the problem at hand with your parents, and what to do next
- The nine key domains that most adult child caregivers will need to address
- How to communicate more effectively with your parents, and with others (e.g. your siblings, health professionals, etc)
- What you can do if you’re worried about memory or thinking problems
- Taking care of yourself: getting support & addressing self-care from the beginning
- Getting organized and out of overwhelm
- How to figure out what matters most & how to navigate difficult decisions
- Addressing medical, long-term care & financial advance planning, including powers of attorney
- A focus on getting organized and taking action.
- Every week, I’ll invite you to commit to doing at least one thing, to move forward helping your parents or to support yourself.
- I will also be providing guidance on getting organized and keep track of to-dos, health information, and other information.
- I’ll also provide cheatsheets and resource lists, to complement the lessons and support you.
- A private online community forum, so that you can get support and exchange ideas with your fellow students in the program.
- Lifetime access to the lessons, materials, and group session recordings, so that you can take your time if you need to, and you’ll always be able to return to the material when you want to.
By the end of our 8 weeks together, you’ll have learned more about how to help your parents than most people manage to figure out in the first six months.
You’ll also have gotten a crucial headstart in developing the family caregiving skills and knowledge that you’ll be relying on and building upon, for the rest of your parent’s life.
Last but not least, you won’t feel alone. You’ll have made connections within the group, and you’ll know how to keep getting the right support in the future.
What people said about the first Helping Older Parents Bootcamp
I launched the Helping Older Parents Bootcamp for the first time in the spring of 2018. Here’s what people like you said about it:
“I found your knowledge and insights very helpful. You were terrific in helping to evaluate and problem-solve people’s situations. The program has helped me quite a bit, to shift how I react to and manage my mother, from lots of impatience and anger to having more empathy and patience.
The resources you provided were very targeted and high value. The program and the books you suggested have been very useful and instructive on the HOW to do things in very clear concise ways. These have helped tremendously and also given me a sense being understood and of commonality with others, and with a framework to approach things.” — Leslie B.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price of the Helping Older Parents Bootcamp is $299.
That is less than $32 per week, for the only geriatrician-led group program designed to support people struggling to help an older parent.
(In comparison: talking to an eldercare expert such as a geriatric care manager will cost you $100-$200 per hour.)
Although I know the Bootcamp with weekly calls offers great value to people, I also realize that paying $299 can be a stretch for many.
So this fall, I’m pleased to also be offering five scholarship spots. See the FAQ section for more details!
The Fall 2018 Bootcamp will run from September 24 to November 15, 2018.
Space is limited and registration closes on Tuesday, September 18, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. So if you want to be part of this unique group program, claim your spot now!
Plus, this fall I’ve decided to include a special free bonus for Bootcamp participants! Along with the usual curriculum, you’ll also get access to my exclusive Fall Prevention Mini Course (which usually costs $49).
14-Day Money Back Guarantee
The Helping Older Parents Bootcamp comes with a 14-day 100% money back guarantee. This 14-day period starts on the first day of the program (which is September 24, 2018), so you’ll have two weeks to participate risk-free.
Now, I’m confident that the Helping Older Parents Bootcamp will provide you with uniquely valuable information and guidance, and that it will be well worth every penny of the purchase price.
There’s nothing else like it available, and there’s just no other way to get this much guidance from someone like me, without spending much much more.
But if for any reason you register for the program and then decide it’s not right for you, just let me know. During the first two weeks of the program, I will cheerfully and promptly refund your money, no matter what your reason is for withdrawing.
More Testimonials from Previous Bootcamp Participants
“All of this was so helpful: legal issues to plan for, how to deal with driving concerns, how to care for an aging person, how to take care of myself, that it’s okay to take care of myself or have other priorities, that others have similar struggles, how to prioritize, how to build trust with my mom in her cognitive state…I can’t really think of one thing I would change. You made the format very user-friendly and professional.
I also received much-needed validation in terms of understanding that my concerns are part of a bigger picture that many are struggling with.” — Michelle T
“My career has been spent doing in person and virtual training on a variety of health-related topics, so I could be considered a “difficult” customer.
Yours is one of the best, most effective programs I have seen. Through this course you have created an extraordinary resource, building upon your great blog.” — Elizabeth B.
“I’m not as anxious about my parents as I was before. In the beginning, I pretty much didn’t know anything and wasn’t sure what to do about my parents’ dementia diagnoses.
By the end, I was finally beginning to understand the bigger picture of my role as a daughter and caregiver, which is to understand my parents rather than just tell them what I think is best to do. It was also helpful to have the Q&A so I could ask questions specific to my situation.” — Annette T.
“I registered for the Bootcamp because I was burned out, confused, and floundering. The program helped me immensely, even though I wasn’t able to join all the sessions.
Dr. K provides information and a unique perspective that can’t be found anywhere else. I felt reassured, validated, and understood. I also got a well-needed reality check about some aspects of my mother’s condition that are unlikely to improve much.” — P.S.
