THE “SANDWICH GENERATION”: CARING FOR PARENTS WHILE CARING FOR CHILDREN
When it comes to the Baby Boom generation, there’s another label being applied to this particular demographic: The Sandwich Generation. These are the individuals that have now found themselves caught between meeting the needs of their elderly parents and the needs of their own children. And many Baby Boomers are finding that the day-to-day tasks of meeting all these needs is turning out to create very hectic days.
Many Baby Boomers have become a “family caregiver” to their parents and these Boomers not only work full time, they are also shuttling children to and from school and after-school activities and maintaining a household on top of their caregiving duties. Unfortunately, caregiving is often a one-person show, which can make those sandwiched in the middle of caregiving and home-life feel overwhelmed and discouraged. However, there are solutions to aid caregivers and the first step is getting educated on ways to make the situation more manageable–and protect your own health.
Here are a few tips to help:
1.) Hold a family meeting:
Discuss the many different caregiving tasks that need to be accomplished each day or week. Set mutual expectations of how and when these tasks will be accomplished. Any decisions made may take several reminders until the elderly loved one gets thoroughly familiar with the new schedule.
2.) Get the facts and avoid surprises:
Family caregivers should talk to their parents about how the parent is doing financially and what plans they’ve made if they become ill or incapacitated. Having the conversation while things are calm saves frayed nerves later.
3.) Ask for assistance:
Try calling resources such as the local Area Agency on Aging (800-786-5536). This state agency is a wealth of information on everything “senior” in the state of Idaho and can be a valuable free resource for every family with disabled, frail or elderly loved ones. You can also talk to a social worker at local hospitals, a physician, or a church. Home Care companies can also be a big help in getting the phone numbers of local hospitals or state agencies if you’re having problems finding those numbers.
If you find yourself in the “Sandwich Generation,” remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Consider obtaining some caregiving assistance or respite care from a Home Care company such as ours. We can help give you the time you need to get away for a movie, shopping trip or even a vacation by placing a well-trained caregiver in with your loved one for as long as you need. It’s a way of getting your own life back and staying balanced.
Contact us today to learn more about our in-home care servicesand to find out how we can assist you and your family.