In a 2012 study by Pew Research Center, almost half of those in their 40s and 50s had children at home while also having a parent over the age of 64. Of them, 15 percent were providing financial support to a child and an aging parent at the same time. Those people are prime examples of the Sandwich Generation.
Are you part of the Sandwich Generation? Before you agree to care for a parent, make sure you understand and are prepared for these six things.
They Struggle to Balance Care of Two Homes
Family caregivers often have their own home and commute to their parents’ home. If this is you, you’re going to be balancing the care and upkeep of your own home and the same at your parents’ home.
The Commute Between Homes is Exhausting
If you live close to your parents, it’s not too exhausting. Around 3 out of 4 caregivers live within 20 miles of their parents’ home. Another 13 percent live between 20 and 60 minutes away. If you’re farther away, that commute time puts a lot of excess mileage on a car. It also takes up valuable time.
They Often Spend Their Own Money on Things Their Parents Need
An AARP study looked at the amount of money family caregivers spend on their parents. The average is estimated to be about $7,400 in 2019. Caregivers who live an hour away were spending around $12,700 per year when gas and mileage were factored in.
The Return to Work Can Be Challenging
Family caregivers spend an average of four years providing care. However, 15 percent are in that role for more than 10 years. After that amount of time away from the workforce, it can be hard finding a job that pays a livable wage.
Cutting Hours or Quitting Your Job Impacts Your Future
If you do have to cut hours or quit your job, you face losing health and dental insurance. Your retirement savings are also impacted if your employer contributes to 401k or has a pension.
Breaks Are Essential
You have to take breaks. Day-in, day-out care of a parent is exhausting emotionally and physically. Each day comes with its own challenges, frustrations, and joys. If you never take a day off, or even an hour here and there, you’ll burn out. Let a senior care agency help you.
Respite care is one of the most convenient ways to take breaks when needed. You’re not leaving your parents alone. You leave them in the hands of a pro until you return. Call a senior care agency to make arrangements.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Highland Park, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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