Wyandotte sisters know meaning of the ‘sandwich generation’

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Wyandotte residents Theresa Crnkovich and Antoinette Mittlestat are sisters who understood the meaning of the “sandwich generation” but weren’t ready to be part of it.

The sandwich generation is typically described as middle-aged individuals who are pressured to support both aging parents and growing children.

Crnkovich and Mittlestat can hardly be called middle-aged. They are at least 10 years younger than the usual definition. Both are married, working mothers with two children each, ranging from 4 to 13 years of age.

It is their mom, age 67, living in a neighboring Downriver community, who is legally blind and needs assistance.

“She fell and broke her hip a year ago,” said Crnkovich, who is a professor of teacher education at Eastern Michigan University. “She made a slow recovery and eventually moved to assisted living after hospitalization and rehab. None of our friends had faced this situation, and we had no frame of reference about who to turn to for help.”

It was the family’s attorney who referred them to Marcia Filek, geriatric care manager for Senior Care Solutions by Oakwood.

Late last summer, Filek met with the family while their mother was recovering in a Downriver assisted living facility. Filek conducted a geriatric care assessment to determine how much assistance the mother needed and to recommend resources readily available in the community. The assessment provided the daughters with a blueprint of what was needed and what to do.

“Mom very much wanted to return home, and it was important for us to be able to trust anyone who came to help,” Crnkovich said, “making sure they were certified and qualified.”

Filek provided that assurance.

In June, their mom was able to transition back to her own home with care management provided by Senior Care Solutions including daily assistance from a team of home health care workers.

“We’re fortunate that we found Marcia to help and provide valuable resources that enabled mom to go back home,” said Mittlestat, a preschool teacher at a metropolitan Detroit private school. “It’s been a seamless transition.”

Instead of being part of the sandwich generation, the sisters would prefer to describe themselves as the “dynamic duo.” In addition to working and caring for their own families, the women budget and do the shopping their mother.

There’s peace of mind knowing that professional staff from Senior Care Solutions are readily available to help when needed.

About Senior Care Solutions by Oakwood

Senior Care Solutions by Oakwood offers geriatric care assessments and case management services along with in-home, non-medical and personal care services for seniors and post trauma patients. Based in Allen Park, Senior Care Solutions by Oakwood provides services throughout Wayne, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. Personal care services are also available within a 30-mile radius of Detroit.  For more information, call 866-776-1869 or go to www.OakwoodSeniorSolutions.org.