Balancing Work and Care – the Sandwich Generation

September 10, 2010; By: Audrey Miller
All About Estates

I will be blogging about the personal side of estates including elder care planning, family communication and balancing care giving issues. As we age, all of us will be dealing with elder care issues, for ourselves, our families, and our clients. How we approach it and how we plan for it can make can help to make the journey as positive as possible.

One in six people providing informal care to seniors experiences distress, according to a new study released last month by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and those caring for seniors with moderate to severe cognitive impairment, such as those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, are most at risk.

Caregiver strain has been positively associated with absenteeism due to elder care problems and emotional, physical or mental fatigue. What can the working caregiver do? Every situation is different yet there are some common factors to consider. Be realistic about the care recipient’s care requirements as well and equally important, be realistic about how much care you can provide and what this means for you and your family. Will the caregiving be a short term activity while mom or dad are recovering or will it be a long term commitment?

Consider things at home to make life easier such as:
– Can other family members share in the caregiving responsibilities?
– Can you afford to hire a paid caregiver?
– Have you contacted your local Community Care Access Centre to discuss respite care?
– Have a family meeting to discuss concerns and brain storm solutions of where assistance can be provided as to who can provide what and when.
– Speak to the person you are providing care for; what do they want?
– Have they seen a specialist? Is there more information to be obtained on their condition to anticipate what might be ahead ( issues of mobility, climbing stairs, cognitive decline etc).

Welcome to the Sandwich Generation and I look forward to helping you along this journey.

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