Sandwich Generation Caregivers

Two articles highlight the issues faced by family caregivers “sandwiched” between the needs of their school-aged children and their parents: “Feeling the Strain of Caregiving,” by Connie Cone Sexton (www.azcentral.com), and “When Parents Move in with Kids,” by Jane Bryant Quinn (www.aarp.org/bulletin).

Working in an elder law firm that specializes in life care planning, “sandwich-generation” families are often the ones who seek us out because of the need for comprehensive legal services and care coordination for their aging parents. Perhaps they need to draft a power of attorney and need assistance navigating the medical system. It could be that they need to file for conservatorship because Dad is no longer able to manage his own finances. Upon further discussion, it becomes apparent that they also need help in locating reliable respite care, an assisted living facility or resources to cope with the added stress in their lives.

Whatever issues these caregivers may be facing, the AZ Republic article offered some sage advice:

  • Reward yourself with respite breaks often.
  • Watch for signs of depression and get professional help when you need it.
  • Accept offers of help and suggest specific things to be done.
  • Talk to older children about the changing family dynamics.
  • Have special time for your children to talk and do fun activities.

And I would add to that list, to contact an elder law attorney (www.lcplfa.org) who can help alleviate some of the caregiving burden when money or medical issues impact an elder’s ability to remain living on their own.

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