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ESTRELLA PUBLISHING produces Arizona West Valley's premier and preferred

hyper-local community magazines.  From Your Neighbors, For Your Neighbors. 

We have a variety of publications that are available FREE of charge to affluent communities including; Up The Hill magazine (Estrella & CantaMia), Viva magazine (PebbleCreek), The Hamlet magazine (Palm Valley), The Park magazine (Litchfield Park), Main Street magazine (Verrado & Victory), Mountain View magazine (Vistancia & Trilogy), The Front Porch magazine (Marley Park), and White Tanks View magazine (Surprise Farms, Sierra Montana, Waddell Hacienda, and Sterling Grove)


From Me To You


‘Have you heard of the Sandwich Generation? It sounds like a great place to be, right? Grilled cheese, or ham and cheddar on wheat bread with a pickle on the side? Actually it is none of those. What it does involve is having children who are growing up (or have grown and fled the nest) then all of a sudden, your reliably independent parents slip and break a hip, or they don’t seem to remember like they used to, or they just need you to help them get by with daily tasks. You are sandwiched in between both generations, taking on the burden - sometimes all at once - of caring for everyone.


It is a tough spot to be in, not one that most of us prepare for, and not one that most of our parents desire either. The awkward conversations arise. Who tells Dad he should not be driving anymore? Is someone able to help Mom make sure she takes her medication? Did anyone mention plans for later life? Is there money put aside for long term care? Is there a will? Did anyone talk to Mom and Dad about funerals, or cremation?


I have had most of these conversations with my parents and my in-laws in the last few months. Some of them out of necessity and some so we can all be prepared. Let me tell you, it is not easy. Then, just when you think you have it all locked in place, the future you were preparing for may end up not being the one that comes about. My mother has always planned on aging in place. She has a chair lift so she can get to her room, a life alert device so she can call for help if necessary, a cleaning service to keep up with the housework and a local meal delivery service so her freezer is fully stocked. Then there are the friends who pop by to check on her and keep her spirits up should she feel lonely. Sounds perfect, right? Well all of this was premeditated on her declining physically. The problem that is beginning to arise is that due to Long Covid (the lasting, nasty effects of the disease), she is facing other challenges. My sharp-as-a-tack mother is losing words, and it is driving her crazy. She is most likely having mini strokes causing the memory and coherence issues, and that is creating a situation we did not anticipate. How long can she stay in her perfect home? That is a question I am having to come to terms with. The future we all planned together has gone and a new alternative is before us. We will navigate it, sandwiched between other responsibilities and the need to parent our parents.


What I would like you to come away from this letter with, is the understanding that planning is key. Not just for the obvious things, but for other eventualities. If you have a resolution this year that you follow through on, it should be this. Plan your estate. I don’t care if you are 24 or 74, you need to let people know what your wishes are- in every eventuality you can imagine. Start a conversation with your loved ones and take some of that burden away from them - you can even bring sandwiches.


Catherine Uretsky

Editor in Chief, Estrella Publishing