If you are currently raising a child as well as caring for an aging parent, you are not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately one out of every eight Americans between the ages of 40 and 60 is also juggling the same set of responsibilities, in addition to almost 7 million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance.
Pulled in so many directions at once, the responsibilities can be intense, both financially and emotionally for the primary caregiver as well as for the entire family. And as a large portion of the American population continues to age, the US Census Bureau predicts that the number of older Americans aged 65 or older will almost double by the year 2030.
Hoping to draw attention to the need for support and resources for “one of the largest and most consumer-driven demographics in the world,” The Sandwich Generation Resource Group dedicated the month of July to the Sandwich Generation.
Whether you are part of the Sandwich generation or know someone who is, the ability to understand and lend a supportive hand could go a long way to ease the burden of those who are striving to care for multiple generations of loved ones. How can you help yourself or others?
Remember you are not alone. Create a to-do list and ask for help. From financial contributions to emotional support to physical assistance, every member of your family should be able to help out in some way. Relatives living far away may be able to provide some funds for caregiving, help coordinate meal deliveries, confirm doctor appointments or offer reassurances and emotional support over the phone.
The primary caregiver needs care too. Making sure caregivers care for themselves is critically important and that means making sure he or she is getting enough rest, has time to exercise and is eating healthy meals themselves. Having the time to slow down to taking a physical and emotional break is important for everyone and in order to continue to care for others, the primary caregiver must also be sure to care for themselves.
Research professional assistance programs. Local resources, such as financial planners, accountant, medical specialists and community senior centers, may be able to help you determine your current state of financial and medical needs as well as suggest a variety of options for the future. Knowing your budget limitations and the medical requirements to care for elderly parents can help fend off many potential complications down the road.
If the time has come when you or a family member is no longer able to live independently, contact California Registry to discuss your options and learn about assisted living services and facilities available throughout California.