*GUEST BLOG* ELWELL - HELPING THE SANDWICH GENERATION
This week we have a guest blog for you, from our friends at ElWell ~
The ‘sandwich generation’ may not be a term you’re familiar with, but you could very likely be in it yourself. It was coined to mean people who are looking after young families and their older parents and at last count, there were almost 2 million people in this position in the UK.
Our parents are getting older and living for longer which is great news – but this comes with a whole new set of questions for us, their adult children. How can we help them stay independent, safe, happy and well as they age?
We started ElWell to help people navigate this caregiving journey. Here are our four top tips ~
Watch for the warning signs
The first step is not to project your worries onto your parents. Yes, they’re getting older but if they seem to be coping well still, then let them keep living life as they have been. It’s fantastic that you’re ready and willing, but there will a time and place for you to step in and help – and it may not be now.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Having a family conversation (or multiple) about what your parent wants as they get older, and who can offer support in which way is important. This way, you’ll know what your older parent is thinking, and start making an action plan that’s divided up. You don’t have to take on everything, and by getting support from siblings, paid services and more, you will be most able to really help your parents. We’ve written an article with more tips for communicating with your ageing parents over on ElWell.
Protecting their independence
It makes complete sense that people want to stay independent as they get older. But what does ‘independent’ mean to them? It could mean they can stay living in their home, keep driving, or keeping their social commitments. Once you know what they want, you can tailor the solutions to them. For example, adaptive clothing could help them get dressed solo so they can stay at home.
Peace of mind
Smart tech can be a fantastic way to reassure families that their much-loved parents are safe when they can’t be with them. Ranging from the more basic pendant alarm (which they can press if they fall) through to non-obtrusive home monitoring systems which detect changes in behaviour.
Jessica Silver and Nancy Farmer were inspired by their personal and professional experience to start ElWell. They understand how hard it can be for the sandwich generation to know where to turn, so they created ElWell to help. For more caregiving support go to www.el-well.com.