June 1, 2012
Lisa L. Halbert, Esq.
They call it the "Sandwich Generation," those individuals who care for their young, college-aged, adult, or boomerang kids, while at the same time caring for and parents or in-laws who need some level of assistance. These, stuck-in-the-middle people are overworked, stressed, tired, and oftentimes financially strapped from the burden.
Typically there is some hope or expectation that as a child ages, parenting modulates from hands-on caregiving duties to that of chauffeur, disciplinarian, and behavior modeling duties, and then the child goes their own way. For many with aging parents, however, the roles reverse, and caring for parents expands from driving them to appointments, to moving them in to live with you, to engaging in disagreements, as if you had another grumpy parent/child, and even to the adult equivalent of diapering and assisting with feeding.
For some, it is an honor to care for aging parents. This commitment comes from not only from a strong sense of family, but also from concern that nursing home experiences are not ideal, and can be prohibitively expensive. For others, it is an obligation, whether self-imposed or not. For most people caught within the sandwich generation, perhaps it is a blend of love, obligation, and concern about how they would want to be treated if or when they become stuck in such a needy situation. ...
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by: Lisa L. Halbert