Coping with eldercare issues has become a unique hallmark of our generation. In fact, we are often called the "sandwich generation" because we find ourselves responsible for the care of our own children on one side, and our aging parents on the other. The result can be a nightmare of stress and financial insecurity which degrades our productivity, dulls our senses and threatens our capacity to enjoy our own lives.
Everyone with elderly parents knows what the issues are: How long can she stay on her own? Where will she go? What can we afford? What resources are available? What will happen to her assets? And, of course: Will she have to move in with us?
Problems Strike Quickly
For most people, the worry of eldercare comes on suddenly after an accident or illness, and they find it necessary to move quickly with little preparation. They have no feeling for the scope of the problems, no knowledge of community or governmental resources, no expertise in judging a parent's ability to live safely and no idea where to turn for help.
Sometimes there are signals which anticipate eldercare problems. If an aging parent begins to eat poorly or skip meals, it may mean she has become insecure about going out alone and doesn't shop for food as often as she should, or she may be too tired to fix dinner. The resulting poor nutrition leads to further loss of energy and physical problems. She may forget to take medication regularly, which aggravates both physical and mental problems such as memory loss. It can become a downward spiral from which it is difficult to recover. Can she still live at home? Are there in-home services that can help?
Everyone wants only the best for their parents, but at what cost? None of us wants to deal with the guilt of "having Mom put away." But for many of the sandwich generation, the stress of dealing with daily parental care threatens to engulf their own personal, work and family lives. To avoid becoming additional casualties themselves, caregivers must find alternative means to address these issues.
Help Is Available
ElderCare Advocates provides care management for the elderly which can help keep them healthy and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. And when this is no longer feasible, we will let you know and provide objective evaluations and assistance in making other arrangements. We can take the care management load off your shoulders and give you back your own life.
If you are just beginning to learn about eldercare issues, the Eldercare Resource Center can help you understand the many factors influencing this complex problem. Feel free to make use of the articles and links to gain a better understanding of your own situation and the options you have in dealing with it. And if you feel you need help in managing the process, call us. We'll help you find the best solution to your unique problem.