Have you been "scolded" for allowing a minor help care for an elder and vice-versa?

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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?

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Sorry IsntEasy I can't agree with you. I've had dealings with some social programs and I still came away believing in the "nanny state". Just my opinion.
onlyoneholly, if I knew the solution to your scenarios I'd sure tell you. I'm as stumped as you are. Does everyone know all the laws, rules, regulations and edicts before they take on caregiving of a child or adult? Probably not. I sure didn't the day it was dropped on my lap. It's scary.
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The "Nanny State" is an invention of political manipulators. In actual fact, there aren't nearly enough social workers and other government-funded workers to protect the vulnerable from REAL abuse, let alone go looking for it where it doesn't exist.
The idea is to manipulate us into voting to reduce funding for those programs even further by spreading the idea that 'government meddlers' are poking their noses into every aspect of our lives. That just doesn't hold water and can't be supported with real facts. Social programs are now so underfunded that the basic protections they provide are at risk. That's a fact.
By and large, stories about 'nanny state' interference are just that...stories. Little, out-of-the-ordinary occurrences blown way out of proportion (and repeated over and over) to achieve a political goal.
Don't fall for it. Social programs are the very definition of a civilized society. Virtually every American senior benefits from the most enormous and expensive social program the government offers – Medicare. And, what would our parents do without it? I know how my own father would fare. He would have been in his grave a long time ago.
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Thank you all, who have put your thoughts to my question. I appreciate many of the comments regarding letting the generations care for each other. Your inputs about the "nanny state" mentality confirm to me that it is just not me who wonders if this is a trend that does not make sense.

I appreciated the input asking about why the schools do not offer courses in the schools for young folks to learn about taking care of elders as well as babies/young children -- what a wonderful idea! I realize that those courses could not go into the depth of analysis about the elder's needs, but common sense strategies could be taught.

I have been in a "sandwiched" situation for at least 18 years. I've read a lot about this. I've also listened and observed (some did not even know I was listening) in social situations involving the dynamics of generations helping one another. My general consensus is that society now demands that we "protect" both ends of the generational spectrum from harm. By "demanding" I mean that penalties happen if something goes wrong even if we have tried very hard to put "safeties" in place. Some things just boil down to common sense, trust, and basic ethical standards. We have to be willing to "let go and let God" in some situations -- our own conscience will be our final judgement. We do not need social services, lawyers, mandates, and "sensation tv" making us second-guess our best intentions. The persons who "judge" us (letting the capable teenager take an elder to an appointment because they can and we are at work earning a needed income) is not abuse to the teen, or is it abuse to the elder. I loved the comment about the teen and grandparent going for a milkshake during their errand. What a nice thought!

The suggestion by "isn't easy" about telling a person "thank you for your concern" and going about their business is sound. I just rue the thought that the "well-meaning busybody" has put a thought of doubt into a young person.

My comments about the teen and the young child were incidents I heard about in comments from others. This has not personally happened to me -- yet. I've been there for both generations -- managing, scrambling, putting aside a career in my prime years. I've "paid for services" to take care of both generations when necessary because I feared a backlash. I wish I would've done things differently now that I look back in hindsight. My own So. Security payout will be meager when I finally qualify for it. Will this make me more dependent -- most likely. Is this another pending bad trend?

I'm part of the Boomer generation and a Sandwich generation. Many of you who have commented are most likely too. Be strong for each other, speak out and advocate for praise to the generations helping each other without interference from the bureaucrats. Give an "atta boy" to a young person or an older person for being there for each other.

One more thing -- make First Aid, CPR, and general safety classes easy to access, and really truly affordable. This would empower so many more persons to feel capable in an emergency -- no matter what their age is.
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I so agree with you Isn'tEasy. APS and other offices are to busy dealing with such things as real abuse and money abuse to thinkk twice for a kid taking grandma to the doctor. There agin if it were an 8 yr old going to the doctor with grandma then one might wonder who is taking care of who. Otherwise just encourage the teen to keep up the good work and create memories for themselves. Like take grandma for a milk shake atferward (that is if grandma can still have junk food:)
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Did someone ACTUALLY report your teenager for accompanying a grandparent to a doctor's office? For what and to whom? Or, did some meddlesome person just make an unwelcome and nosey comment?
There always have been and always will be people like that. A friend once had a neighbor call her in a panic because she saw the neighbor's 8 year-old riding down the street on her bike. She said "thank you" and went on with her day. 50 years ago, when all 8 year-olds roamed around on their bikes, that same neighbor would have found something else to be alarmed over – like the 'end of civilization as we know it' because of rock and roll music or some other nonsense. There are always 'those people'. It's just the things they get worked up over that change with the times. Advise the teen to say "thank you for your concern" and go on about his or her business.
I know some "well meaning bureaucrats" and, believe me, they're too overworked and short-staffed to have the time (and the inclination) to interfere with a kid taking his grandmom to an appointment – not with all the real issues they have piling up on their desks!
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So many wonderful answers and points of view! If a young person is willing to take gma to the doc, then I say yay! Everybody wins. Family memories are made this way.
The trend our govt is taking is a travesty! Everything is judged as inappropriate if its not done according to this nanny state mentality. It makes me mad and very sad.
I know that when my mom needed assistance while I was at work, my 20 something son was a tremendous help. He'd just gotten out of the Navy, was going to college on the GI bill, he and his wife had a new baby (he stayed home to care for her while his wife worked) and he was always willing to help his gma. Put her and the baby in the car for doc appts, grocery shopping, go to lunch, etc. I'll always be proud of him for helping her and all of us to "get the job done". Young people should be encouraged, not criticized, for helping with the older generation. It's a beautiful way to repay their elders for all they did for them.
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Part of the problem is that our social science classes we have in school, that kind of brain washes us as to the extend of what should or can be saw as abuse.This goes for both adults and children. What most of us sees as a caring grandchild helping both grandma and mom with this appt is now being seen as mom is asking to much as this granddtr who they feel should be playing sports or somethng and don't see it as learning to care for someone you love. Think of how
much this young person has learned about family responsibilities. Family classes in high school teaches about caring for a baby and young children, but what about our older family. I think I would tell the grandchild not to worry so much about what
was said to her in the doctor office but instead praise her for her kindness to grandma. All 4 of my children helped with my mother even when she went into a nursing home. To transport mom my sons would pick her up like a baby and then set in the car etc. They would all laugh about the reverse of roles from when they
need help into the cars. I am proud to say " Help all you can and you will be richly
bless"
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My opinion on this question is that if a teen of age is willing to help out let them, every parent should know if their child is responsible or not. What society should be checking out is some of these older adults who take in the elderly, and small children just for the money and they abuse them. Its sad that when you have careing grands, willing grands that want to do the best for their grandparents it always have to be a situation nobody looks at the un-responsible adult that don't have any feelings or cares about their parents or grandparents or anyone else because they are looking at that all mighty dollar. This is just my opinion...
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Unfortunately, we are now living in a disfunctional "nanny state" country where the government always knows what's best for us, bureaucracy and stupidity prevail, and good judgment and common sense are outlawed.
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My mom, 92, is sitting next to me, so I relayed your story about your teen driving Grandma to the doctor's office. She shook her head in disbelief: "I've never heard of such a thing. How are teenagers supposed to learn to become responsible adults?" Our society must encourage our young people contribute to the good of the family and society. Personally, I think all teenagers should have Grandma sitting next to them in the car. We'd probably have fewer accidents.
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