Tough economic times have more and more families responsible for the care of aging parents. The term Sandwich Generation highlights a growing demographic of middle agers caring simultaneously for children and for ailing parents.
Recent census statistics show that more than 25% of American families are connected in various manners for the care of an aging parent. Health degradation can be a gradual process but most issues arrive suddenly, leaving many unprepared. Poor health and a difficult economy only compounds stress, especially for the primary caregiver.
What is a sandwich caregiver to do? The first step is to be aware of senior issues and what older adults fear most. The number one fear is losing a driver’s license. This is a symptom of a greater subset – fear of losing one’s independence. The second worry facing seniors is outliving their retirement savings.
The next step is to prepare and plan sooner than later. Health and financial problems are inevitable sometime in life, especially in the golden years. Proactive planning can help a family prepare for these events, and thus reduce stress levels when issues arise.
Proactive planning begins with an empathetic conversation with your parent. There is a tendency to treat your aging parent like a child. This is a surefire way to disrupt cooperation and collaboration. Make the discussion a team effort remembering the viewpoint of your parent – they don’t want to lose their independence and more importantly, they do not want to be a burden.
The team at Serenity Home Health and Senior Care in Wichita, Kansas understand these issues and we are here to help. Our professional caregivers come from a wide range of health care backgrounds and education, and our social workers are experienced advisors. Statistics show that when professional health care is employed in the home, health improves, nutritional awareness improves and the relationship between family members improves. The aging parent no longer feels like a burden to family members and they are able to remain at home, independent for a much longer period of time.
Serenity Home Health provides home health care and in home services in Wichita and its surrounding areas. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call (316) 866-2929 or visit our office at 453 S. Webb Road, suite 410.