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June 28, 2017 8:53 am

Stress for ‘Sandwich Generation”

Sunday, January 22, 2017 @ 6:51 AM

Prince George, B.C. – They are called the ‘sandwich generation” those who  are  raising their  own children while looking after the needs of their own aging parents.  According to a new survey,  they are struggling.A province wide poll conducted by Insights West,  has concluded 9 in  10 members of the ‘sandwich generation’ are  facing challenges in  their double duty role.

More than half of respondents say they have difficulty in finding time to visit their aging parents due to work/busy schedules (64%).  60% said they  have challenges  in keeping informed about the health status of a parent.  A further  56%  reported financial concerns  as they are struggling with  the costs that go with  providing  care.

According to Statistics Canada, an average of 3 in 10 Canadians are both raising children and responsible for the care of their elderly parents.

“The poll results certainly confirm what most of us have been hearing at backyard BBQs and community functions for a while now,” says Daniel Fontaine, CEO for the BC Care Providers Association. “As our population rapidly ages, a significant number of British Columbians currently deal with or are facing the prospect of becoming part of the ‘sandwich generation’ at some point soon.”

British Columbians who don’t form part of the “sandwich generation” but know someone who is, were asked how their friends and acquaintances were managing the situation. A majority (65%) said they were coping “not too well” or “not well at all”. More than half (56%) of respondents who are not part of the “sandwich generation” also report they are “not too confident” or “not confident at all” that adequate seniors care will be there when they need it.

“Notwithstanding the fact we have an excellent seniors care system in British Columbia, there is clearly the need for us to make targeted investments and implement new innovations,” says Fontaine. “When we invest in providing adequate care for our seniors, there is often a direct benefit to their families as well,” says Fontaine.

The release of the  survey  comes days before the BC Care Providers Association  will release its own report  which  includes a number of recommendations to ease the pressure  many B.C. families are facing.

Comments

“Notwithstanding the fact we have an excellent seniors care system in British Columbia, there is clearly the need for us to make targeted investments and implement new innovations,” says Fontaine. “When we invest in providing adequate care for our seniors, there is often a direct benefit to their families as well,” says Fontaine.”

First Fontaine mentions our “excellent seniors care” and then mentions “adequate” care. In all reality it should be “poor” care. Clearly Fontaine has no connection here. Waitlists for places to stay are too long. Meals are poor quality and or cancelled all together. Home care is sometimes non existent. Perhaps if the care for seniors actually was “excellent” families would not find it so difficult. Seniors are left in their own homes with family to take care of them while they are on waitlists. Providing meals for parents in this situation is very hard on families raising children. Then you have the fact that no one is there watching the medications they take. More often they are confused and end up taking the wrong meds. This is also hard on young families as they struggle to watch this as well. Another issue is bathing. Baths were cut down to once a week from twice a week in some cases. This is not enough and again young families try to take that on as well. I admire families that come together to share the responsibilities. I know it can be trying at times.

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