We are known as the “Sandwich Generation”.
For the first time in history, people, governments, and society are dealing with problems they have never before had to face on such a massive scale.
Ironically, it’s because modern health care is enabling us to live longer.
The flipside of that coin, though, is that those of us in middle age are dealing with not only raising and helping our children get a promising start in life, but we are also having to help our aging parents more, and for longer, than we’ve ever had to before.
While we all agree it is a good thing to have our parents and elderly relatives with us as long as possible, there is a huge problem with it. Namely, the problem is lack of time and money.
Right now, at least one in every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is experiencing this stress, and 7 to 10 million adults are facing the challenge of helping their aging parents from a long distance.
The problem is only going to grow, because by the year 2030, there will be over 70 million Americans aged 65 and older.
Is there a solution?
Those at Cambridge Adult Daycare believe they can help.
Lucinda Gyurci of Cambridge has some insights.
“In the past, when families felt they could no longer handle the time and financial stress of helping their older family members, they felt they had no choice but to utilize a nursing home,” explained Gyurci. “The problem is, nursing homes are expensive, and the truth is people rarely get better in a nursing home. For someone residing in a nursing home prematurely, the overall effect can be quite distressing.”
So…why not apply a concept that has been used in childcare for years to care for adults?
“Many families just need a place where their parents and grandparents can be safe and monitored, while they are working and tending to the rest of their life,” said Gyurci.
At Cambridge, clients receive that medical supervision, and also have a place to socialize. Research has shown that socialization is a vital need for the elderly. Without socialization, anyone, including the elderly, often experience depression and declining health.
Adult daycare offers supervision, healthy meals, and plenty of activity to keep clients engaged in life. It can even be used in conjunction with home health care.
This type of service has caught the eye of government, because it is lower cost than nursing homes, and yields better health results. At the same time, it is a growing industry that is monitored by state regulations that offer standards for care.
Cambridge is currently opening new adult day care sites in Southeast Missouri, with sites opening soon in Hayti, Dexter, and Kennett.
The Dexter site is hosting an open house on Thursday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 29, 2 to 6 p.m. at 812 West Oak Street.
“We feel we can help a lot of families. This site can accommodate 30 adults, and the sites in Kennett and Hayti will each be licensed to accommodate 50 adults. So we feel we can offer a lot of help to Southeast Missouri,” said Gyurci. In addition, a site will open soon in Poplar Bluff. She invites the public to attend the open houses as they are scheduled to see what Cambridge can do to help their families.
This type of service is coming at a crucial time period for families, and for government.
A poor economy has brought the sandwich generation to a time when college costs have never been higher, creating more financial stress for parents trying to give their children the best possible start for their own lives. Plus, because of the economic stress, children are living at home with their parents in record numbers.
And then on top of that, there is the cost of time and money in helping our parents and grandparents deal with their own age and health issues.
The statistics reveal that adults in the sandwich generation are now spending $10,000 and about 1,350 hours per year on helping their children and their own parents and grandparents.
Financially, socially, and psychologically, this is taking a huge toll on members of the sandwich generation.
The problem, of course, extends to government, which is struggling to find ways to deal with the massive financial burden nationally of caring for the increasing numbers of the elder population.
Can Adult Daycare help?
Tina Privett of Kennett remarked, “Anything that can help people live their lives independently for much longer is certainly and advantage to dealing with long term care.”
Gyurci agrees. “Definitely this is a step in the right direction for many families.”