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Helping The 'Sandwich Generation'

BOSTON (CBS) - Sunday we celebrate good old dad and this is a good time to continue the series we started Mother's Day on helping the elders in our lives.

Baby Boomers will likely spend more years caring for a parent than for their children. That is especially hard if you have moved across country from your parents and are trying to provide long distance care.

Retirees are living longer and modern medicine is helping them do so. But longevity often means living a more limited lifestyle for as we age, we also become frailer and need more services to continue living on our own.

Individuals in their 50s are now caring for parents who are in their 70s and 80s.

And the Boomers often had children later in life so indeed they are the "Sandwich Generation". Their parents may need them to help pay the bills, grocery shop and drive them places and their teenagers need them to pay the bills, keep them in groceries and drive them places as well.

A journalist, Carol Abaya, coined the term "club sandwich generation" where a caregiver helps aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. This term also applies for younger caregivers caring for their kids and aging parents and grandparents.

Help is just a phone call or a computer click away when you are looking for help. Start with the Eldercare Locator to find assistance here in Massachusetts. The site lists information on services and programs in Massachusetts for elders. Their phone: 800-677-1116. And to find help anywhere in the country use their national website.

Another good resource would be the local Council on Aging where Dad lives. They are usually listed in the local phone book or contact town hall. See what they are offering for they may be able to coordinate meals or driving. If Dad is in Florida contact the National Council on Aging for help.

Other worthwhile sites: Administration on Aging and the Alliance for Care Giving.

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