Are you in your 40s or 50s, finding yourself caring for both parents and your own children?
You are not alone. According to a 2013 report, 47% of adults are facing this same issue and are a part of what’s known as the Sandwich Generation. Due to the economic downturn, many middle-aged adults are providing support to their grown children in addition to their aging parents. This stressful situation, with the added burden of a full time job, can take a toll on a person. Unfortunately there is little support for the sandwich generation, and it is important for the caregiver to take the steps to ensure care for themselves.
Below are some tips if you find yourself in the “Sandwich Generation”
Ask For Help: Don’t be afraid to contact local resources for assistance for your older parents. Private Pay Home Care is a great option if your parents need assistance with daily activities on living. Your parents' insurance provider may also provide care management resources that can help with locating additional support. For more information on Humana’s Care Management services, click here.
Take Time for Yourself: Find time to do things you like to do, or “unplug” with your favorite relaxation activity. It is important to listen to your body. Many caregivers are pulled in numerous directions and forget to care for themselves. Keep up with your own health and don’t neglect yearly appointments of your own. Schedule appointments the same day as your parents to save time, and eat healthfully. When you’re in and out of the hospital, it is easy to go to the vending machine. Pack healthy quick foods to bring with you to appointments and errands. It will help keep all of you healthy.
Communicate: Talk with your family members and let them know your needs. Develop a plan to make it easier on everyone. Recruit older children who may be of assistance to relive you of some duties. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with them.
Find Support: Look for a support group in your area to speak with others in a similar situation. It feels better to talk with those who understand what you are going through. Fellow caregivers may be able to share helpful ideas. Consider talking one-on-one with a professional who can provide further support with underlying issues that may develop. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk to someone to help you cope with any anxiety, anger or stress you may face.
For more information on resources for caregivers and aging parents, click here.
To learn more about SeniorBridge services that can support family caregivers in the Sandwich Generation, click here.