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Weekly Reader 2.8.10

The Club Sandwich Generation

 You’ve heard of  the sandwich generation but what about the club sandwich generation?  Those are  50- and 60-something moms “sandwiched” with aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. Sound familiar? Each group has its own needs, wants and demands and often leaves the mom in the middle, conflicted and guilty.

The emotional strife is only one issue; there’s the “financial trifecta” as well, according to HealthCentral.com,   

 “You’re either saving for college or paying it off, helping your parents with medical or nursing home expenses and saving for your own retirement which may be fast approaching.”

Although blogger Kelcey Kinter’s situation is more a standard sandwich than a club, the feelings she shares in “Caring for Both Your Parents and Kids,” applies to both generations.  She writes in the New York Times about the demands imposed by her aging mother’s hospitalization.

“I will admit that I don’t want to be doing this. I want to be focusing on my children and my husband, the life I have built. I want it to all go away. I want her to hurry up and just be better. I am now and then resentful. I am sometimes angry. And I am completely committed to taking care of my mother.”

For more information see sandwichgeneration.com.  

The Battles of Adult Siblings

Sometime the care-giving for elderly parents falls most heavily on one adult child.  Anyone who has been in that situation knows the spoken and unspoken angst that situation creates  among siblings.

A US News article considers advice from a new book, “They’re Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy.”

Author Francine Russo list nine ways that siblings don’t consider each others feelings.  On the list:

  • Thinking that “if my sibling is doing the parent care, I’m off the hook”
  • Not giving appreciation and emotional support to the main caregiver
  • Falling prey to the “killer” misconception that “I shouldn’t have to ask”
  • Not planning for tough realities ahead
  • Thinking everyone mourns in the same way
  • Automatically reverting to childhood roles.

On that last point, the article notes:

The big sister who always took care of everything may take on the bulk of the responsibility, while her little brother, out of habit, may let her do so unquestioningly. Beware of that magnet pulling you back to childhood. “Those roles can be very counterproductive,” says Russo

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