Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thinking about the Sandwich Generation

Four generations of our family
Life moves on, and the last two years have brought the issues of the Sandwich Generation front and centre for me, my family, and my husband's family. During that time, my mother-in-law went through a medical crisis that kept her in hospital for eight weeks, including a dramatic stint in ICU; my father moved from independent senior living to assisted living and most recently (after a bad fall) to extended care; and I was able to be present for the birth of my second grandchild.

So, I've reflected often on how things change when a medical crisis hits your parents. When that happens, and as soon as you can get on the scene, you are immediately thrown into the role of advocate and it's a steep learning curve.
I see this happening to more and more of my friends, and I've realized one thing: we are not alone. We care deeply about our aging relatives, and want to know the best way to "be there" for them, even when we are at a distance. If we can learn a bit from others who've been there or who have good advice, so much the better. I guess that's one reason I wanted to take on this topic professionally as well as personally...let's share our wisdom and maybe find some good suggestions and solutions along the way.