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– Mother’s Day has come and gone, Father’s Day is approaching, and for many “Moms and Dads in the Middle” the brief respite may seem like ages ago. Today, many women and men are in the position of caring for both young children and elderly parents, and while they love both generations and are supremely devoted, the responsibility can be overwhelming. Poet’s Walk recognizes the challenges the “sandwich generation” faces and offers some concrete strategies on how to manage them.
Karen Decker, Interim Executive Director at Poet’s Walk Sarasota, explains: “Both the middle generation and the elder generation face specific and profound challenges in this stage of life. For the middle generation, they are now taking physical, financial, and/or emotional care of both their parents and their children, a shift or reversal of roles as elderly parents rely more on them. For the seniors, the lack of control is often a major concern—the fear that they will lose their independence, their autonomy, even their ability to make decisions about their life and death.”
Alexander Markowits, President/CEO of Spring Hills, comments, “Our priority is always the health and well-being of our residents. We understand that the family relationship is very important here. At all Spring Hills communities, offering resources, guidance and support to the families as they navigate this challenging topic is both our privilege and our responsibility.”
The team at Poet’s Walk has much experience working with the sandwich generation, their loved ones in assisted living and their family members. There are a lot of areas in which this generation can receive help on when they begin taking care of their parents. Most tips that Poet’s Walk can offer to ensure the well-being of the elderly as well as the middle generation implore the need to plan ahead. While people don’t age overnight, a need for an assisted living can happen quickly. Before the need arises, start thinking about the factors that will make the transition easier, both for the caregiver and the parent or loved one.
One of the most important factors to consider in these conversations is the level of intervention people want as they approach the end of life and in the event that they stop breathing. Decker continues, “To address these challenges, we advise having direct conversations. This provides clarity so that the senior’s wishes can be honored if and when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. This process, while emotional and difficult, gives everyone a plan, and that can make a big difference—the uncertainty and worry is stressful, but when there is a clear directive, both generations feel more comfortable.”
The following are three key documents to discuss:
In addition to the above items, there is more that can be planned ahead to make a transition smoother.
Self-Care, while one of the most important pieces to staying healthy, is often left to the bottom of the list. It is just as important to care for oneself when caring for a senior. Staying healthy, allowing time to rest, and balancing work and responsibilities with things that bring joy will do wonders to keep the caregiver calm and happy. A big step in reaching these goals is to ask for help from family members, friends and the team members at the assisted living. Planning ahead and partnering with your loved one’s medical team will allow the caregiver to give a higher level of support.
About Poet’s Walk Sarasota:
Poet’s Walk Sarasota provides memory care with the finest amenities and is located at 5851 Honore Ave. in Sarasota, FL 34243. For more information, visit www.springhills.com/communities/poets-walk-sarasota/ or call 941-584-5575.
About Spring Hills:
Spring Hills operates post-acute care, assisted living, and memory care communities, and home care services that provide comprehensive support, including population health management, for seniors and those with chronic health needs. Spring Hills ensures the highest standards for proactive health care and quality of living at every stage and is committed to helping people live happy, healthy lives.
Led by Alexander Markowits, Founder and President/CEO, Spring Hills is committed to providing seamless care experiences that meet the unique needs and preferences of residents, patients, and their families. Spring Hills has 35 facilities across seven states: Post-Acute Care in NJ; Assisted Living and Home Care in NJ, NY, VA, OH, FL and NV; and Memory Care in TX, VA, NV and FL. For more information, visit www.spring-hills.com or www.poetswalk-springhills.com.