Know road signs, resources to aid aging loved ones

Many years ago, when I was in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I’d drive over to visit my grandmother in Smithfield. I’d plant annuals in her garden. We’d go out to lunch at K&W. I’d take her to the doctor. She always insisted I drive her car, a 1975 green Fleetwood Cadillac. One day, soon after we pulled onto Route 210, the dashboard lit up with five red warning lights. Alarmed, I looked over at Grandmother. She just smiled and said, “Oh, honey, don’t you worry. They go off after a minute.”

We were lucky that time.

Sunday is Grandparents Day, and this memory seemed an apt entry into the world of caring for our grandparents, parents, neighbors and friends as they age. We might see the warning signs long before a crisis hits, but how many of us know what to do? And how many of us then go the extra mile to do it?

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