I've been collecting a lot of responses from baby boomers who have written in with their questions and challenges, and one thing is clear: Everyone agrees that caregiving is not easy.
Baby boomers are technically anyone born between 1946 and 1964, so because such a wide age range is covered within this generation, some of you are still raising children at home while others are now grandparents. All of the different life experiences you are facing seemed to contribute to the comments and questions you had.
One reader, Bill from Mooresville, noticed that just as his two kids left for college, he and his wife began caring for his parents in their home. “It was like one set of responsibilities moved out and the other set moved in,” he writes.
Tens of millions of people will find themselves in Bill's shoes by caring for parents immediately on the heels of having finished raising their children.
Carol in Denver asked about county resources for older adults for the Lake Norman area. Because the Lake Norman area is made up of three counties, there isn't one central spot to go in our immediate area for assistance. The county agencies are usually always at the county seat, and none of those cities (Statesville, Lincolnton, Charlotte) are actually in our area.
A reader from Davidson, Linda, said she also wished she had looked into service provision before moving her mom in with her. “I feel like this part of the county gets left out as far as services are concerned,” she wrote. It isn't impossible to pull things together for older adults in this area, but it does require some additional work.
Consider talking to someone who is unaffiliated with the service providers in the area so you can be sure you are getting objective information. Geriatric care managers can be located at www.caremanager.org. They can assist with locating and piecing together hard-to-find resources.
Caregivers often discover that planning for retirement usually doesn't include how to prepare for the likelihood that you'll be caring for a parent. Many of you wrote in expressing your surprise at what caregiving challenges you've encountered – most while juggling work responsibilities, family and your own retirement plans. Check out the resources in the box and keep writing in with your questions and comments.