Sandwich Generation Goes Back to School

September 2013

The sandwich generation is flocking back to the classroom as they get to grips with coping with their ageing parents.

These baby boomers are expected to help care for their grandchildren, provide ongoing support for their grown-up children and look after their own elderly parents. That’s a lot of care and support to juggle.

Whilst many are happy to take on these many duties, they may feel ill-prepared to cope when it comes to their ageing parents, especially if they are suffering with Alzheimer’s disease or one of the other dementias.

A home care company is taking action to help families and is offering free Family Dementia workshops to share the latest techniques for the management of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The workshops have been greeted with enthusiasm and over the last few months Home Instead has provided help and advice to around 5,000 family members through the workshops.

Commenting on the initiative, Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of Home Instead said, “When a new baby arrives the expectant parents eagerly attend ante-natal classes. There is plenty of practical advice on dealing with children as they pass from toddlerhood through to their teenage years but coping with an ageing parent with Alzheimer’s disease is another matter – and a growing problem. You need specialist skills and too often people are dealing with this on their own.

“Our dementia workshops, developed by global experts in ageing, teach innovative techniques and rather than focus on the symptoms and treatments of the disease, carers are trained in effective techniques for managing the many different and sometimes challenging behaviours associated with dementia.”

Debbi Scholes, who is the full time carer for her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, attended a workshop in Wandsworth. She said, “Being a full time carer for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a strain. Apart from learning some really useful techniques, it was comforting to share stories and experiences with other people in the same position as myself.”

Home Instead expects to have trained over 15,000 families by the end of the year.