Dr. Mikol Davis

Psychologist, Co-Founder of AgingParents.com

Dr. Mikol Davis, AgingParents.com

About Dr. Mikol Davis

Dr. Mikol Davis, a compassionate and patient mental health professional has worked extensively with children, adults and families. He took special training in working with elders and now finds it to be a very satisfying part of his practice.

He co-founded AgingParents.com with his wife, nurse-attorney Carolyn Rosenblatt. He contributes immeasurably to their practice in consulting and in resolving family conflicts using his 45+ years of experience in family issues affecting aging parents. He is an excellent listener and can readily pinpoint the cause of a person’s emotional pain. He and Carolyn, working together, have resolved many difficult family conflicts. The balance of male-female perspectives on family issues works well. The team approach used at AgingParents.com is successful for many clients.

In many instances with clients, they want to know what to say to a difficult parent or family member. He uses his years of experience to guide clients to use successful communication tactics. His advice about choice of words and appropriate approaches with others is invaluable.

Mikol’s Story

My Father lived to be 89

Long before his last illness, he and I had a discussion about his healthcare directive, partly inspired by our work at AgingParents.com. We talk with clients about advance healthcare planning, and I had to practice what I was preaching. Dad told me he had put both my sister and me on the paper as his agents. I told him that he well knew how emotional and difficult my sister could be and that I would be happy to let her do it alone. One thing was for sure: I didn’t want to share the role with someone who was difficult for me to get along with in everyday situations, much less a crisis. This was an important lesson. My Dad then changed his mind and appointed me as the decision-maker, the sole agent on the advance directive. Little did I know that not long after that, I would have to do what I was appointed to do.

 

Dr. Mikol Davis, AgingParents.com

My Dad, healthy all his life, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

The cancer diagnosis was was a very difficult experience for me. When he was near the end, clearly failing, the doctors at the hospital would not discuss that his death was near. They pretended that they could keep on treating, poking, prodding, measuring, testing and doing things to him as if it were going to lead to a different outcome than the end of life. Carolyn and I discussed this at the time. It was getting more and more obvious that he was not going to make it out of the hospital.

It was up to me to do what dad wanted

Carolyn gently suggested to me that all the artificial life-prolonging treatment Dad was getting was not what he wanted. That was why he had signed his advance healthcare directive. When she said this, I realized that I was the one who was supposed to tell the doctors to “pull the plug” and stop the futile treatment. I said to her, “I didn’t sign up to play God!”. Carolyn said, “God is playing God, you’re not. All you need to do is to tell these people to get out of the way so Dad can go in peace.”

I really struggled with this. He and my Mom had been married for 62 years. She wanted to cling to hope, although there was none. My only sibling, my sister, was an irrational mess. It was up to me to do what Dad wanted, and what he had put in writing. With Carolyn at my side, we went to the ICU and reminded the nurses that Dad had a healthcare directive and everyone was ignoring it. They were cooperative. Eventually, all the treatment stopped and Dad glided out of this life in a dignified and peaceful way. I look back knowing that I stood up for him the way he wanted me to do.

Dr. Mikol Davis, AgingParents.com

My widowed Mom

My Mom did not think she could go on without Dad. She asked me how many sleeping pills it would take to kill herself. I have been a psychologist for decades, and I was quite worried about this. I realized that Carolyn and I had to spend some time with Mom and fast. After I took her back to her now empty house and stayed for a short time, I urged her to keep her plans  that she had made with Dad before his illness to go to the beach. She said she was going to cancel the trip. I told her we would go with her. It was for 2 weeks, and the condo had been rented long before.

I know firsthand what it means to be a caregiver for an aging parent

Carolyn and I left our work and went with Mom, spending those 2 weeks together. It was a 1-bedroom condo. We slept on a mattress on the floor. Not comfortable, for sure, but those 2 weeks turned Mom around. We worked with her every day, offering our support, nurturing and love. She cried, she talked, she thought and she reflected. She decided she wanted to live for her kids and grandkids and that she was going to make it. She lived for 10 more years as a widow. We managed many parts of her life: the move to a seniors’ community at age 93, her finances, her risks, her transitions and finally her end of life process. She too died in peace, in her own bed, hospice on hand. That would not have happened without our direct intervention into what doctors were doing.

I know firsthand what it means to be a caregiver for an aging parent. I am in that role, even as I counsel others and work with Carolyn at AgingParents.com. We are both grateful to both of my parents for the lessons about end of life that they each gave us a chance to learn. We are grateful to Mom for giving us a firsthand look at widowhood, adjustment to being quite old, giving up her home, downsizing, and adjusting to a community. At the end, we learned about dealing with end of life issues in a hospital and with hospice at home.

The value of a Geriatric Psychologist

When an aging person has an issue with cognitive impairment, the adult children often want to know what the aging parent is still capable of doing or not doing. Dr. Davis provides assessments of aging parents, including dementia testing, to answer those questions. For example, if a father who has dementia thinks he is fine with driving, confidential dementia testing can answer questions about his capacity to think, remember and keep track of things. Dr. Davis may recommend no more driving. Likewise, testing can reveal that an aging parent can no longer keep track of finances. Dr. Davis can let the elder and family members know what the assessment and testing results reveal. Memory loss can be tested and evaluated. This helps with family decision-making about when it’s time for the aging parent to give up control over the family finances, thereby protecting the elder from making costly mistakes or being abused.

All Dr. Davis’ consultations and work are entirely private and confidential for the person(s) seeking his help. He has an active telemedicine practice as well, doing therapy over video for those who want a supportive and understanding licensed therapist to help with relationships and other issues.

Have you taken on the burden of managing your aging loved one?

At AgingParents.com we are here to help you...

  • Eliminate frustration, confusion, and overwhelm 
  • Resolve sibling conflicts through family meetings
  • Get you the answers you need in times of crisis
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Dr. Mikol Davis, AgingParents.com