At the very top of Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” List in the “Nice” category are the caregivers who take care of aging parents or other relatives all year long. They deserve something extra special in their stockings.
The current recession has added plenty of stress to “the sandwich generation,” baby boomers caring for kids, parents, relatives and themselves at the same time. It includes people ranging from their mid-30s to 60 and over who will sacrifice more for their parents, even if it’s at the expense of their children.
What they desire most of all is a gift that will relieve a little of the burden they’ve willingly taken on to make the life of a senior they love more comfortable. According to a recent study by the marketing firm Communispace:
- 40% like the idea of someone who could transport their parent to the doctor, sit with them when the doctor gives them a diagnosis and treatment plan, and then report it all to them
- 26% like the idea of a combined Senior Center and Child Daycare Center
- 26% like the idea of a service to dispense or remind their parents to take their medication
- 22% like the idea of a services that would install webcams in their parents’ home and their own to let them monitor them
- A “considerable number” of people are looking for more culturally and linguistically appropriate services for their elderly parents (many of whom don’t speak English)
One in four caregivers liked the idea of airline discount offers on multiple trips to the same location, making regular visits to out of town parents easier, or making kids’ flights to see Grandma and Grandpa less expensive.
Calling all major airlines, technology providers and home care services: are you listening? Over 20 million Americans belong to the caregiver generation taking care of aging relatives and young children at the same time. They are feeling stretched, overwhelmed, and under-supported. Let’s provide products and services these folks desire and deserve. We can play Santa not just at Christmastime, but all year long.