Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with some caring people over a video conferencing website called ZOOM. If you have not yet joined a ZOOM meeting or other video messaging app, go ahead and try, it’s fun and good for your soul to see people’s faces.
The meeting I am referring to was hosted by the South Suburban Chapter of Continuity of Care, a group of businesspeople representing diverse interests in the Orland Park region. As an attorney with Sterk Family Law, I am honored to be a member of Continuity of Care, and as you might imagine these days I am starved for face-to-face contact.
During our meeting, which was attended by eighteen people, we heard from home care providers, home organizers, extended care providers, memory care providers, senior transitioning experts, behavioral care providers, hospice care providers, nurses, and patient transport experts. The consensus across the group is that if you are a person over 60 years of age, and suffering from fear and anxiety, your resources are many and continuing to be available. However, if you are a person under 60 years of age, and before this epidemic you were in the habit of having a friend pick you up and drive you to shop, these times are more stressful for you. How can you meet your needs if you don’t qualify for meal delivery, you can’t get yourself to a grocery store or food pantry, and the food pantry won’t allow pick-ups by proxy?
Persons of middle age who are trying to care for aging parents, trying to cope with adult children and young grandchildren, and simultaneously trying to take care of themselves without imposing a burden on the family or society, are what I call the middle of the Family Sandwich. These people have always been there for their family and friends, have always done what they could to assist, and now they have no contact. All alone and afraid. Do you know someone who is the middle of a family sandwich? Take a moment to check on them, maybe you could help by dropping a cooler of food on their stoop. We are all paying it forward during this crisis.
Written by Joan van Oss
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