Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Family caregivers often neglect own health



NBC News has a story December 11, 2012 that echoes the increasing burden on family caregivers as the elderly live longer with crippling disabilities, including Alzheimer’s Disease. 

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The problems extend well beyond surviving spouses, to other adult children, often said to be caught in the “sandwich generation”.

As caregivers neglect their own health, they will create a feedback cycle that intensifies for the next generation. 

When I was growing up, nobody talked about problems like this.  When elderly people became seriously ill, they typically did pass away soon, and families moved on with the next generations.   

Increasing life spans, often with grave disability, coupled with fewer children, makes up one of the gravest sustainability problems that we have.  

Picture: My own maternal grandmother, in Kpiton Ohio, around 1960.  She passed away at age 80 in 1969. 

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