If like me you feel you are a member of the so-called ‘Sandwich Generation’, you may often find yourself feeling not only emotionally but financially responsible for both your adult children and your longer-living parents. This can be a great source of stress as we watch our loved ones struggle and try to come to terms with the challenges of later life. There can be a temptation to rush to the rescue. So how do we prevent ourselves from creating a bigger problem?
Like most human relationships it helps to talk, but when we are concerned about the health and welfare of our parents, when is the right time and what are the questions?
Over the next three months I shall highlight some useful tips and possible solutions which I have found very helpful within my own family situation.
Pick the right time:
Avoid talking over the telephone, a face to face conversation always works better with sensitive subjects so take the time to sit down when no-one is in a hurry.
- Ask questions rather than make statements so you can discuss their views, ideas and any concerns they may have.
- Try to keep the conversation calm and reasoned. The subject of elderly care is a very emotional one so it is important to keep rash statements in check.
So you might ask:
Do you think some help around the house might be a good idea?
- Do you still feel safe driving?
- Is the garden becoming a chore rather than a joy?
- Can you still manage the stairs safely?
- Are you able to get into the bath/shower easily?
- Do you having any concerns about maintenance in the house?
- Do you have trouble hearing the telephone or the door bell?
- Are you eating properly and managing to keep warm?
Don’t expect instant solutions and be prepared to come back to the topic on another occasion which will enable all parties to consider the options. Difficult conversations and decisions can create a rollercoaster of emotions which can be very distressing to the whole family.
Next month: How to be prepared and start planning
If you would like to discuss the many options available,
please contact us on 01829 260280 to make an appointment.
Sarah Green – Director
Campaigning to help people remain living in their own homes