The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap
Meet members of the sandwich generation: raising children, dealing with elderly parents—and sometimes feeling as if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew

By Marilyn Werber Serafini

Chris St. Clair’s mother was firmly rooted in Breckenridge, Texas, population 6,000, with its three traffic lights and two grocery stores. She had graduated from the local high school and knew how many times the banks had changed names. She didn’t intend on leaving.

But in 2009, the 82-year-old woman’s weight dropped to 83 pounds. When a home nurse called to tell St. Clair, the Kensington resident jumped on a plane to Texas.

There, she found her mother’s refrigerator and pantry near empty. She learned that her mother had canceled Meals On Wheels, which had been delivering lunches and dinners, and that she had been driving around town against her doctor’s orders while recovering from cataract surgery.

“She was doing things that were going to cause her to die,” St. Clair says.

Seven times that year, St. Clair had flown to Texas to arrange her mother’s surgery, along with Meals On Wheels and a nurse to check in regularly. With a husband, two daughters and a full-time job setting up computer systems, it wasn’t easy, and St. Clair quickly ran through her annual leave. Still, she was confident that she had created a stable and comfortable environment for her mom.

Now she was back in Texas, throwing her mother’s clothes into a suitcase in order to move her to Maryland. St. Clair wasn’t sure how it would work out; she just knew that she needed her mother closer.

That’s how Chris St. Clair became a member of the sandwich generation, the growing group of people who find themselves caring simultaneously for their children and for their parents. It’s a societal matter that can be traced to two trends: longer life spans, and the decision by couples to become parents later in life, not long before their parents begin needing care, too.

By 2030, 18 percent of the population will be over age 65, up from 13 percent in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center. The toll on the sandwich generation can be substantial, draining their time, finances and emotions, experts say. Many begin to neglect their own needs and sink into depression.

Continue reading HERE…

To learn about using our free Care Advisor service for senior home care, and access our Provider Network of licensed, insured agencies, visit us at Advocare. No fee or contract is necessary to use the services of our Care Advisor. A Certified Senior Advisor will discuss your care needs, develop a profile of the best candidate, and schedule interviews with potential caregivers from multiple agencies. Our unique model allows the agencies to compete for your business and helps you choose the best caregiver for the best price.

We help families in South Florida with care management in the Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach areas.

Comments are closed.