Many parents are finding themselves in the position of raising their children, and concurrently caring for their aging and elderly parents. This phenomenon has been called The Sandwich Generation because these parents are caring for two generations. It has been estimated between 7 to 10 million people in the U.S. are in the position of being responsible for making decisions for both their parents and children. Inherent to this of type of double caregiving are the stressors related to balancing time and roles, while still having time for one’s own life and marriage. Below are some tips for those in the sandwich generation to lessen the stress associated with this role.
Involve Family Members in the Discussion and Responsibilities
Caregiving with family members is often a one person show, but it doesn’t have to be. Discuss with other family members, including adolescents if they can help with some of the everyday household tasks to help the aging parents. Look for ways to set up a schedule in which the responsibilities are shared in a rewarding way, for instance, an adolescent helping with a task he or she enjoys. Communication between the children and the elderly parents is also important so that a sense of family teamwork and support is created. Open communication between the adult children and parents in need of caregiving is essential to discuss plans and options for care, so that the aging parents are included in the decision making rather than decisions being made for them.
Consider Help With In Home Care
To help bridge the gap of responsibilities, consider using an in home care agency to provide assistance with personal and household caregiving tasks for the elderly parent. Help with in home care can free up time that can make it easier to balance the multiple roles and still have time for yourself and your family.
Take Care of Yourself
It is easy to put others first when you’re caring for both your children and parents, but this can lead to burnout and being emotionally and physically drained. Here are a few tips in caring for yourself:
- Set aside time daily for you, if only 15 minutes, to do an activity that is relaxing and peaceful, like reading, taking a walk, or anything else you enjoy.
- Set aside specific time to spend with your spouse to continue to nurture and attend to your relationship.
- Listen to your body, if you feel like you need a break find a way to take it so that you can stay in good health and feel refreshed.
If you decide that assistance with in home care in something you would like to explore, consider contacting us at Care from the Heart. We have 27 years of providing quality, compassionate and affordable caregiving services and in home care in the Sun City area and would be happy to answer any of your questions.