A Case Study in Senior Living

by Susan Blumhorst, M.A.


It’s a common scenario: a couple in their 40s or 50s find themselves part of the “The Sandwich Generation” caught between their desire to care for aging parents and, at the same time, attend to their own careers, children, and grandchildren. Read on and see if any of this rings true for you.

Larry and his parents, Joe and Elsa, are very close and enjoy a supportive, caring relationship. Last week, Joe took a nasty fall and went to the hospital and then to a skilled rehab.

Joe and his wife Elsa are in their 80s and had lived in their home for over 50 years and raised their family there and had planned to live there to their last day.

Larry and his wife Jean, both in their mid-50s, live close by and had always planned to care for their parents in their home as they declined. Larry and Jean both have fulfilling full-time careers and two adult children who both have two children of their own.

The responsibility of caring for Larry’s parents is taking its toll on everyone.  None of them consider it a burden, but job and family from the older generation and younger is more than a 24-hour day can accommodate if sleep is involved. Therefore, some time management adjustments are necessary.

Family, of course comes first, but grandchildren are time-consuming since all the parents also have careers. Larry and Jean are needing to spend more and more time with Joe and Elsa and do not have time to see the kids and help with childcare which is something they enjoy.

Larry and Elsa have also missed a great deal of work. Luckily, they both have understanding bosses, but how long can they keep up this pace?

Moving Joe and Elsa into their home does not solve the issue of full-time care, though. Whether they continue to live in their home of 50 plus years or move in with the kids, in-home care is much more expensive and stressful than they had realized. No one wants to consider a nursing home or any facility they promised them they would never chose that option.

Joe starts to think about leaving his job to stay home to care for his parents, but he has no experience caring for elderly and he loves his job. Larry struggles with the guilt and the crisis of what do to for his folks whom he loves dearly.

Larry and Jean learn about Personal Care Homes and discover you can receive care in a home setting by folks who are experienced and compassionate. The cost is low, and the care is personalized. The staff turnover is minimal, and everyone is like family. And Larry and Jean are in control of the care but do not have the responsibility for round-the-clock care.

Knowing they need more support and that staying in their own home is isolating, unsafe, stressful and expensive, Joe and Elsa agree and make the hard decision to move out of their home and into a Personal Care Home.

The result? Larry and Jean can spend more time with their kids and miss very little work while staying connected to Joe and Elsa and knowing they have quality care round-the-clock. Joe and Elsa are comfortable, cared for, and live an engaging life with new friends and staying active in their community wherever they can.

Does anything from this scenario ring true for you or family members?

Elder care can be a crisis if you do not plan or know all your options. Committing to care for your parents, although admirable, is not realistic in today’s world and is not necessary when you have other options.

Reach out to a professional for help as you plan for yours or your family future. And please consider the compassionate team at Senior Path Specialists a resource in your journey.

Reach us at 210.745.5804 any time for a no-cost consultation!

Susan Blumhorst, M.A.

Senior Path Specialists owner Susan Blumhorst brings her rich experience in business and senior care to every client she works with. Revisit the site often for updates and insights from Susan.

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