I don’t talk much about my family (other than my immediate family). My daughter was born when I was a bit older so I am getting to be of the age where I still have my children at home and parents who are aging and will be in need of some “assistance.” So I am standing on the edge of the sandwich generation (having children at home and parents in need of some care) whether I want to or not.
There is nothing pressing at this time but I know the day is not too far away when the need will be greater for me to be able to help them. Right now my mother can care for my father, for the most part, but even that wears on her physically and emotionally. I realized at Christmas I cannot just call every few days or so and visit once a year any more. I made the commitment to try to visit at least three times this year.
I brought my daughter down with me this week to visit. We are painting a wall for my mother, replacing the cushions on her porch furniture, and going with her to find a water therapy pool for my dad. These are all things my mother could do on her own but it is hard for her leave Dad for any length of time. He has fallen before and cannot get up on his own. He put his hand through a window at one point when he lost his balance. A few more inches and he may not still be here where it cut through his wrist. She is the driver now. She doesn’t like traffic, driving in bad weather, or at night so things are carefully planned to avoid those things. She just liked me driving today and to be able to run in and out of 3 or 4 stores to pick up a couple of things at each one while my daughter stayed with my father.
So, I am thinking ahead. I don’t want to get caught in a situation where it is an emergency and there is no plan. I cannot believe we are in 2017 and we still do not have a system for our older population. So what do we do? We do as others before us have done and figure it out.