Hudson Valley Parent

HVP September 2018

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Page 20 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 21 own apartment in Hyde Park. Lasher explains, "I go food shopping for Ma, at least once, or twice a week and Becky usually makes any last-minute runs to the store if she calls saying she needs anything. I also take her to the doctor about five to six times a month, but we were going about four times a week just recently when she was not well." Lasher's four children joined the conversation, all eager to share how much their mother does for them, which led me to ask her what she does for herself. "There is not much I do within my day that doesn't revolve around someone else's needs," Lasher says. AARP suggests, those in the sandwich generation need to take time for themselves to handle the added stress of caring for multiple generations. Lasher describes her mother as capable of providing basic care for herself, but most of it is from memory now that she is blind in one eye. "Leftovers from every meal are individually packaged and stored for Ma, and we complete her medication maintenance with her pill sorters every two weeks," Lasher states. Some of Lavina's care has been split between her children and each of them have responsibilities that makes planning for the future much easier. Lasher explains, "I am not able to take care of Ma by myself. My brother is always available to lend a helping hand whenever Ma needs anything, my sister is her POA and handles all of the bills, and I'm her healthcare proxy, probably because of Nicole." Lasher's oldest daughter Nicole was born with cerebral palsy. She lived a magnificent 27 years, passing in 2013. Lasher was spread even thinner back then when her children were younger and was still managing Nicole's care. Care for yourself too It is great to help and care for the ones we love, but don't forget to care for you. Those sandwiched between the generations are handling homework at one moment and detecting a senior moment in the next, is an example of the emotional squeeze from both sides. It is recommended to take personal time for oneself as a caregiver to help maintain your own identity. It may seem selfish, but if the caregiver isn't well, they are unable to provide the loving care both generations need. Kristina Lasher has her B.S. in Communications with a focus in culture. She is a married mother of two daughters and two step-daughters.

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