“Yes, I’m ready for that hearing aid now, and a walker would be just the thing to help me with my increasingly unsteady gait. Thanks for suggesting it, Son/Daughter!”
Said no aging parent to their caregiving child, ever.
If this conversation is something you could only wish for, you may be a member of the “Sandwich Generation.” Ranging in age from the mid-30s to 60s, this group is “sandwiched” between caring for their aging parents and supporting their children at the same time. If you are in the Sandwich Generation, then you are concerned with the health, well-being and financial outlook for one or more parents and one or more children simultaneously. Certainly no easy task!
As primary caregiver to both generations, there are sure to be times when you must convince them to do things that are in their best interest, but that they don’t want to do. For younger children, brushing teeth and doing chores may fall into this category; for older children, obeying curfew, and for both of these groups there are books full of strategies to assist parents.
But what about when it’s your parent?
Primary caregivers of aging parents have to initiate many difficult but necessary changes in the best interest of their parents’ health and well-being. Whether it is deciding to restrict driving or suggesting the use of a hearing aid, these changes are usually met with resistance. One of the most difficult may be convincing a parent to use a cane or walker, because the thought of using a mobility device is frequently associated with images of feeble and dependent elders. No matter what their age is, the objection is often, “Canes and walkers are for old people!” They likely picture a frail individual, much older than themselves, moving slowly with the help of a clattering metal walker complete with tennis balls at the bottom.
This stigma can be overcome by using the old adage, “Seeing is believing.” Although walkers may initially represent dependence and disability, ironically, once they try one and sense how much stability it gives them, they will feel more independent and have more mobility than before. As they get used to using it, the stigma starts disappearing, replaced by, “Hey, I can walk again!” This is especially true with the advancements in walking devices like Drive’s Nitro Rollator, offering comfort, convenience and a sleek design far beyond that of a traditional metal walker.
A testimonial for the Nitro validates this: 96-year-old Joseph C., retired owner of the largest tablecloth manufacturing company in the U.S., states that the Nitro Rollator, “…brings magic in the air.” Everyone stops him and asks, “Where did you get the Mercedes of walkers?” He purchased the black and white Rollator, and says that he has never had a product that attracted so much attention.
“Much more than the visual appearance, it is manufactured to perfection. The brakes are great, it is sturdy and is very easy to put in the car. This is not an ordinary walker. It’s not adequate, not serviceable, it is a thrill to have. The most thrilling object I have ever purchased. It is by itself a treasure and should be promoted to everyone who needs a rollator.”
No adult wants to be told what to do, and taking the right steps can help you convince your parent to use a walker without a battle. As a “Sandwich Generation” caregiver, you can leverage the same appeal of technology that motivates your children to want the latest digital gadgets. Your Baby Boomer father is no stranger to the “cool factor” of technology; when he was a teenager, hot rods and automotive tech were high tech. And no matter what generation you belong to, looking good never goes out of style.