Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Friday, March 07, 2008

"Community" has always been a concept that women embrace for caregiving, as Shelley Taylor discusses in her book, "The Tending Instinct." Through the ages, from prehistoric times until now, communities in which women "tend and befriend" each other have allowed them to survive and even thrive.

Now the presence of community is contributing to the new movement of "aging in place," seniors remaining in their own homes rather than moving elsewhere. Studies indicate that over 90% of the elderly prefer this option and that it provides a better quality of life for them. This alternative is generally less expensive but depends on the input of a group of people to make it possible.

Pilot projects in several cities have been set up to coordinate services for groups of the aging population - labeled naturally occurring retirement communities - so that they can remain in their homes. These programs are having positive results, offering independence and safety through the connection to community. New social interactions have led to greater efficiencies as neighbor helps neighbor in need. This growing trend attests to the power of women working together to accomplish more than they could alone.

As a Sandwiched Boomer, how would you feel about your parents' participation in the "aging in place" phenomenon? Are there resources such as these in your areas? Would it reduce your stress to draw upon the community to assist with the care of your parents?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to read about the issues that you address. AS a woman who is still raising her own kids, but will soon have to help with caretaking responsibilities of my parents, I look forward to turning to your website and blog for support. Thank you for providing this valuable, and much needed service!!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a teenager my paternal grandmother lived with us after my grandfather died. But my mother didn't work and was home to care for her. I don't know how that could be for my family today as I work fulltime and my cildren are still in preschool. Living in a community as you describe would be a very workable solution for families today. Patricia

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Marika said...

In the culture in which I came of age, it was a given that an elder would be taken into one's family if/when the need arose. And so my grandmother came to live with us when I was 16. It enabled her to 'age in place,' and she was a 'tend and befriend' blessing in my life, a gift that keeps on giving.

4:49 AM  

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