You’ve Got Lael Episode 48: Caring for Aging Parents with Erin Chourey

I've been thinking a lot about aging and the end of life lately. Probably from working at the hospital. Being aware of my parents' stage of life reminds me of the inevitable reality that I'll lose them someday.

My work has given me a front-row view of the aging process. As a coach and hospital social worker, I get to witness the emotions and family dynamics that arise as our loved ones age.

Dominant culture tends to treat aging as something to avoid. The process of aging is often met with fear - for aging adults and their family members as well. We don't have a cultural narrative that embraces aging nor values our elders and the gifts they have to offer. We don't have systems or supports in place to care for our elders. It's still an unfortunate reality that if you don't have money in this country, your access to support services and quality care is limited.

It's wild since we will all die someday. And we will all lose loved ones.

While we continue to advocate for systemic changes, we can come together to support each other and share the responsibility for caring for our loved ones. This stage of life - like most transitions - is also an invitation to do our own inner work. Together, we can begin to shift the narrative to one that honors the aging process and treats our elders with the respect and care they deserve.

I know for me and many of my clients, we're starting to cope with the realities of having aging parents or loved ones. We have questions about their intentions and plans for aging. We may have concerns about their mental capacity or their ability to care for themselves. We might feel anxious and unsure of how to navigate difficult conversations and a shift in family roles.

For some perspective and wisdom on this topic, I invited Erin Chourey to join us. I hope you find our conversation reassuring, motivating, and empowering.

About Erin:

Erin Chourey (she/her) is an ICF (International Coaching Federation) Certified Life Coach, trained at the Life Purpose Institute, and is currently working toward her PCC (Professional Coach Certification) credential. Her current coaching specialty is Emotional Wellness and Alignment.

Erin has worked in social services as a Residential Counselor, Group Home Manager, and Assistant Teacher for youth, a Case Manager for adults and teens with developmental disabilities, and for 10 years as a public and private Care Manager for aging adults. She then trained as a Life Coach and began her own practice coaching in 2017.

In 2020, Erin began a part-time job with Lyra Health as a Mental Health Coach, where she supports employees of major organizations such as Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, Starbucks, Nike, Morgan Stanley, Providence Health, VCA, and many more, in on-line coaching sessions. Her clients range in age, identities, and levels of expertise and management in their fields, and live all over the US. This experience has expanded Erin’s understanding of common mental health symptoms people are facing in their individual lives and how they relate to the collective challenges we are all facing together. 

Erin is passionate about guiding others to more clearly identify what is most important to them and to assess if they are living in alignment with their own values, or of the dominant cultural values, the values they were taught in their families, or a combination of all. Through this process, many find relief in discovering their own truth, which results in a clearer sense of intentional direction. This eases their suffering and empowers them to function with more joy and purpose.

Outside of her role as a Coach, Erin is a lifelong learner, adventurer, spiritual seeker, community member, mother, wife, daughter, and generous friend, who loves collaboration, the forest, the ocean, the rivers, the mountains, the deserts, dancing, yoga, hiking, music, and art. 

You can learn more about Erin and her work at


Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services -

Aging Life Care Association -

Naomi Feil, Validation Method -

Barrett Values Assessment -

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

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This episode is brought to you by Lael Petersen Coaching. Lael provides dynamic coaching for people who want to know themselves on a deeper level, shift outdated habits, and live their lives with purpose. If you are tired of talking about your problems and ready to grow and change, let's talk!

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Song Credit: In Another Place by Isaac Elliott