It’s stressful enough being a caregiver for an aging parent, but when you are also in the “sandwich generation,” things can be even harder. The sandwich generation refers to adults caring for senior parents as well as children young enough to still be in the home. The risk of problems related to stress is much higher for those who fall in this category of caregiving, and we thought it would be helpful to give you some tips for easing the stress of caring for two different generations.
Be Willing to Ask for Help. Most people have many friends and family who would genuinely love to help you if they just knew the need. Perhaps they know you need help but don’t know how to offer that help to you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for assistance! You can’t possibly do everything for everyone and keep yourself sane in the process, so write down a few ways that your friends and family could help lighten your load. It might be doing errands or helping drive to doctor appointments, etc. Not receiving help from others will surely lead to burnout and exhaustion, rendering you no good to anyone.
Consider the Option of In-Home Care. If you have parents who need some help, why not look into having a care assistant come to your home so you can have a break! Not only does this lighten the load, but also gives you the assurance that they are in the hands of a competent professional. This would allow you to increase your time spent with your own children and family members!
Make it a priority to take care of yourself. You should put the same amount of energy and dedication in caring for yourself as you do everyone else around you! If you are worn down, burned out, and unable to get good sleep, you won’t be much good to anyone. Be kind to yourself with a healthy diet, a little time each day to take a quick walk, and go on a date night with your spouse! Those connection times will refuel your tank so you can be the caretaker that you need to be.
Maximize your time by combining activities and effort. Being a caretaker to two different generations can be challenging, but it does not mean you have to evenly divide yourself down each generation. When possible, look for similar tasks that are required for both your children and your parents, and see if those things could be combined. Things like cooking double batches of food and grocery shopping for both households are good ways to help combine your efforts so you have more free time.
We all need personal times of solitude. This can be especially true in a house where there are very young children, as well as the activity of caring for seniors. However, many seniors are not aware of how technology works and that it’s a great way to keep up with someone you love for free!
We should never be too proud to ask for help—after all, it may be the difference between feeling like you have some sanity left or not! For more information on the Sandwich Generation’s unique needs, please contact us today!
Home Helpers is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Downers Grove, Addison, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Wood Dale, Bensenville, and Plainfield, Illinois.
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