If you or a family member is caring for an aging parent or someone close to you, you understand the complexities of day-to-day living. In honor of Parents’ Day, July 23, we thought we would share helpful information to those who are caregivers of a parent or loved one, or who will be assisting them in the future.  

Baby Boomers  

Right now, we are experiencing an almost-unprecedented growth in older adults. According to an article on apnews.com, this share of U.S. residents grew by more than a third from 2010 to 2020 and at the fastest rate of any decade in 130 years.  

This means that many Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964 are reaching the age of 65 and older, and they are starting to experience health issues or are ready to downsize to a smaller home that will adapt to their mobility. Soon they may need help physically, emotionally and even financially from their children and family members as they age. At the same time, they may be responsible for elderly parents in their 80s and 90s.  

The Sandwich Generation  

The term “Sandwich Generation” is not a new one, but it now accounts for a rising demographic. These are the people who are “sandwiched” between taking care of parents or older relatives while at the same time supporting and raising their children. This group can also include people who are helping older relatives, older or adult children and even assisting with raising grandchildren.  

Stress factors 

Whether you’re assisting parents, grandparents or loved ones, you may encounter some stress from several avenues such as financial, emotional or physical. Aging in the U.S. can be expensive and with medical costs on the rise, you may have to contribute to costs. There is also an emotional toll from being pulled in several directions at once, especially if you are the sole caregiver.  

Caregivers of parents and loved ones can also face exhaustion and isolation. They may struggle to devote enough time to their spouse, partner or children. If the caregiver employed, this may add extra stress to perform well at work and keep up with their parent’s needs.  

Taking care of yourself 

No matter if you’re a Baby Boomer helping an aging parent or part of the Sandwich Generation, you need to take care of yourself. Making time to get enough rest and healthy meals can actually make you a better caregiver.  

There are also things you can do to smooth the way:  

Get finances straight:

Make sure that you and your parents, siblings and adult children understand their responsibilities in the caregiving situation. Who is going to pay the bills for the elderly relative? Where can they afford to live? Is there enough money to pay for some outside assistance?  

Understand medical issues and insurance:

If chronic illness or other medical challenges are involved, make sure someone in the family knows which physicians are involved and what medicines are prescribed. It often helps to have two people at a doctor’s appointment. Insurance cards should also be kept in a central place so that they are always available.  

Find a senior living community that works for everyone:

If possible, make sure that the parent or loved one has a voice in their living space, even if it’s just about the color of the bedsheets or the placement of the television. You can also make sure that it’s geographically close to someone whether that’s you, a relative or a trusted caregiver. Getting to your parent quickly when they need assistance will bring you peace of mind.  

Ask for assistance:

No one can do it all. Reach out to family, close friends or professionals who specialize in helping older adults. Look for those who can give the caregivers a rest, take over certain tasks like paying bills or even assistance with daily tasks of living. Caregiving can be a fulfilling experience if you take care of yourself as well.  

Moving your senior relative can cause many adverse effects to their mental and physical health. WayForth’s move managers are experienced in making that transition easier, read our article here for information on how WayForth eases seniors into their new living situation. 

Want more information about how WayForth can help with comprehensive moving solutions including downsizing, packing, moving and clear-out? Contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH. 

About the Author: WayForth

WayForth is the definitive provider of comprehensive and personalized moving solutions for life and business. Since 2016, WayForth has led the way in move management, providing solutions to over 15,000 individuals and families. How you move matters and no matter the destination, WayForth serves as a guide making life’s transitions easier to navigate. Call 1.844.WAYFORTH today to learn how we can help with your next move!
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