The Sandwich Generation: Hold the Cheese

October 13, 2009 at 6:26 am Leave a comment

I have heard all kinds of horror stories of my peers living with once reasonable parents, who have been transformed by dementia into wanderers, paranoids or just mean-spirited bullies.   I suspect these parents didn’t think about taking out long-term care insurance when they were still in their right mind (It’s expensive, for starters).  Mine did. At last count, the insurance has paid out over $300,000 worth of assisted living expenses and for Dad at least, there are probably years left of living for him to do.

Residing 1.5 miles from aging parents is the perfect co-habitation policy for the sandwich generation. Under the same roof might not go quite so well, but having a father in his eighth year of Alzheimer’s lovingly cared for by my mother and a crew of ‘care managers’ at Sunrise Assisted Living is the most pleasant possible arrangement for this doting daughter.  I drop in on them at mealtimes, and sit over a quick cup of decaf, catching up with Mom and giving dad intermittent hugs and winks.  For Mom, who is nursing Multiple Myeloma, yet clinging tenaciously to a fairly active life, a surprise visit from her only local kid is like getting mail at a faraway summer camp. It brings her enormous pleasure for the short time she gets to enjoy it.  I fit them into my schedule, and they are appreciative of any face time.  We also go to the same church, so there is another fixed rendez-vous every week.

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