When once-easy tasks start to get more difficult, family members are often the first to offer support.
In more than a fifth of cases, it’s the daughters who step in.
Driving to appointments, helping out around the house, stopping by more often–these small acts of caring can make a world of difference, but can quickly stack up alongside the tugging priorities of family and work.
Kerrie Storey, RetireAustralia’s Clinical Governance Manager, experienced this firsthand when her late father developed Parkinson’s disease.
“I was working full-time and looking after my two young grandchildren, so it was a very difficult time,” she said.
“I desperately wanted to be there for my dad but I just didn’t have enough hours in the day to provide the help he needed.”
Stress, worry and guilt are common side effects for members of the so-called ‘sandwich generation’, but a formal support system like a retirement village can be a great way to ensure mum or dad is well cared for.
Natalie Brown’s mother Marion moved to RetireAustralia’s Queens Park in 2017 and said knowing her mum is secure and supported has given her peace of mind.
“Mum’s always been really independent and never asked us to do things for her, but then she had a heart attack.”
“My sisters and my brother and I all work full-time and have our own families, so the village has been a lifesaver.”
Queens Park’s dedicated staff provide meals, cleaning and laundry services and assistance with tasks like taking medication, as well as a social structure that reassures Natalie her mum is emotionally well.
“I still see her several times a week, but it’s wonderful to go away and know that there are social activities every afternoon and someone’s going to check in on her regularly,” she said.
“We’re just so thankful Mum’s as happy as she is.”
Kerrie hopes the increased care services now offered in the majority of RetireAustralia communities will help solve the balancing act and allow families to spend more quality time together.
“Older Australians should be able to enjoy life without worrying about getting the support they need.”
Click here for more information about RetireAustralia’s living options.