Newsweek Series on Alzheimer’s and Caregiving

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How to Talk About Aging
The time for a frank conversation with your parents is right now.

By Joan Raymond
June 18, 2007 issue – Chris Hrapko isn’t afraid of tough conversations. As the founder of a nonprofit social-service agency, she battles bureaucracies on behalf of the homeless and the working poor. But there is one conversation Hrapko avoided. When her 92-year-old mother fell and broke her hip earlier this year, Hrapko knew it would affect her independent mother’s living arrangements and health. But Hrapko, 51, was clueless about her mom’s wishes. “We talked about a lot of things,” she says, “but we never talked about a future in which my mom faced a problem that could leave her disabled, bedridden or on life support.”

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