Caregivers enlist the help of their children

Lisa Wurth

October 24, 2011

Caregivers enlist the help of their children New research from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's ICAN: Investigating Caregivers' Attitudes and Needs Survey, suggests that sandwich generation caregivers, are enlisting the help of their own children. The sandwich generation is commonly categorized as people who have their own children ages 21 and younger, who are also taking care of their parents.

From the study of 559 adults, researchers found that 36 percent reported that their children help out providing care to a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. Nearly one third of children ages 18 to 21 attend doctor's appointments with their grandparents, while about one quarter of children ages 13 to 17 help out with daily activities like feeding or dressings their loved ones. More than 85 percent of children also visit with their grandparents at least once-a-week.

"Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be an enormous drain on the caregiver and on family resources," said researcher Eric J. Hall. "For sandwich caregivers the problem is even more acute. It is clear that caregiving is a multigenerational concern. Young adults and even teens and pre-teens are being impacted in life changing ways by their caregiving responsibilities."

Those without children around to help out may want to install a medical alert system into their loved one's home as a precaution. This device will allow a senior to call for help should they become disoriented or if they fall.