Help for the “Sandwich Generation”
When those we love need our care, we give it. One in eight Americans are caring for children as well as for aging parents.
If you’re part of “the sandwich generation,” you know there can be stress, hundreds of questions and that “how do you manage all this” feeling.
You can – because there’s help. That’s the insight Avera@Home Regional Director of Patient Services Jill Cragoe, RN, LNHA, CHPCA and her team shares every day with people who need direction and assistance with care for parents – and for themselves, a sense of relief from the demands of life.
“Those initial calls are usually from an adult child with an older parent, asking about what we offer, but we do receive calls from individuals who need assistance,” she said. “We make communication our priority and tailor every situation to the needs of the patient – and their family.”
Many families call after a fall or an illness, or your parent’s physician recommends additional support. While most people have heard of in-home care, they might not realize the full variety of services that can help people remain at home safely and with comfort.
“The focus is on need and we often have engaged family members who are trying to ‘do it all’ and realize they face burnout or things are moving beyond their ability,” Cragoe said. “We also help families who may have a parent living alone, but they live out of the area. We also have those who get our care who have no family or support. In each case, we assess the need, begin a dialogue and then determine their goals. Together we find the best avenue to make those goals reality.”
Goals vary widely. It may be as simple as adding some medical equipment in the home, or help with meal preparation. Others might need help with wound management or require IV antibiotics in their home. Some individuals may need education about their medications and diagnosis.
Cragoe says the home is the ideal environment for care to occur.
“All of us would point to our homes as the place where our comfort level is highest, and that’s where we provide our services and assess the needs of our patients, so we are able to tailor the best fit for the individual and the family,” she said. “We make recommendations, but again, it’s a conversation – we listen to what is needed and focus on the goals.”
Having an integrated health system’s umbrella allows families to avoid stress when a different level of care is needed. In all cases, Cragoe reminds families who find themselves in caregiving routines to realize: they are not alone.
“Our professionals can support you and assist in facilitating the difficult conversations that sometimes go with this part of life,” she said. “Planning ahead for this is highly beneficial, but not always possible. The Avera@Home team takes pride in assisting you and your loved one, so they can have success at home.”