Reviews ...


... a resource for seniors and caregivers

by Debbi Collar

photo credits for Mopping Tall
Charlene DeLena Callahan

Photo credits for ParenTrapped - Donna Froio DeLena

It may be considered emotional reading for some,
humorous to others and there is the potential of having an
" off-putting" tone, according to Lou DeLena, author of  

A difficult topic for both seniors and siblings to discuss is
handled expertly. ParenTrapped tackles the topic
of how to manage your personal home life, your work
schedule, your elderly parents home as well as medical
personnel, insurance agencies and support groups when
your parents turn to you (their children) for assistance.

What DeLena does have is experience in dealing with
situations that many baby boomers are facing - caring for
their aging parents' needs, both medical and physical.

In the book's preface, ParenTrapped, DeLena  
forewarns readers of his latest book's content.

"You love them, of course you do. but they're driving
you crazy! They're overly demanding, impatient,
unreasonable , and selfish and expect you to drop
everything for them at a moment's notice.And they act
so juvenile!   What's this with all the stomping, whining,
and "You don't love me!'" foolishness?

The author is not speaking of children, he is speaking of
parents who are struggling and coping with a variety of

Role reversals are the norm as children grow up and
parents grow older.

Unfortunately, there are times elderly parents are in need of
assistance from their grown children, who now have
families of their own.  Due to a disease or other illness,  
those same parents who raised you do not readily ask for
or accept help from their children. They don't want to be a
burden to their children, they don't want to lose their
independence and/or their dignity in coping with medical
problems related to the aging process.

The situation is difficult on both parties,

That's what DeLena's latest book,ParenTrapped-An 18
Round Survival Guide for the Sandwiched Generation

points out as he chronicles his and his sister's journey of
love and heartache as the pair became caregivers for their
parents. It also provides readers with a sometimes
humorous look at various situations that arise.

Depending on who it is reading the book, caregivers or
seniors in need of care, closed or open-minded, in either
account, reactions to the book will vary. Between its jacket
covers,ParenTrappedhas pages that are filled
with childhood memories of the love parents give to their
children at birth and throughout the formative years.  The
book is also about giving back and now showing aging
parents with illnesses that same love that they had for you.
DeLena states "Remember, they were always there for you."

He added,"This is about who brought you into this
world-your parents. AKA Mommy and Daddy. They've
entered their golden years and can't get around like they
used to, and have turned to you for help-lots of help."

DeLena also admits that although some seniors might take
offense to the publication, he felt a need for it to be
published. In his opinion,

"While some people may find the (humorous) tone
off-putting I just point out that we had to (as a family) keep
a sense of humor evident with all that was going on around
us; otherwise, we would have been crying, which is not the
most effective way to help those in need"

ParenTrapped is a guide to assist baby boomers
with one of life's toughest challenges-caring for  
aging parents with various illnesses or limit abilities.  

DeLena includes a variety of resources helpful to both the
elderly and their caregivers in the back of the book
including agencies names, addresses and telephone

DeLena's own parents died within two weeks of each
other in 2007.  The idea for the book stemmed from seeing
firsthand experiences he and his friends and relatives were
having in caring for their parents.

"I had (and still have) a lot of friends and relatives
whose parents are in their golden years. I thought that
sharing some of these experiences that my wife, Donna, my
sister, Charlene, and my brother-in-law Jim and I
experienced would be helpful.  I also wanted to take a
slightly off-beat approach, providing information that I felt
was useful with some humor blended in."

Despite his opinion as to some reader's reactions in
possibly taking offense to the book, he describes
recollections of his parents this way;

"We were the luckiest children in the world.  Our
parents were the best.  We think about them all the time,
and we miss them to this day."

He also advises caregivers;

" One trick to follow is to remember the joy, and that
these old people who are trying your patience are the same
fine folks who possibly wanted to sell you to the circus (but
relented) when you were aged 6-18."

Continue walking own Memory Lane with the author.  
Instead of selling you to the circus, remember again that
these are the same parents who;

planned fun vacations for you
helped you with your homework
gave you cash for dates and/or
made chocolate chip cookies for you

Now, THEY need YOU.  Be there for them.
He leaves his readers with more words of advice to

"Face it kids, there is a reason you  are taking care of
these elders - it's a sense of responsibility."

DeLena is available for book signing and speaking
engagements.The best venues for his audiences would be  
local libraries or other  organizations in which he could
address caregivers and/or social workers or support

**Note** DeLena can be contacted through
parentrapped@gmail.comAs he currently holds down a full
time job, he has limited time for speaking engagements
and would have to remain local.  Born in Boston and raised
in Medford, he currently lives in Malden. Speaking
engagements about his books and experiences are free of
charge.  Of course he will bring books with him in the hope
of selling them at these venues to interested parties.

The book, ParenTrapped can also be ordered
electronically from, Barnes &, and
Bitingduck Press.  Hard copies from Amazon and Barnes
and Noble only.

ParenTrapped is DeLena's second book.  
His first was Mopping Tall-The Hubby's Guide to
Housework, Yardwork and Domestic Bliss."
inspiration for writing that book originated during a time
when he was unemployed.

"How it came about was that I was having lunch with 2
other similarly unemployed amigos.  As we were getting
ready to leave, one of my friends said "I have to go
home and start dinner."  I replied, " I have to go home and
vacuum." The last member of the group remarked, "I
don't even know how to use a vacuum."  "Inspriation!"

April 3, 2015

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