Over the river and through the woods

I love it when the fact that most extended families live in close geographic proximity makes front-page news! According to the December 24, 2015 New York Times, “Over all, the median distance Americans live from their mother is 18 miles.”

Gerontologists have known for decades that the primary caregivers of frail older adults are family members. It turns out that a great many grandparents care for grandchildren as well. Even though the perception is that boomers neglect their aging parents, and millennials pay for childcare, in fact we are a tightly-knit nation of multi-generational familial caregivers.

Published by jeannettefranks

Jeannette Franks, PhD, is a passionate gerontologist and for over 20 years has taught ethics, grief and loss, and courses on geriatrics and gerontology for the University of Washington. Franks' most recent book is, To Move or To Stay Put: A Guide for Your Last Decades. Look for it now on the University Bookstore website http://www.bookstore.washington.edu/home/home.taf? It is also available at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge. Franks previously published a definitive guide to independent and assisted living titled Washington Retirement Options, and often speaks on retirement options, disability issues, end-of-life issues and is an advocate for accessibility. She has a goal of making Bainbridge an elder-friendly community and is available to groups and families to discuss these issues. She served for nine years on the Kitsap County Advisory Council on Aging and Long-term Care. She also has the privilege of working in a small way for the past 15 years with the Suquamish tribal elders.

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