Happy Birthday to The Sandwich Generation
Part 1: The Sandwich Generation label has nothing to do with food, and everything to do with being stuck firmly between an older and younger generation of family members. This 5 part series may assist with ways to reduce stress while helping your elder parent(s).
If you were born after WWII, between 1946-1964 you are part of the “baby boom” generation. You likely grew up with 3 to 7 siblings who are now considered part of the Sandwich Generation. Many baby boomers are overloaded juggling their career along with looking after parents and their immediate family. Thus sandwiched, and pulled in every direction even as Boomers themselves become seniors. An improved healthcare system means parents are living longer than their parents did – sometimes flirting around the century mark.
2.4 Million babies were born in Canada between 1957-61 – the heart of the post war baby boom. 10% of our population will be seniors soon. Why is this important? Systems are not in place to adequately care for our aging population. Our infrastructure is lagging to support such a large cohort of aging seniors. For example, buildings and roads are sparsely equipped for motorized wheelchairs, handicapped parking or building access. This is an entire discussion unto itself –not one I am prepared to delve into today (don`t get me started!). Experience teaches our newly minted baby boomer/seniors the challenges of growing old. Since there are no life do-overs, I would like to suggest options to improve quality of life during stressful times of deciding whether to stay at home, or move into an assisted living facility. How often I have heard “If I had known then what I know now...” Forewarned is forearmed.
I have witnessed the challenges faced by people in their 70s, 80s, 90s in terms of “Aging In place” in their family home as well as those who move into assisted living or long term care (LTC). In most situations, the family home becomes too much responsibility, or health issues dictate a change. Who checks in on a widower (daily) to make sure a fall has not happened, or that the person who came to the door canvassing was legit? How does the home owner help their children prepare for their inevitable passing? This sounds like a morbid question, but if it is ignored, experience has shown me that the outcome is far more difficult. These are areas that Home Suite Home Transitions can help. If you have questions, I will address anything you may send. In the meantime I will hopefully expedite the learning curve with the following information. The next 4 parts to the Sandwich Generation will discuss: Steps to Keeping your folks safe whether at Home or moving into a new location, Preparing to Pass, Becoming Your Parents` Parent.