14-Day Money Back Guarantee
Program dates: September 24-November 15, 2018
Space is limited and registration closes on Tuesday, September 18, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time (or as soon as the program fills)
Includes free access to the Fall Prevention Mini Course!
Is this Bootcamp Right for You?
I believe it’s wrong that it’s so hard for people to figure out how to help their aging parents. Everyone who is struggling with this deserves better guidance and support.
That said, this Bootcamp program is probably not right for everyone.
In particular, this Bootcamp may not be a good fit for you if:
- You and your family mainly need detailed information on managing a particular health condition. During this program, I won’t be able to go in-depth on how any particular disease or condition can be evaluated or treated. Please do not register if your main need is for this type of information. We will, however, cover the basics of evaluating for possible dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment, since this is often relevant when safety issues are becoming serious and an older parent is reluctant to accept help.
- You’re overseeing the care of a parent in assisted-living, memory care, or a nursing home. Coordinating with facilities is a special topic in of itself, and I won’t be addressing those issues in this particular program.
- Your parent does not live in the United States. Parts of this program’s content will relate to navigating the US healthcare system and social services, as a family caregiver. I don’t recommend enrolling if your family doesn’t live in the US, since the available options for addressing aging challenges are quite different in other countries.
If any of the above apply to you, please contact me before registering for the program, so that we can work together to determine whether this program is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How exactly will the live group sessions work?
A: We will be meeting online every week, via a webinar program. You can join through your computer, your laptop, your tablet, or even your smartphone. It will also be possible to join just by phoning in using a cell phone or landline.
Q: How can I get my questions answered if I’m not able to join the live call?
A: I’ll be inviting you to send me your questions by email ahead of time. (I will also be taking your questions during the session). I’ll be recording each live session, and you’ll be able to watch or listen to the replay at your convenience.
Q: When exactly will the live group sessions take place?
A: Our first group call will be on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 3p ET/12p PT. Calls will be every Thursday at the same time for 8 weeks, with the last call scheduled for 11/15/18.
Calls will be scheduled for one hour, but I will stay up for up to 30 minutes extra, if it’s needed in order to answer your questions.
Q: How can I access the replays and the other materials?
A: I am setting up a course website. All the video lessons, resource lists, cheatsheets, and replays will be available there, for the lifetime of the program.
Q: Will you be answering questions in the private online forum?
A: The purpose of the community forum is to create a safe space for you to connect with your fellow students in the program. I will be following along, but your main opportunity to ask me questions will be during the live group calls.
Q: Do you offer a guarantee or a refund?
A: If you’ve been worried about older parents and you’ve been feeling stuck, stressed, or overwhelmed, then I’m confident that this program will help you. But if you join and feel it’s not right for you, you have 14 days from the start of the program to cancel and get a full refund.
Q: What if I have questions about viewing the replays or accessing the material?
A: Please contact my team via email or our contact form if you have any technical difficulties accessing the program. We’ll make sure those are resolved as quickly as possible.
Q: Will you be offering this group program again in the future?
A: I do plan to offer the Bootcamp again at some point. I’m not sure that it will be feasible to include weekly live calls in future versions.
I love doing the weekly calls, however doing this makes it difficult for me to have time for other things the Better Health While Aging community is requesting, such a series of monthly calls on helping older parents, or programs on other topics.
Q: What is the Fall Prevention Mini Course?
A: The Fall Prevention Mini Course is a self-paced short course that I created, specifically to help older adults and families pursue more effective fall prevention strategies. It usually costs $49, but since I know that falls are such a common concern for people worried about aging parents, I’ve decided to include it as a free bonus for this round of the Bootcamp.
Q: I would like to apply for one of the scholarship spots. How does the scholarship work?
A: I am offering five scholarship spots. Scholarship participants get most of the program fee waived, and pay only $49. To request a scholarship, send me an email with “Scholarship request” in the subject line. In your email, briefly tell me why you’d like to join the program and how you are hoping the program will help with your situation.
Do you have any other questions about registering for this unique group program? Contact me here, I’m happy to help!
Remember, space is limited and registration closes on Tuesday, September 18, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time (or as soon as the program fills).
14-Day Money Back Guarantee
Program dates: September 24 to November 15, 2018
Includes free access to the Fall Prevention Mini Course!
About Dr. Leslie Kernisan & Better Health While Aging
Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH, is a board-certified geriatrician who believes it should be easier for older adults to have the best possible health and quality of life as they age.
Through Better Health While Aging‘s website and podcast, she provides practical information on how to address many common health problems that affect older adults. She also addresses common concerns and dilemmas related to helping older parents and other aging relatives.
Dr. Kernisan completed her internal medicine and geriatrics training at the University of California San Francisco, where she also studied healthcare quality improvement. She is a proud graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Princeton University.