New York Times Reporter Reflects on Mistakes Made in Caring for Her Mother

The New York Times has launched a popular new blog, The New Old Age, in which reporter Jane Gross explores the baby boomers' daunting new challenge of caring for their elderly parents.

In the blog Gross often shares the lessons learned from her own experience caring for her late mother in her waning years. In a recent post titled "What I Wish I'd Done Differently," Gross discusses her mistakes in making decisions about her mother's care.

"My single biggest mistake," she writes, "was not finding a doctor with expertise in geriatrics to quarterback her care and attend to the quality of her life, not merely its length." She says her "second biggest mistake was accepting the conventional wisdom that nursing homes are terrible places, to be avoided under any and all circumstances." Gross also regrets that she failed to inderstand the limits of her mother's long-term care insurance policy.

Gross concludes that there is "no way of knowing what's going to happen next so you can plan accordingly" but that "physicians, social workers, case managers, lawyers and financial advisers with expertise in old age are the best guides."

To read "What I Wish I'd Done Differently," click here.

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