February 17, 2010 — Virginia Morris, a nationally recognized authority on elder care and author of "How to Care for Aging Parents," will lead a discussion titled "Our Parents, Our Selves: The Later Years" on March 19 at 2 p.m. in the University of Virginia's Culbreth Theatre.
Her presentation, presented in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book, begins the U.Va. Institute on Aging's 2010 public programs.
Morris will discuss how families can effectively engage in difficult but necessary conversations about legal, financial and medical plans for aging parents and spouses.
Her main message is "plan ahead," she said. "If we could simply get people to think about all this sooner, to plan for it even a little bit, we could ease the strains enormously."
Almost 44 million Americans attend to the health care needs of a relative or another person. Morris will set an optimistic yet realistic tone as she guides the audience through the morass of emotions and practical information that should be addressed among family members.
She emphasizes the importance of helping one's parents retain independence and self-respect while taking care of oneself.
Lois Shepherd, author of "If That Ever Happens to Me: Making Life and Death Decisions After Terry Schiavo," will moderate the session. She is an associate professor in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities at the U.Va. Health System.
Genworth Financial is the corporate sponsor. The Institute on Aging and the Senior Center are the local sponsors.
The talk is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-243-5695 to reserve a space.