Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Long-Distance Caregivers

From IFS, by Naomi Cahn (GW):

Stacy is a full-time teacher, wife, and mother, who is also a full-time caregiver for her 88-year-old father and his second wife who live in Illinois, and for her 83-year-old mother who lives in Pennsylvania. Because Stacy lives in Indianapolis, she is also a member of what we call the “sandwich generation on wheels,” or a long-distance caregiver. 

Stacy’s father recently had a heart attack. She wanted to drop everything to go help, but she could not find someone to cover her classroom with such short notice. Then, a few weeks later, Stacy’s mother slipped on the ice, breaking her hip.  A neighbor drove her to the emergency room and waited with her; Stacy was with her fifth-graders and didn’t find out about her mother’s accident until her lunch break. She wanted to head to Pennsylvania right away, but she was on carpool duty for her two teenaged daughters that evening because her husband was out of town. 

Stacy’s husband and her two daughters need her. But Stacy’s parents and stepmother need her, too. Like many adult caregivers, Stacy is sandwiched between the needs of both the older and younger generations of her family. How, Stacy wonders, can she manage to be in four places at once:  her classroom, her minivan, her father’s hospital room, and her mother’s physical therapy session?

Read more here.

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