"The time has come, Brian Herd said, to talk of many things: of wills - and cash - and EPOs - of RADS - and mother's rings."
Age Discrimination Commissioner Kay Patterson's foreword introducing a new book by leading elder care lawyer Brian Herd would ring true for countless families.
Avoiding the Ageing Parent Trap is, in her words, "a no-holds-barred, frank call to action for both parents and children to confront the well-trodden but often unpredictable course of our life's journey - particularly towards the end, or as Brian would say, 'our celestrial transfer'."
Herd has been a lawyer for more than 35 years, devoting himself to elder law since 2001 following, as he says, his "first foray into the bowels of aged care". (That statement came courtesy of a conversation with the director of nursing at a small aged care facility).
In this book, he addresses the myriad issues that arise as people get older, providing a one-stop resource packed with expert information and solutions to assist with essential legal, financial, social and healthcare decisions.
These days, we can find children managing their ageing parents, managing their ageing parents, adding even more layers to a complex and difficult-to-navigate aged care industry.
When things start to go wrong - and, Herd says, they will - families are unprepared for the decisions that need to be made.
Add dissenting opinions among siblings and the result can be the destruction of relationships and bitter family disputes.
- Avoiding the Ageing Parent Trap: Essential Information & Solutions, by Brian Herd (Big Sky Publishing), RRP $29.99.