November is the month of care giving to be recognized. Care giving now has become an industry and will be booming in the coming future. With the “baby boomer’s” knocking on the door to retirement, many will need care and certainly not from retirement itself. There will be unexpected illnesses that will be dilapidating and chronic.
Another chronic illness that is becoming known is “autism” a neuro-developmental disorder amongst children. Most likely a life long care giving process for the parents or for a hired care giver.
Along the way, many become newly qualified sandwich generational care giver to parents. In this category and a new category I might add, takes understanding family dynamics and relationships all under one roof. The mere definition of care giving is as follows for sandwiches; (not to eaten neither or with mayo)
1. Traditional ~ A caregiver taking care of aging parents and/or their own children.
2. Club Sandwich ~ Those in their 50’s ` 60’s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren OR those in their 30’s or 40’s with aging parents, young children AND grandparents. (Term coined by Carol Abaya)
3. Let us not forget the Open Face sandwich ~ Those involved in the care taking field.
I am almost certain many of us can raise our hand and put ourselves in any of the listed categories of a sandwich. Who ever thought? All I can say, speaking from experience, there is no right or wrong way of care giving. Each situation is different every day. The most important thing to remember and it is difficult to do, we were chosen.