Balance: The Sandwich Generation Event Recap

Balance: The Sandwich Generation Event Recap

Thursday, September 27th marked our Firm’s first quarterly Women’s Initiative event.
The topic? Balance: The Sandwich Generation
Covering what you need to know when you find yourself caring for your parents AND for your children, WHP attorneys Carmen Verhosek and Erica Williams led the discussion with some of our area’s top female leaders who happen to find themselves in the Sandwich Generation. With equal parts networking and content and a dash or two of wine and appetizers, attendees left with three tools to add to their toolbox. Let’s review the takeaways from last night’s event:
The Sandwich Generation: defined as individuals that find themselves ‘sandwiched’ between raising a family of their own and caring for aging parents.
So let’s get the facts:
The Sandwich Generation is GROWING.
  • Almost half of all adults in their 40s and 50s have at least one parent age 64 or older.

Being a part of the Sandwich Generation means it’s likely impacting your career.

  • It adds stress
  • It’s challenging to balance work, life and caregiving to multiple audiences
  • Many work schedules are inflexible
  • Many have additional costs to pay for caregivers for their children and/or parents

Caring for aging parents is time consuming, adding up to 23 hours per week helping care for them.

About 66% of all senior caregivers are women.

And financially? It can prove to be a burden.

  • 75% of Americans believe their children are obligated to provide financial assistance to aging parents.
  • The Ohio State median for nursing home cost in 2017 was $91,250; $50,130 for assisted living; and $48,483 for home health aide (44 hours per week)
  • There are three ways to pay: private funds, long-term care insurance, and medicaid

So how does someone manage to balance their life with the needs of their parents and their children (and sometimes their grandchildren)? 

Here are three tools to add to your toolbox:

  1. PLAN AHEAD
    • Have the difficult conversations with your loved ones
      • Talk about the state of their finances
      • Prepare the estate plan
        • Do they have a Will and Testament?
        • Do they have a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA)?
        • Do they have a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)?
        • Is there an estate plan for your parents?
          • What about for yourself?
      • Determine their long-term care wishes
  2. SELF-CARE
    • ***NOTE: Self-care is NOT selfish
    • How can you take care of yourself?
      • Find whatever it is that gives you joy and happiness… then do that.
      • Me-time, exercise, meditation, unplug, read, go to the spa, have a glass of wine, hit the golf course
    • You cannot pour from an empty cup…
      • So why do we?
        • Guilt
        • We don’t ask for help
        • Lack of time, money, energy
    • Manage your stress
      • Prioritize your to-dos
      • Delegate to others
      • Manage your time
      • Create a self-car eplan
        • Assess how you cope
        • Identify what you need
        • Execute
        • Evaluate
        • Adjust
  3. SUPPORT SYSTEM
    1. Natural supports include your family and your friends
    2. Community supports include different organizations, churches and yes, even mobile apps (see list of recommendations below)
    3. Hired supports include geriatric care managers and elder law attorneys

 

Mobile Apps to help you manage:

  • Calm: mediation/breathing
  • Breathing Zone
  • CareZone: organization
  • Caring Village: store documents, coordinate help
  • Caregiver Buddy: dementia support, integrated with Alzheimer’s Association helpline
  • AARP Caregiving

    

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