There is a very unique demographic phenomenon unfolding in the United States right now, and it will persist into the foreseeable future.
During the postwar years between 1946 and 1964, an inordinate number of babies were born. This phenomenon has been dubbed the “baby boom,” and if you do the math, you can see that these people are attaining senior citizen status. This has created a very large pool of senior citizens.
People are having their first children at later ages than they did a couple of generations ago. As a result many of these folks still have dependent children in their homes when they are entering their middle-aged years.
This has led to the emergence of the sandwich generation. These are middle-aged adults that are simultaneously caring for their children and their parents.
The statistics tell a compelling tale when it comes to the need for living assistance. About 70 percent of all seniors will require help with their activities of daily living eventually, so this is something that will impact most families.
When a person is widowed, the responsibilities that will fall to their adult children will increase. As a sandwich generation member, it is tough to take care of the needs of your children and your parent or parents simultaneously while you are managing your work responsibilities.
This is not to mention the personal time that everyone needs to stay balanced. Without question, members of the sandwich generation live challenging lives.
How to Cope
The expert advice that is out there is basically common sense, but it is good to hear it coming from someone else, because it provides perspective.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you should admit it and ask for help from siblings and others that may be able to help. Along these lines, it is okay to be upfront about any financial burdens that you are experiencing.
Counselors also emphasize the fact that caregivers should not feel guilty if they experience a sense of frustration and other negative emotions from time to time. We are all human, and emotional ups and downs are fully understandable when you are stretched thin.
At some point, you may come to the conclusion that your parent requires a level of care that can only be delivered by an in-home health aide. This can provide a solution, but the cost is considerable.
According to Genworth Financial, the median rate for a home health aide in 2019 was over $62,000 a year. Medicare does not pay for this type of assistance.
Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of the Vermont Choices for Care Program. This is our version of the Medicaid waiver programs are offered around the country for people that can get the care that they need in their homes.
There are limits with regard to income and assets. With the proper planning, it is possible to obtain eligibility when it is needed, and this is an area of expertise for our firm.
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