Nearly one in five Americans provides some form of daily care for a chronically ill or aging family member, which means that out of the 10,000 employees at UGA, 2,000 are caregivers. Popular culture calls them the “sandwich generation”—individuals caring for their children and parents simultaneously. As part of a public relations competition, students in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication gathered advice from UGA faculty and staff on the subject of family caregiving. They found the following tips:
• Develop a plan in advance or else you will be overwhelmed at almost every turn. One UGA staff person relied on a geriatric care consultant to help coordinate care.
• Become knowledgeable about the medical history and information of the person for whom you are caring.
• Take care of legal matters such as power of attorney and advanced directives, as well as financial matters.
• Be prepared for resistance because many elderly individuals are unable to admit they cannot do for themselves.
• Be aware of your own emotional stability and don’t neglect to take care of yourself.
Visit www.uga.edu/athensfc101 for more information about local caregiving service providers and links to other helpful resources.