Caregiver advises others to “get help”

Jasmine Phu

March 29, 2011

As one of the millions of members of the so-called sandwich generation, those who are caring for an elderly parent and raising children, Linell Machold used to have to balance each of her responsibilities every day, according to The Observer-Dispatch.

Her father had Alzheimer's disease and, while he lived with his mother, Machold would be sure to visit her parents' apartment before work, call them during the day and stop by again afterwards.

She is now tending to her mother's needs and she has two big pieces of advice for other caregivers – plan ahead and get help, the news source reports.

Caregiver support coordinator Liz Stachow stressed that being prepared is a key to keeping seniors independent. Other experts suggest that installing a senior alert system in a home can keep an older adult safe, because one can use this device to instantly send a medical alert to an emergency call center.

The National Family Caregivers Association states that there are more than 65 million caregivers, which makes up 29 percent of all Americans, and they spend an average of 20 hours a week looking after a loved one.