7/18/2011

Mounting Healthcare and College Costs Without Reprieve: Minding Our Elders gives hope to the sandwich generation

The cost of caring for the elderly and for children is going up like a skyline in Dubai. The price of college has been on the rise, since 1980 the cost of institutions across the board has almost tripled. One year in a 4 year institution is now averaging $20,000 every year and with budgets around the country being slashed, that price won't be coming down. Healthcare is much the same way - Americans spend approximately 9%, or $4,400, of their annual income on healthcare costs.

As the baby boom generation enters their golden years, demand will continue to push up the price of care. It is believed that every day after January 1, 2011 will have 10,000 of more people turning 65 and retiring. This is cause for investment and efficiency but it will be expensive.

The news media calls it the sandwich generation. It simply means that you are caring for parents and children  simultaneously. Balancing the care of parents, and children with your own needs is challenging at best. Most caregivers put their own self-care at the bottom of the heap. This can leave you feeling depressed, defeated or alone. 

Having a support network is vital. People from church, friends, family and support groups can lighten the burden and make a difference. Home health care or community services may also be able to help.

In the book Minding Our Elders by Carol Bradley Bursack the issue of taking care of aging parents is tackled head on. Personal stories are shared that will only serve to inspire other caregivers.

Taking care of aging parents, a chronically ill spouse or child sometimes requires making hard choices. It may become necessary to refinance a home to take care of medical expenses. Caregivers may find themselves having to look at creative options to fund the care that their loved one needs.

Caregivers deserve to have the support they need. The problem is that nearly every minute of the day can be consumed by caring for the person you love. The odd moments where a caregiver can catch a breath are taken up by the usual tasks that keep a household going.

2 comments:

  1. I've been in the caregiver role and it is indeed difficult to find time for oneself. Any help that a caregiver receives is a true blessing! Excellent post. rcj

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  2. The book "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan is a great memoir from the perspective of a woman in "The Sandwich Generation" and all the challenges that go with it! I highly recommend it!

    Linda from Beach Glass Transitions, Senior Care Consultants

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