VANTAGE Aging extends hours to help
AKRON, OH – November 11, 2019. VANTAGE Behavioral Health Solutions is extending its evening hours to provide working adults with more counseling options. Now serving clients from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, the agency aims to better address the growing mental health needs of Summit County’s sandwich generation.
Sandwich generation refers to people in their 40’s to 70’s who care for aging parents while supporting their own children. Often pulled in many directions, these individuals provide care, emotional guidance, and financial support to several generations.
“Over one-fourth of Summit County residents are age 40 to 60. This demographic faces the unique challenge of caring for children, aging parents, and working,” said VANTAGE Behavioral Health Director Gizelle Jones. “We are extending our hours to ensure that sandwich generationers can make time for self-care around their busy schedules.”
Nearly half of Americans in their 40’s and 50’s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child. About one-in-seven middle-aged adults provides financial support to both an aging parent and a child. These numbers are expected to increase as baby boomers become senior citizens.
Being a Sandwich is stressful
Balancing the burden of caring for parents and children can be demanding. In one study, family caregivers said that providing daily care meant increased irritability, less time for hobbies, and increased emotional stress. Caregiving responsibilities also made them more likely to experience depression and anxiety.
Many sandwich generationers experience chronic stress, which can reveal itself in anxiety, heart palpitations, difficulty concentrating, sleep trouble, and digestion issues. Chronic stress can also contribute to the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Therapy provides balance
Because of the added pressure of caregiving, counseling is highly beneficial to those feeling stuck in the sandwich generation. Therapy provides individuals with the opportunity to learn how to understand and address feelings of anger, resentment, and depression.
For sandwich generationers who want to talk to a therapist, the problem is finding the time. VANTAGE’s new, expanded hours allow more flexibility to those seeking affordable counseling on a tight schedule.
“We are excited to be able to serve a population that does so much for others,” said VANTAGE CEO Karen Hrdlicka. “When you’re balancing so many responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for your own needs. By staying open later, we hope to give adults an easy way to talk through issues with an unbiased party, and leave here feeling recharged and energized.”
Extended hours also benefit seniors with barriers to mobility. Later operating hours help seniors who rely on friends and family for rides can schedule appointments when their loved ones are available.
VANTAGE Behavioral Health Solutions offers support groups and individual counseling for adults age 40 and older. Since the program specializes in providing quality behavioral health services to adults, the sandwich generation and their families benefit from a personalized approach to wellness.
About VANTAGE Aging: VANTAGE Aging provides high-quality programs to empower the economic, social, physical, and mental well-being of adults as they age. Non-medical in-home care is provided by Home Wellness Solutions. Behavioral Health Solutions offers mental health counseling and treatment for alcohol and other drug use issues to adults age 45 and older. Job training for low-income adults age 55 and older is offered through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Evidenced-based volunteering to meet local and national needs is provided by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides home-delivered and congregate meals to provide nutritional support to the homebound and disabled. Overall, VANTAGE’s programs come together to offer a path for positive aging. Founded in 1975 as a senior citizen program, VANTAGE has since become an independent, nationally respected organization with offices throughout the state. For more information, call 330.253.4597 or visit www.vantageaging.org.