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Mothers and Fathers: Health and Financial Advice to Share with Your Parents

By Louis Sapi and Peter Zawadzki, Prentice Hall Canada, $24.95

Part workbook, part storytelling, Mothers and Fathers addresses the issues many boomers face when they suddenly find themselves caring for aging parents while managing demanding careers. Instead of resorting to crisis management when their parents are confronted with the inevitable ills of aging, the authors suggest taking a proactive approach: helping parents to develop a plan now that prepares them for the future. “I plan the future of a major Canadian company, but I never thought to assist my parents in planning their own future,” says Paul, one of the people profiled in this new book

Mothers and Fathers covers everything from finance to health to personal issues. Louis Sapi, CA, tackles the financial component, with advice on pensions, RRSPs and taxation, and areas that could be overlooked, such as tax-planning strategies that conflict with probate planning. Peter Zawadzki, a licensed pharmacist, writes compassionately about health issues facing seniors – which, with government cutbacks to healthcare, are increasingly interconnected with financial issues. In addition to purchasing extended healthcare insurance, Mothers and Fathers suggests attaining two powers of attorney – one for property and another for personal care. The book also highlights the CICA’s new ElderCare Practice program, in which CAs take additional training to better assess the financial and medical needs of this growing demographic.

Finally, and perhaps most important, the book provides tips on how to work with parents on emotional subjects, such as if or when to sell the family home and planning for possible disability.

Gloria Blizzard