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Oregonians Urged to Make Caregiving a Part of Holiday Conversations

December 24, 2007

Portland, OR – For the growing number of Oregonians who are part of the "Sandwich Generation," holiday visits with family offer a valuable opportunity to face the future as well as recall the past. Mary Ann Hard with Clackamas County Respite Care and Caregiver Support says families should use the holiday season to discuss their desires for independent living and, if necessary, to start planning for elder care.

"We really need to make caregiving and those issues a part of our conversations, because it's real and it's happening. There are a lot of people out there who are feeling pretty lost and at a loss for what their parents would want them to do."

According to a recent Associate of American Retired Persons (AARP) study, 8.7 million people nationwide are "sandwiched," squeezed between the needs of their children and their aging parents. Hard acknowledges it's an incredible balancing act.

"We're feeling this pull of wanting to be a good mom or dad and also wanting to be a good daughter or son, as well as, if we're married, trying to be a good partner; and you throw in working full-time, trying to be a good employee."

Hard says a key part of the discussion is determining what kind of care the aging parent really wants and will be comfortable with.

A Community Services Guide and other information is available at

Dondrea Warner/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OR