In this country, 10,000 people turn 65 every day. The need for care increases every single day. We are faced with a significant amount of need for care in our families’ futures. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how we will manage. As a member of the “sandwich” generation, I am looking towards a future where I will have to find the resources to not only care for my children but for my parents at the same time. Being a part of a “sandwich generation” doesn’t mean that this is the only generation that has had to care for both their elders and their children. For the last couple of decades, most families in the US have both parents working away from the home so there is no one to care for our elders at home. Thankfully, I am a nurse and the Director of the Home Care Services team at Mary’s Woods so I have a small chance of finding a way to make it work for my family. I am concerned about the other parents and children who will be blindsided by the fact that their parents will need care before they are done raising their kids. How will they pay for it? What if they too are caregivers in their occupations? Are they making the cost of living that would support this scenario? In most states and in most caregiver roles, the answers are bleak.
There is some hope. We are starting to see our future and the challenges ahead. Change is hopefully on the horizon thanks to advocates such as Ai-Jen Poo, author of The Age of Dignity and co-founder of Caring Across Generations https://caringacross.org/. Ai-Jen is finding new ways to help our elders and disabled age with dignity. She is featured in the ‘Care’ Documentary that was released earlier this year. This documentary reveals the care options for families, elders and caregivers in our current situation and what options we have as we approach a “care crisis”.
Other initiatives such as standardized caregiver training programs are also being developed and tested as I write. These types of programs help caregivers get the tools they need to provide excellent care and validate caregiving as an honorable and crucial profession. This last year in Oregon, many in-home care agencies partnered with Clackamas Community College to develop a comprehensive caregiver training program which piloted in July 2017 and is currently being offered through Clackamas Community College.
Educating and being engaged is the only way these challenges will be remedied. To get involved and make a difference here are some websites that you can visit:
Article Provided by: Megan Thompson
Mary’s Woods In- Home Care