November 2022

Elder Law Update

According to a 2021 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly a quarter of U.S. parents find themselves struggling as part of the “sandwich generation,” those who are caught in a squeeze as they tackle caring for both their own parents and their children.


Being a multigenerational caregiver can be a financial, logistical, and emotional challenge to say the least. Add to that the stigma in the U.S. of care work being considered the responsibility of the family, coupled with moral judgments on what it really means to be a good parent or child. And yet, the burden of providing care to two generations is only expected to grow because not only are the number of people aged 65 and older projected to significantly increase by 2050, but Americans are continuing the trend of having children later in life as well.




TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. It may seem counterintuitive, but prioritizing self-care is extremely important for caregivers. This can even be as simple as prioritizing your meals, drinking water, and sleeping as regularly as possible. But it is also important to make time for activities you enjoy so you can sustain your own mental health and sanity. Remember, you can’t take care of others properly when you aren’t taking care of yourself.


EMBRACE COMMUNITY SUPPORT. Finding support and utilizing community resources can be a complete game changer for caregivers. Community relationships can come from something as simple as accepting an extra set of hands when they’re offered, to signing up for programs in your community that provide assistance services. It can also be important for caregivers to connect with each other because who will better understand what you are dealing with on a day-to-day basis than someone in your shoes? So, seek out support groups or have open conversations with people in your life who you know are dealing with similar stresses.


SHARE THE LOAD. Caregiving tasks can be delegated. You don’t have to do it all on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask other family members for help. Consider also reaching out to friends and neighbors. You may be surprised how willing those close to you are to lend a hand and offer support when you need it the most. And, assuming it fits into your budget, you can also seek out hired help for tasks that are adding stress, simply because you never seem to have time – like cleaning the house.


At the end of the day, care doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. There are ways for caregivers to ease their stress while still being there to care for the ones they love.


The 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers is intended to serve as a national roadmap for better recognizing and supporting family and kinship caregivers of all ages, backgrounds, and caregiving situations.


It was developed by advisory councils established by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (SGRG) Act, with extensive input from family caregivers, the people they support. And it includes nearly 350 actions the federal government will take to support family caregivers in the coming years and more than 150 actions that can be adopted at other levels of government and across the private sector to build a system to support family caregivers.


While family caregiving is rewarding, it can be challenging, and when the challenges become overwhelming and family caregivers no longer can provide support, the people they care for are often left with no choices except moving to nursing homes and other institutions or to foster care – with much of the cost typically borne by taxpayers.


Comments received from the public will be used to inform the ongoing work of two Congressionally mandated caregiving advisory councils, as well as to inform future updates to the strategy.

If interested, you can submit your comments here.


There are many factors to consider when choosing the right nursing home for you or your loved one. Here are a few you won’t want to forget:


When you arrive for your tour of the facility, start with a few basic observations. Check for non-skid floors and handrails. Note if the walkways are clear or if there are wheelchairs and other obstructions in the way that could lead to residents tripping and injuring themselves. Beyond safety concerns, observe whether dumpsters are concealed and relatively clean, whether the grounds are quiet or noisy, where there are seating areas, and whether the area feels relaxing and comfortable enough to spend time in.


Make a point of asking current residents whether or not they enjoy living at the facility. Consider asking them about the food, what they do day-to-day, any activities they take part in, and whether they feel cared for. The facility may appear beautiful on the outside, but listening to the first-hand accounts of the residents will be a great way to make sure it is the perfect fit for you and your family.



During your visit, talk to a range of employees. It can be informative to hear from and speak with people working in different departments and different levels within the community. Ask the employees about the facility, their jobs, and the management. In your conversations, note if the staff knows details like the residents’ names. While you don’t want to come off too aggressive, it’s important to get a sense of the facility’s culture.



Or, at least check out the menu. While you shouldn’t be expecting a Michelin Star meal, ask about the variety of the food offered. The food should be appetizing, healthy, and fresh. Sit in the dining room while you’re there so you can observe how the staff and residents interact.



Stop along the way and note the sounds you hear, such as laughter or music versus silence or sounds of distress. Note any smells that stand out. The facility should be well ventilated and smell clean instead of musty or stale.



COVID-19 introduced a whole new set of considerations for families looking into nursing home care. When you visit each facility, look for investments such as room cleaners with HEPA filters and the use of PPE. Federal regulations also mandate that nursing homes have an infection control and prevention program with written standards. At minimum, the facility should have a part-time staff member who is trained in infection prevention.



When you schedule a guided visit during a weekday, you are likely seeing the facility at its very best. But before your loved one moves in, it can be very informative to visit on a weekend or in off-hours so you can ensure the experience you had during the guided visit is maintained when the facility is not on high-alert.


For more tips and ideas of what you should consider when choosing the right facility for you or your loved one, check out this AARP article about inspecting prospective nursing homes


“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”




At this special time of year, we would like to thank you for allowing us to help you and your family. We are passionate about helping our clients and appreciate your trust and confidence.


Happy Thanksgiving!