The Sandwich Generation’s Guide to Eldercare - Part 2

The Sandwich Generation’s Guide to Eldercare - Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at some of the challenges facing the sandwich generation. Here, Wickert, Dresden and Rumrill will provide us some solutions to the challenges.

When is the Right Time?

When is it time to start looking for long term care for an elderly parent or other loved one? Dresden wondered the same thing when caring for her disabled father – a military veteran. “I called the psychiatrist managing his case and asked her about the appropriate time to begin thinking about long term care. The psychiatrist answered,

‘When you start asking questions, then it’s time’,” said Dresden.

It’s also important to talk with a professional, who is familiar with your loved one’s case, about the appropriate level of involvement for your aging parent say the authors. The book includes an eldercare planning sheet, which gives families a framework that they can use to collaborate on plan development. Using this document, you can identify what’s needed to give your loved one the proper emotional, financial, and medical support.

Real Experiences, Real Solutions

The authors relay numerous real-life stories and anecdotes from the sandwich generation.They talk about some of the important aspects of planning that caregivers should consider when developing an eldercare plan, such as a living will and durable power of attorney. Another important part to an effective solution involves knowing the true cost of long-term care, especially late in life.

People frequently underestimate these costs and the resulting burden represents one of the most difficult challenges faced by caregivers.

This book thoroughly covers all imaginable aspects of eldercare for those still juggling the responsibilities of raising kids and tending to a career. We specifically asked the authors about caregiver burnout and how the book addresses this issue. Understandably, they’ve included an entire chapter on this topic. The chapter addresses how to recognize the first signs of burnout and includes a list of common signs and symptoms. It also describes ways to prevent burnout before it happens and there’s a handy checklist as well.

Preventing Caregiver Burnout

Of course, it’s better to prevent burnout, than to deal with it after it has begun. “As a caregiver, you can prevent burnout by delegating tasks,” explains Wickert. “You can ask family members to help with specific duties like transportation or shopping.” She went on to warn that it’s important to be specific when asking others to help. Don’t just ask a family member to take dad shopping. Tell them which store has what he’ll need and include a list of specific items to purchase.

According to Pew Research,

1 out of 7 adults provide financial and emotional support to both an aging parent and a child.

That’s fully 15 percent of middle-aged adults. With statistics like that, this book fills an important need for education and experientially based advice on how to cope with this challenge. If you’re aged 40 to 60, there’s a good chance you may end up as one of the sandwich generation. We recommend reading this book and preparing well in advance.

Give us a call to discuss your eldercare plan.

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