Posted on Jul 28, 2015
Are you a member of “The Sandwich Generation”? You could be if you’re over 40 and you’re caring for both your children and your parents, grandparents or other senior loved ones.
Thanks to medical advances and better nutrition, people are living longer. And, many young adults have delayed starting their families, often well into their thirties. So that creates a scenario where adults ranging from 40-50 years old often have both dependent children at home and aging parents or grandparents, both requiring their care.
Caregivers Become Caught In A Caregiver “Sandwich!”
According to the Pew Research Center, about half of Americans between 40-60 have at least one parent over 65 and are also raising and/or financially supporting a late teen or early adult child. Some are also supporting their senior loved one financially, entirely or in part.
So who is the typical “sandwich” caregiver? Usually it’s a working woman, between the ages of 40-59, who is married and caring for both children at home and a senior parent/relative. Many quit their jobs to take on the role of caregiver full time. Others try their best to juggle family life and senior care. The result? Women in the “sandwich generation” feel more stress than any other age group. There’s no question that life gets crazy and complicated when everybody needs your help!
Step Away From The Deli And Maintain Your Sanity!
Caring for an aging loved one is an act of love and compassion. But providing that care should not come at the expense of both your physical and mental health. If you’re a “sandwich” caregiver, it’s important to be realistic and determine what care you can and cannot provide…and it’s important to know when to ask for help.
Here are some tips that may help you maintain a positive balance between family care and senior care:
• Ask for help. This is often the hardest thing to do. It is not a sign of failure to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. Reach out to other family members and friends before the situation becomes unmanageable.
• Align yourself with professionals in your area. Ask the doctor for referrals to a social worker or other senior care professionals who can step in and lend a hand.
• Maintain a healthy social circle. It’s important to connect with your own friends and family members.
• Stay healthy. Remember, you can’t care for another person if you’re not healthy yourself. So maintain a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
In Over Your Head? Senior Helpers of the Lehigh Valley Can Help
If you’re “sandwiched” between caring for your children and caring for a senior loved one, know your options before your stress escalates to the point that no one receives the care they deserve. Simply put, some caregiver tasks are outside the realm of expertise of most people. That’s when a professional “helping hand” can take the stress and anxiety out of caregiving. Senior Helpers of the Lehigh Valley offers a full range of customizable care options that range from daily companion care (light housekeeping, general errands, transportation and appointments) to specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Ask us how we can help; call us at 610-770-2036 today to speak to a senior care expert.