Sunday, February 24, 2019
A new article, published by Professor Naomi Cahn and Amy Zietlow, The Sandwich Generation on Wheels: Tips for Long-Distance Family Caregivers discusses the all too common issue of caregiving from afar. Based on their respective research and experiences, they note "that it is helpful for family caregivers to define the "sandwich" layers they face in order to proactively plan for what role they can and should play." The first layer is what we might analogize to client identification in law practice, that is "clarify who in your older generation depends on you in some way. List your parents, stepparents, in-laws, grandparents, aunts or uncles, etc. In conversation with them, formalize your caregiving role. This is particularly important in stepfamily situation." With this layer, not only do you identify who needs help, you identify the needed documents but articulate the limitations that arise from long-distance caregiving. The authors briefly explore the potential for caregiving to help in such situations.
The second layer, "your job, " focuses on caregivers who are employed and how to juggle your job and your caregiving responsibilities. The third layer, "spouse and child" recognizes the sandwich issue-you have responsibilities to your own immediate family as well as the elders for whom you are caregiving. "Communicating with your spouse and your children about your goals for this season of life is critical. Acknowledging how you will be dividing your time, and why, will help them feel engaged and involved. You will need their moral support in your role as caregiver."
Thanks to Professor Cahn for sending us this!