Is this a new trend in our society? It seems that "policy" requires caregivers to provide "licensed" care for children and for elders. If we let a (fully capable) teen drive g'ma to the doctor appt or ask the elder to supervise the grandchild for a few hours, some "well-meaning" bureaucrat swoops in and says that we (the "sandwiched" caregiver), is being irresponsible. Visits from authorities and other penalties sometimes ensue. We have been told in "helping articles" to let the generations care for each other and sometimes we just have to. Who has the right to tell the teen in a doctor's waiting room (for instance), "you are not of age? Your parent cannot ask you to do this. It's abuse! I should report them!"
OR -- grandchild brings cup of coffee to grandparent, and a little bit spills and makes a mark on g'parent's arm. Someone sees this and they immediately assume the elder is getting abused and they report you -- the "sandwiched" caregiver -- for abuse? It's insane. What right do these folks have? When we were kids, a spilled coffee incident made the child feel bad, but they were only trying to help. "It happens" was the explanation. The teen didn't tie the elder on top of the car to take them to the appt -- they are confused by a stranger's outburst of "this is wrong." What ever happened to praising a child for trying to help? Society has taken this out of context and what it is creating is a mindset of "don't ask to help, you could be arrested or at least hassled." This puts more burden on the "sandwiched" caregivers and they are tired of shouldering it all. Who in this nation can reverse this trend? Where can it start?