The middle generation between young and old is called the sandwich generation. This generation is often caring for both children and their elderly parents at the same time. The younger baby boomers may still be in this space and overlapping and coming soon to many in the X generation. It comes suddenly for many and the stress added to your already full schedule can be overwhelming.
My mom was independent for most of her 22 years beyond the age of 60 with some help needed when she had eye operations and could not drive or do much for herself. I stepped into the role here as her caregiver, taking her to appointments, shopping and generally helping with what she could not do. This was a very short journey that I walked with joy to be able to help her. Many others have long journeys with much pain and stress and are certainly not prepared for this added burden in their schedule.
A large portion of society will become this kind of caregiver at some point in their lives. We are not trained, equipped or ready. The increase in longevity as well as children living further away from their parents is adding more challenges to this trend. In every crisis there is always opportunity and we need to think ahead and plan. Technology is also converging at the same time and can offer many new and exciting opportunities.
I am an active member of a wonderful organisation called Age without Borders. The aim of this organisation is to educate, connect and learn from experts on ageing around the world. They will be hosting a virtual caregiving summit in late January 2018. Here are a few words from their webpage:
“Whether you are a professional caregiver, aging industry leader, or helping care for your Mom, Grandmother or special friend – we’ve got you covered. We have scoured the globe to bring you top experts to help you not feel alone, inspire you with great ideas, and share new tools to make caring for one another a whole lot easier. This summit will save you Time, Money, Hassle and Fights! Our “fireside chat” speaker sessions are fun to watch, and filled with great ideas, resources, tools and action plans.”
It is FREE to register and watch during the summit. It will continue for 7 days with 60 speakers.
This is where you can sign up for the summit: https://lyndasmith–age-without-borders.thrivecart.com/awb-caregiving/5a2d568a1ac8c/
As an organisation, training caregivers this may be something you want to purchase as a training tool. As an individual you may want to purchase the package for your own education. This is possible at a fee of $97 during the summit.
What a privilege to hear from some of the best in the world on lessons learnt, new technologies and encouragement on how to look after those we love the most.
Caregiving may come suddenly, but you should never walk this journey alone. There are many around us who can support and encourage, as we walk this tough season of life.