“The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.”
The baby boomer generation has been put in an exceptionally unique position.
Most of the baby boomers still have dependent children, and many of them also have the responsibility of being the primary caretaker for their aging parents. This position comes with some very tough decisions, such as: when is it time to consider assisted living? How does one budget new insurance and medical care expenses? How can I be there for my family members in need without completely sacrificing my own goals?
These decisions are extremely difficult to make, and can be a great burden on the baby boomer who wants what is best for their family and themselves.
So, how does one make this process a little easier? There are a few steps that can be taken to make this transition as smooth as possible:
- Be proactive about planning. It’s never too early to start discussing options with your parent(s). It’s very important to be as honest and realistic as possible, as well as being aware of what your family member needs. There are countless options available for assisted living care, and it’s key to explore and study these options. An article on Huffington Post says that 42% of adult caretakers didn’t discuss future planning with their elderly parents. Although it’s a very uncomfortable conversation to have, it is essential in making the best decision long term.
- Explore financial options. It’s no secret that assisted living care can be extremely costly. It’s estimated that the average daily cost for a nursing home is $153 a day at a bare minimum. While this seems shockingly expensive, there are resources out there that can help:
- Don’t be afraid to seek outside support. On top of providing physical and financial care to their aging parents, those in the “sandwich generation” also devote a lot of emotional reassurance for their family members as well. Although this guidance might not seem like a burden, it can be emotionally tolling for the caretaker. It’s important to not forget about your own needs, and don’t be shy about seeking emotional support for yourself as well.
- Be prepared for emergencies. No one likes to think about it, but it’s necessary to have a backup plan incase of emergencies. This includes having financial backups, alternative means of transportation, as well as a trusted family member or friend who can be there if you cannot. In the long term, this will make you as well as your parent feel much more secure.
Being a caretaker is a huge responsibility. But you do not have to feel alone in this process.
It is completely normal to feel frustrated or scared about the following issues. It’s reasonable to be overwhelmed during such serious and delicate circumstances. However, there are lots of resources and help that will make your circumstances as manageable as possible. You don’t have to take on this burden alone.
Our blog at Teddycan is committed to exploring and finding solutions to problems you may encounter as a baby boomer. There is an endless wealth of knowledge on alternative medical practices, research on degenerative diseases, as well as guidance for your emotional and mental health. We are happy to be there for you.