One out of every four households is involved in caregiving for persons age 50 or older. That is more than 22.4 million households! If you are one of these people, you know how stressful it can be to ‘juggle’ your responsibilities to your family/children, your job, and an older relative. Middle aged people who find themselves in this situation are often referred to as ‘The Sandwich Generation’. In an aging society where we are living longer, middle generation individuals will spend more years with aging parents than with their children.
There are other demographic changes that impact caregiving. We are having fewer children than years ago, so there are fewer family caregivers available. Young people move to where the jobs and career opportunities are, often living far away from aging parents. This often puts them in the role of a ‘long distance’ caregiver. We also know that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease increases in oldest old – affecting nearly 50% of Americans over age 85. There may also be conflict within the family about caregiving issues and roles.
Caregivers often suffer from higher levels of anxiety, stress, depression and other health issues. It is very important to take good care of yourself, and work at healthy balance in your life if you are a caregiver. After all, if you break down or become ill, you won’t be able to care for your loved one.
Here are some web sites with helpful resources: