Balancing Family Life with Children and Aged Parents
It’s probably not the sort of sandwich we had in mind. As we gratefully see generations of our family living longer, many families feel crushed by the duties of caring for parents and children at the same time. In fact, a Pew Research Center study finds that one out of every eight adults age 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent. And the number of older persons to care for is estimated to grow to more than 72 million by 2030.
It’s not just demanding. The nature of these demands is unique. Constant awareness and attention is called for, and this takes a kind of energy that most people never experience until they become parents. You’re always “on.”
Unexpected Occurrences Enter the Picture
Yet, with an aged family member in the household, too, some of the events that come with aging – and often with disability – can be unpredictable. Accidents and sudden changes in the family member’s condition can prompt doctor calls and emergency room visits that upend the most well-planned household. Even small children have a more predictable rhythm.
Add to this picture the effort involved in a person’s own career and work obligations, and we see a very difficult way of life by any standard. So, when the duties and demands of caregiving go in both directions, people sometimes feel they are on the brink of exhaustion much of the time.
Financial Burden Grows Faster Than the Family
Because the cost of prescriptions often rises, and because medical attention usually increases with age, the cost of caring for parents can grow faster than the cost for children. Sandwich households have an extra hard time planning, budgeting, and keeping up with costs unless they put experienced help on their side.
Relief Is a Family Necessity
Taking care of yourself is a key ingredient in the sandwich generation household. The people depending on you are equally dependent on your staying well and happy, and so a whole sector of healthcare, known as respite care, is taking shape to provide the relief that home caregivers need.
With our rich background in home care and our wide array of services, CoxHealth at Home is uniquely qualified to offer you the selection of support that’s right for you, your home and your family.
The CoxHealth at Home Spectrum of Services
The kinds of services CoxHealth at Home can provide are so extensive and detailed that perhaps the best way to describe them is this: If it happens, we can help you with it. From a few hours or a day a week to round-the-clock care, CoxHealth at Home is committed to providing you the support that enables you to regain a sense of control and confidence.
With a planned program of care designed particularly for the needs of the family member you’re caring for, unexpected events are often avoided. Costs become more predictable, so you can plan more effectively. And people tell us that the sense that they’re not alone in this commitment is worth a great deal.