Tag Archives: family

Surviving the Sandwich Generation

Vantage Point: The Importance of Support While in the Sandwich Generation

My husband and I are starting to talk about future property purchases, which has led to many conversations about what we would want in a house or property. I want land. He wants something that he doesn’t have to fix up. Our conversations have swung from a giant, ridiculous wish list to then coming back to reality about what’s on that wish list.

One theme that I’ve been consistent with in all of our talks is that I want a place to take care of my parents when they get older in the future. This is so true for my mother, as her family has often lived into their 90s.

This notion of caring for them on my property has been solidified even further with how unsure Medicare is, how expensive the healthcare system is, and the fact that I want them to have the best care while staying close to family. I figure I can achieve this by buying a property that’s big enough to parcel out a place for my parents.

I haven’t really thought of all the logistics, but the plan is stuck in my mind, and it’s framing what kind of property and home I want. This type of thinking has also led to conversations with my father about what he thinks they would like and need, if and when the time comes for them to sell their home and live with us.

When this happens, if not a little before, I’ll officially be smack dab in the classification of the sandwich generation, the people who are responsible for not only caring for their own kids, but also for their aging parents. According to the CDC, as of 2008, there were 34 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States. I’m sure that figure is much higher now.

I saw my mother do this with her mother, so I’m not afraid of the season when it comes; I just want to be prepared. Being prepared means thinking now about what will make life easier for all of us in the future.

It’s also about knowing and looking out for the pitfalls. I’ve heard from many others that this season of life can be so rewarding while you’re in it, but it can also be very taxing, so it’s important to be extra vigilant in taking care of yourself. In order to keep loving others, we have to keep loving ourselves.

This means that sometimes you need a break! This break could be a spa day, a long walk, a furious cardio kickboxing session, or just talking to others who are in similar situations. It takes a village, right?!

I’ve compiled a list of some support groups for those who are in this situation. Some support groups are local, and some are virtual, but they are all there as resources for support. And if you want something more local that fits what you’re going through, you can always start your own support group. There are tons of advice and tips online on how to make a new group successful. I think the best advice I saw when researching this article was to keep it simple and to feel accomplished even if only 1 or 2 people show up.

Local Support Groups

Memorial Hospital’s support groups

Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Groups

Granger – For Spanish-Speaking Caregivers – Starting Soon
Estela Ochoa
Call 206-529-3877 before attending for location, time, and further details.

Yakima – For Caregivers
Location: St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church
4105 Richey Rd.
Yakima, WA 98908
Meeting Time: 2nd Thursday of the month, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Contact Elaine Krump at 509-969-3615 before attending.

Yakima – For Spanish-Speaking Families
Call Manuel at 509-833-3334 before attending for location, time, and further details.

Online Support Groups

Caring.com has a broad list of caregiving groups for you to choose from. Access to these groups requires a free member account.

AgingCare.com has some groups for you to choose from, and you don’t have to become a member to access these groups.

Caregiving.com has online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats, and blogs written by family caregivers.


Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a homegrown girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world. When not attending community events or providing Medicare education throughout the Valley, she can be found indulging in her hobbies of homesteading, pioneer cooking, and learning new survival techniques. She also has a strong love for all things Halloween.

Hot Breakfast All Month

National Hot Breakfast Month

It’s National Hot Breakfast Month! Fight the winter blues with these meals to warm your soul.

First up are Frozen Healthy Breakfast Burritos, perfect for busy Monday mornings.

Frozen Healthy Breakfast Burritos
Image and Recipe via Tone and Tighten


Make Brown Rice Porridge with Figs and Blueberries for a hearty start to the day.

Brown Rice Porridge with Figs, Blueberries, and Pistachios
Image and Recipe via Kitchen Sanctuary


Do hot breakfast right with these Southwest Baked Eggs in Sweet Potato Nests.

Southwest Baked Eggs in Sweet Potato Nests
Image and Recipe via Recipe Runner


Go gluten-free for your family with Banana Coconut Flour Waffles.

Banana Coconut Flour Waffles
Image and Recipe via PALEOHACKS


Whip up Egg Breakfast Pitas with Feta and Spinach and skip the morning drive-thru trip.

Egg Breakfast Pitas with Feta and Spinach
Image and Recipe via Alissa Rumsey


Do brunch for the whole family with Banana, Quinoa, Oats ‘n More Breakfast Bake.

Banana, Quinoa, Oats ‘n More Breakfast Bake
Image and Recipe via The Fit Fork


Whip up this Veggie-Loaded Breakfast Casserole for a guilt-free weekend breakfast.

Veggie-Loaded Breakfast Casserole
Image and Recipe via Little Spice Jar


National Bake for Family Fun Month

National Bake for Family Fun Month

It’s National Bake for Family Fun Month, so we have some healthy family favorites to help you get in the kitchen with your kids.

First up are Clean Triple Chocolate Scones that the whole family will love.

Clean Triple Chocolate Scones
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking


Satisfy your sweet tooth with this Healthy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Healthy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons


Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies are the perfect after-school snack and activity.

Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking


Make breakfast ahead of time with Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Image and Recipe via Baker by Nature


These Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes will be a hit with your kids.

Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking


Make everyone happy with these Best Healthier Brownies in their lunchboxes.

Video and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron


Get baking on the weekends with these One-Bowl Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

One Bowl Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons



Marking Milestones

Long View: Making the Most of Milestones

As a culture, we recognize milestones. We count the years with class reunions, wedding anniversaries, or years logged since a cancer diagnosis. It has been a few months, but I bet the majority of readers can tell me how many years it had been since the Chicago Cubs had last won the World Series.

As parents, we carefully record that first step, first tooth, first time rolling over. At least we do for the first baby; the second, third, fourth… maybe not quite as detailed. This month, I’m celebrating a birthday that ends in a 9.  This is a milestone in a way, a preamble to a new decade. To be completely honest, it’s more about clinging to the final year left in my current decade.

My sons had a great-grandfather who was meticulous in keeping track of each great-grandchild’s birthday. He carried a pocket calendar around and recorded every date in his precious, shaky handwriting, making sure to not miss a single date for each of his 12 great-grandkids. It was so touching to me, and I made sure to never miss that World War II veteran’s birthday either.

Today we are reminded of birthdays and anniversaries through social media. Facebook has made me a much better friend because I never would have put all of those dates into a traditional calendar. I could not keep up with sending something as old-fashioned as a card via something as truly antiquated as the mail. With just a few clicks, I can send a birthday cake emoji with a couple of exclamation points through cyberspace and am on top of things.

Some milestones can be bittersweet, like the first holiday after a grandmother passes away or a 75th wedding anniversary that never happened because one of the spouses is no longer with us. I toasted the 100th birthday of my grandmother even though she left us at 94 years old.

Do you reach out to your elderly family and friends when special dates pop up on the calendar?  These dates don’t have to be completely solemn occasions. Reaching out to remember a wedding anniversary with a widower can bring back happy memories of a beautiful marriage, not to mention the fact that you have taken the time to call or visit with this person and recognize the importance of the day.

You may not want to just send an emoji to your great grandmother. Take the time to send a card and handwritten note or better yet, stop by for a visit.

Can you imagine how you would feel at 29, 39, or 49 if your important milestone wasn’t important to anyone else?  Someone 79, 89, or 99 feels exactly the same way.

Here is an idea. This February, make an elder your valentine.

Lora Felger is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. She is the mother of 2 terrific boys, a world traveler, and a major Iowa State Cyclones fan.

Oatmeal Month Done Right

National Oatmeal Month

January is National Oatmeal Month, so we had ways for you to enjoy the healthy breakfast dish each day this week.

First up were easy Banana Slow Cooker Overnight Oats you can put in ahead of time.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats


Make this tasty Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut for a weekend brunch.

Morning Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Coconut


Peach Cobbler Oatmeal plays on your favorite summer dessert but is perfect for winter.

Peach Cobbler Oatmeal


Make Healthy Oatmeal Cups for an easy grab-and-go breakfast:

Healthy Oatmeal Cups
Image and Recipe via Ebay


Satisfy your sweet tooth with surprisingly Healthy Vanilla Cake Batter Oatmeal.

Healthy Vanilla Cake Batter Oatmeal


Your kids will love whole grains in these Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The BEST healthy oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies


Make your family favorite in advance with Maple, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon Overnight Oats.

Maple, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Overnight Oats




National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses.

National Hospice & Palliative Care Month


Hospice care is special care for people who are terminally ill. It includes medical and physical care and help with social, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Hospice and palliative care empower people to live as fully as possible, surrounded and supported by family and loved ones, despite serious illnesses.

Know Your Options


Each year, more than 1.65 million Americans living with serious illnesses get care from the nation’s hospice programs.


Each year, hospice saves Medicare more than $2 billion through care and comfort for patients and families.

Protecting Yourself for the Future


Hospice care provides support for family and caregivers and can help take some of the stress of care off of them.

Preparing for the Future


It’s important to know about your options and prepare to share your wishes before a healthcare crisis with advance care planning.




Making the Most of Buttercup Squash Recipes

Healthy Buttercup Squash Recipes

Squash is in season, and this week, we featured buttercup squash recipes. You’ll love these healthy, hearty dishes!

Black Bean and Buttercup Wraps with Chimichurri Sauce are a great burrito substitute.

Black bean and buttercup wraps with chimichurri sauce


Roasted Chicken & Buttercup Squash with Herbed Honey Mustard is the perfect fall dinner.

Roasted Chicken & Buttercup Squash with Herbed Honey Mustard
Image and Recipe via Raising Jane


Make Buttercup Sage Mac and Cheese for a secretly healthy family favorite.

Buttercup Sage Mac and Cheese *with Bourbon*


Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini Dip will be your new fall-favorite appetizer.

Roasted Buttercup Squash & Tahini Dip
Image and Recipe via All Roads Lead to the Kitchen


Curried Buttercup Squash Soup is ideal for guests or dinner parties.

Curried Buttercup Squash Soup


These Mini Buttercup Squash Spice Cakes are a tasty dessert for fall cravings.

Mini Buttercup Squash Spice Cakes & A Baking Contest


Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars are a healthy snack your kids will love.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars