What is the “Sandwich Generation?“
The sandwich generation is a generation who is literally sandwiched between caring for their elderly parent(s) while also having to take care of their own immediate family. Most feel like they’re being squeezed between the needs of the children they have and the parents who are aging.
7 Tips for the Sandwich Generation Caregiver
It’s not easy to take on the many hats needed as a sandwich generation caregiver. Here are a few tips to make your life a little easier, while trying to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Have others help with tasks – In many cases your older children can run errands and even check in on their grandparents once in a while. Giving others small tasks that can help keep your aging parents stay safe and healthy while maintaining a certain quality of life will benefit everyone involved.
- Keeping people in your life – Writer, Carol Abaya or the NY Times is a sandwich generation caregiver who was faced with making the decision of who was most important in her life. In her article, published in NY Times she addresses the fact that making the decision of who to actively keep involved in your life is not an easy one; but, it is necessary.
- Empathize – Although it can be frustrating, try to be understanding about the changes your parent(s) are going through. As we age we deal with the loss of friends and family who’ve aged, becoming more dependent upon others to help us and often being less socially active; none of it’s easy.
- There is no right or wrong way – Because all people are different and each family is unique, there is no one cookie-cutter way to work best as a sandwich generation caregiver. Don’t pressure yourself to do things a certain way or fit into a standard.
- Combine chores/errands – Combine errands such as grocery marketing for your parents with your weekly marketing; bring them along if they can use a mobility device so they can get out too. Try to do a few things in one trip instead of spreading yourself too thin running around constantly.
- Keep a schedule – Try to keep a regular schedule and have a calendar with everything listed both in your home and your loved one’s home.
- Plan ahead – Make sure you have someone lined up to come in should an emergency occur at your own home or you become ill. One way to help with this is to utilize an in-home caregiving service regularly so your parent(s) area already familiar with having a different person helping them at home.
It’s difficult enough keeping one household running well, but having to care for your own household and that of an aging loved one is manageable. The Sandwich Generation caregiver faces many difficulties, but Accredited can offer solutions.
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