They’re referred to as “The Sandwich Generation,” and many of its members are overloaded and stressed from being caught in the middle – caring for aging parents and children at the same time, and often working a full-time job.
According to the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., nearly half (47 percent) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent over the age of 65 they’re caring for while raising children, either young or grown, and who need financial support.
Many of those caught in the middle not only provide care and financial support to their parents and kids, but four-in-ten say that both their parents and grown children rely on them for emotional support.
Support From Family and Professionals
Many people who are part of the Sandwich Generation bear this burden alone, without asking for assistance from their extended family, friends, and the community. Often, people are ready and willing to help out but don’t make the offer out of fear they wouldn’t be able to perform caregiver duties, or they don’t want to intrude because everything appears to be going well on the outside.
When there aren’t any personal connections to get help from, the person caught in the middle should look for professional assistance to avoid caregiver burnout. “Respite care” is a service many home care companies offer where a professional home care aide stays with family members with the caregiver takes a much-needed breather for a few hours or days.
Tips for Those Who Are Feeling Sandwiched
These are five things you can do as a caregiver to alleviate some of the stress you experience to meet your needs better, and the needs of your loved ones,
- Be aware of your stress level. Caregivers prone to high levels of stress can experience symptoms of anxiety or depression. If you’re experiencing symptoms and it’s affecting the level of care you’re able to provide, seek medical care immediately.
- Learn to relax. Use simple techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, and visualization – mentally picturing a peaceful place or situation.
- Take some “me time.” Schedule your day, so you get time to recharge your batteries and enjoy some time alone. Enjoy a good book with a cup of tea, enjoy your favorite hobby, pray, or treat yourself to a mani/pedi.
- Educate yourself. Learn all you can about any maladies your aging parent is suffering from, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The more you understand about personality changes and behaviors, the better you’ll be at reducing your stress level as you help your loved one,
- Set ground rules. If you have young children or adult children living at home, have them contribute to their family member’s care by spending time with them or helping with routine chores, like housework or yardwork.
AmeriCare Plus Can Help
If you need a hand as you care for your children and aging parents, we’re here to lend one. Serving the state of Virginia, AmeriCare plus can help relieve the stress you’re feeling from being caught in the middle. We offer these services for seniors:
- Respite care
- Hourly personal care
- Live-in companionship services
- Dementia Care
- Post-Operative Care
- And more
Contact us today through our website to learn more or call us at (844) 407-CARE(2273) to schedule a FREE in-home consultation.
We’re here to help!