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Many baby boomers are finding themselves in a rather unique position these days. In addition to raising and taking care of our own children, many of us are now finding ourselves in the role of caregivers for our aging parents. For that reason, we are being labeled as the sandwich generation.
I am a baby boomer who is dealing with two aging parents. My 85-year-old mother is in a nursing home after suffering a stroke several years ago. My 88-year-old mother-in-law is also in a home care facility and in the latter stages of Alzheimer's. On top of that, I am raising my teenage daughter.
Being a caregiver can be overwhelming at times because you may feel like you're being pulled in many different directions. You may also feel like you have no time for yourself and no one appreciates what you're doing.
Here are some statistics released by Eldercarelink:
* Female caregivers outnumber males by 6 to 1 and report more emotional and physical impact due to care giving than their male counterparts, but in other ways male and female respondents are very similar.
* Forty-one percent of all caregivers actually live with the care recipient.
* Most caregivers are married with some college education and have children who are grown and no longer living at home.
* Nearly one third provide more than 40 hours of care per week, and 57% say they very rarely or never take time off from their care giving duties.
* As a result of their responsibilities, some 60% of all caregivers report their health has deteriorated since they began providing care, and 69% describe feeling overwhelmed by care giving.
Here are some tips on how to get through the tough times as a caregiver:
It is estimated that by 2030 the United States will need between 5.7 million and 6.6 million caregivers. Which side of the fence will you be on?
Beverly Mahone is a veteran journalist and baby boomer expert who writes about issues affecting her baby boomer generation. She is also author of the book, Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey Into Middle Age. In addition to being a featured writer for Fabulously40.com, she has also appeared on MSNBC-TV and been featured in the NY Times. Her website is: http://www.enjoyyourmenopause.com
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