I recently became familiar with the term “the sandwich generation.” This refers to adults who are simultaneously caring for their own children, as well as for their elderly parents.
Currently, the typical age range for folks in this position is 40-60. But my siblings and I know that we are going to be joining the ranks of the sandwich generation sometime in the next 2-10 years.
This is because my father was recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. While he is not currently in need of any assistance, because of his diagnosis, that will change, and we can’t be sure quite how long it will be before that happens. And we need to have a plan that we all like (most importantly, my father). While he is still able to help with these decisions about his care, we need to make them now.
This is a completely overwhelming prospect. My father’s children range in age from 18-35, and we all live away from my father and away from each other. We are all also in different life stages. It makes getting together for really hard conversations pretty darn tough.
The Sandwich Generation’s Guide to Eldercare
So when the opportunity came to read and review a book about this very topic, I knew that I needed to do it. Let me be clear: I didn’t WANT to read it. But that has everything to do with me being in denial of the issue, and nothing to do with the book, itself.
The Sandwich Generation’s Guide to Eldercare is the perfect book for anyone who suddenly finds themselves needing to understand things like how Medicare works (short answer: it’s complicated). I also got some very concrete advice on where to start with this whole process. I am so thankful for this resource, because I’ve been feeling like my siblings and I are on the beach, and have just been told to swim across the ocean until we find land again. Pretty overwhelming task, I have to say, and speaking for myself, I’ve been much more content to just stay put on land rather than to start swimming.
But this book feels like the map I need. I don’t think it is exhaustive, and I don’t think it is for people who have been providing care for their elderly parents for years and already know how it all works. It is for people like me who now realize that this is coming and that they need to get a plan together now.
I’d love to hear if any of my readers are currently part of the sandwich generation? If so, does your parent live with you, or in an assisted living facility or nursing home? Any tips for those of us who are about to have to step up their responsibilities?
Win it!: I know that some of you who read this could really use a copy of this book, so I’m happy to be offering it as a giveaway!
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