Caregiving without support can lead to depression, isolation
January 21, 2011
A new study conducted by researcher Barbara Horrell of New Zealand's Massey University has found that, without the proper support, members of the sandwich generation may become exhausted, sick, depressed and isolated, according to Voxy.co.nz.
This group of people are often taking care of elderly parents and adult children at the same time. Their responsibilities can leave little time for much else, such as interacting with friends or enjoying pastimes.
One way to try and make a caregiver's schedule less stressful is to install a medical alarm system in a senior's residence. This will allow older adults to immediately send a personal emergency response message if they require assistance, so that caregivers can have more free time without worrying about a parent's health.
Horrell has also started an online discussion group for family caregivers who don't have a support network in place. She hopes that it will facilitate conversation between different people all over the world.
Overall, she expressed her wish that her research will inspire more public policies to adapt to the needs of the sandwich generation.
"People may start off with the best of intentions, but when, for example, dementia progresses and personalities change, it can be very difficult for carers without adequate support and knowledge," she said, according to the news source.