Submitted by Maggie
We’re called the “sandwich generation.” I’m not sure who coined the expression, but it does seem to work. With advances in medicine, and Medicare covering the costs of that medicine, most people are living longer. This means that our children (the sandwich’s bottom layer) and our elder relatives (the sandwich’s upper layer) become part of the daily juggle for a working parent. How do working parents cope?
Two years ago we lost my dad to a sudden heart attack. This left my mother without a full-time caregiver in a community that was built around two golf courses and not designed for someone requiring assistance. Mom had taken a series of falls two years prior to his death, and her injuries, coupled with peripheral neuropathy and arthritis, left her needing a lot of daily care. Her mind is sharp, but dressing, showering, and getting to doctors' offices had been left to my dad.
Her daily requests and needs surpass those of a child and leave me wondering how to approach my employer regarding my need to give my mom the attention she needs.
Shortly after we moved Mom to an assisted living residence, I was laid off from my job. I wonder if my time away from the office resulted in my layoff. Fortunately I found a work-from-home position with my current employer and have a boss who believes in putting family first. Perhaps the universe helps us when we need it most.
Mom is going on her second year in an assisted living facility. The daily requests have diminished thanks to the staff there. And I still have that understanding boss.
How do you juggle responsiblities if you are part of the sandwich generation? I'm eager to read your replies.