BOSTON (CBS) – With Father’s Day less than a week away this is a good time to continue the series we started around Mother’s Day on helping our elders.
According to a survey conducted by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving nearly one in four households are providing care to a relative or friend aged 50 or older ( over 22 million). The scariest thing about the survey is that they considered 50 old!
The survey suggests that today’s Baby Boomers, adults born between 1946 and 1964, will likely spend more years caring for a parent than for their children. That is hard if you have moved across country from your parents and are trying to provide long distance care.
Retirees are living longer and modern medicine is helping them do so. But living longer often means living a more limited lifestyle for as we age we also become frail and need more services to continue living on our own.
Individuals in their 40s and 50s are now caring for parents who are in their 70s and 80s. And usually it is the daughter or daughter-in-law who is the care giver. And this generation often had children later in life so indeed they are the “Sandwich Generation”. Their parents may need them to help pay the bills, grocery shop and drive them places and their teenagers need them to pay the bills, keep them in groceries and chauffeur them around as well.
Help is just a phone call or a computer click away. Start with the Eldercare Locator to find assistance here in Massachusetts. The site lists information on services and programs in Massachusetts for elders. Their phone: 800-677-1116. And to find help anywhere in the country use their national website.
Another good resource would be the local Council on Aging where Dad lives. They are usually listed in the local phone book or contact town hall. See what they are offering for they may be able to coordinate meals or driving. If Dad is in Florida contact the National Council on Aging for help.
The Federal Trade Commission and AARP put together a booklet titled Aging/Parents & Adult Children Together, A/PACT. This is good stuff which covers everything from elder fraud to caring for the caregiver.
A book out there that might help the process, Caring for Your Parents: The Complete AARP Guide by Hugh Delehanty and Elinor Ginzler.