Here is the good news! People are living longer! Yet, here is our challenge - the elderly segment of our population is growing by leaps and bounds. Thanks Baby Boomers! In fact, the number of senior adults with functional deficits (they need some help) is increasing greatly and will continue to do so for many years.
Right now there are about 60 plus million people doing "in-formal caregiving" and many of those are you and me! In fact, statistically, (based on info from experts who know how to calculate this kind of thing) we are told that the "typical caregiver" is female, age 46 years old, caring for a 75 year old mother who lives nearby. AND that caregiver also likely has children still at home. Sound familiar?
One of biggest challenges we caregivers face is that of dementia - and often it is the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer's disease. Currently more than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's. Watching your parent change, lose ability, and maybe even forget who you are is particularly heartbreaking and challenging.
Nevertheless, whatever your situation, caregiving for an aging parent is tough. Whether you are female or male; live nearby or live far away from your parents - you are sandwiched and worried and stressed. You need knowledge and support in order to survive. So, please visit the recommended sites, read the recommended books and join our little "virtual support group" by sharing your story and your coping strategies with us. Each month, I will post some of your tips and advice, so that we may all benefit from the wisdom we are gaining day by day.
Let's sit at the sandwich counter together and we will survive this new normal!
Advice from Other Sandwiches
" I joined an Alzheimer's support group. It has been so nice to hear that others are going through the same challenges. Kind of like this website!" - Sarah from Iowa
" I have a friend who calmly listens when I call her and vent!" - Denise from South Carolina
"HGTV keeps me sane!" - Leslie from Virginia
"When I just can't take it any more and want to scream at my mom, I walk outside for a moment. I find something to focus on, a tree with leaves blowing in the wind, a bird chirping on a wire, a cloud in the sky. For just a few minutes I focus on that, and breathe deeply. I find I am a bit more calm and relaxed and can go back in and do what I need to do" - Amy from West Virginia
Share your story and your coping suggestions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.