From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Challenges of the Sandwich Generation

Life is truly an amusing series of cycles that echo the notion, "turnabout is fair play". Who would think, as children, that one day we would be caring for our parents just as they have cared for us. When we are young, our parents help us walk and talk. They attend to our every need. When they are old, we help our parents walk and talk, and we attend to their every need. Eventually, everything from food, housing, clothing and even diapers goes in reverse for those who live long enough. Many in the sandwich generation agree that while its not so easy being in the middle of the sandwich, its also not easy to lose the bread. While some middle-aged kids complain, others care for their aging parents with extraordinary love. To them, the opportunity to care for their parents in their elder years is indeed an honor.

What’s the secret of surviving your parents’ aging? Here are a few thoughts on the subject.

Facing the reality of aging and death is not easy. However, as humans live longer, we will have to learn more about achieving excellence in this area. We need to learn how to handle this stage of life skillfully and well. Like so many other stages of life, the more we learn, the fewer mistakes we’ll make and the less we will regret. I predict the need for a whole new set of family life education skills in the 21st century. Perhaps they’ll be called skills for guilt-prevention

©Copyright, 2001, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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