Preparing the Sandwich Generation
No, we aren’t talking about Peanut Butter and Jelly lovers! We’re actually talking about caregiving…taking care of a parent 65 or older while you still care for a minor or adult child still at home. You may not be familiar with this term but about 47% of adults between the ages of 40-59 are part of the Sandwich Generation, according to Pew Research Center’s 2012 data.
Caring for an aging parent alone can be a very a daunting task; now add the fact that one might also be providing for their own children and this family might just have a very stressful environment- physically, emotionally and financially. One of the best things a sandwich generation family can do is BE PREPARED. This would mean educating the family and taking advantage of resources that can help the family.
One of the best places to start is the aging parent’s physician. Understanding their health concerns is important to the direction and type of care that will be provided. Whether the issues are physical complications that may lead to home modifications or cognitive deficits related to dementia related disorders and/or Alzheimer’s, knowing the health prognosis will help map a better path of care and allow the family to tackle all of the moving parts and dynamics of being a sandwich generation caregiver.
A good next step would be to seek out resources related to your aging parent’s needs. Below is a list of some things to think about and some resources you may need to look into.
- Caregiver Support Groups
- Respite Programs (short-term/temporary caregiving relief)
- Day Care Programs
- Companion Services for in-home assistance
- Overnight stay Respite Services (Could be in-home or at an assisted living)
- Legal Advice/Documentation
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Surrogate
- Living Will
- Financial Assistance Programs for seniors (day care, housing, caregivers, assisted living, memory care)
- Financial Planners specializing in eldercare
- VA Assistance
- Florida Medicaid Programs
(This is not an all inclusive list. These are some examples of senior service resources.)
Your doctor may have some advice and referrals for you on the above services but a senior resource center or senior care specialist you trust may be more helpful. The following is a list of a few local senior resource centers.
Sunflower House, Merritt Square Mall, 321-452-4341
One Senior Place, Melbourne, 321-751-6771
Senior-Linx Resource & Referral Center, Merritt Island, 321-474-8289
**Please note, some senior referral services receive compensation from providers and/or the senior or the senior’s family. It is important to ask how they get paid as well as, if they refer to providers who do not compensate them.
It is the caregiver’s responsibility to do their due diligence by researching the best services and resources available to their aging parent(s). Not all facilities or services are equal and finding the right ones that meet the senior’s needs are what is most important. Getting a game plan together and building a team in advance will help the sandwich generation through the physical, emotional and financial stresses of caregiving.
Should you have any questions on the information provided in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Stacy Slaughter at 321-474-8289.Tags: caregiver support, caregiver support Merritt Island, sandwich generation, senior healthcare