Maintaining harmony in families with later life decisions

Susan A. Blashki

“My interest in older people began quite early in my own life for three reasons. The first because my mother became seriously ill in her late fifties and I already had to learn to start to understand the role of being a carer — especially the role of carer of a parent. At the time, I was only in my late twenties with my own young and very busy family. It was quite a challenge. The second reason is that I became involved as an Honorary Board Member of an aged care home with some 500 residents, many of whom had suffered in Europe during the Holocaust. One could say that this was an early learning experience of dealing with the elderly. The third reason is that during many years of deciding cases in Court in my role as a magistrate, and in particular, the Children’s Court, I became acutely aware of how many older members of our community take on the role of caring for their grandchildren, some full-time when the parents are not available, and some part time, to assist the parents when they are in need …”