Family is a wonderful thing. The ability to be close to your parents and your children at the same time can be a great experience. However, caring for your parents and your children simultaneously can be a challenge. People who find themselves juggling the care of their elder and younger relatives are members of the sandwich generation.
Even while surrounded by family, members of the sandwich generation can feel isolated in their role and overwhelmed by their responsibilities. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we understand the challenges of the sandwich generation and are here to help.
20 million Americans are a part of the sandwich generation, which means that there is a 1 in 8 chance that you yourself fall into this category. The term itself simply stands for an adult who is simultaneously taking care of one or more of their aging parents as well as their own children—in some instances a member of the sandwich generation may even be taking care of their grandparents as well!
That’s a whole lot of responsibility.
Sandwich generation caregivers often experience the following stressful questions or situations:
- How much time should I spend caring for my parents/grandparents and how much time should I spend caring for my children?
- Where do I find time to spend with my spouse?
- Will my kids and parents ever get along?
- How can I maintain my career?
- Is it possible to find time for myself?
- Where are the resources to help me?
Sadly, all of the stresses of the average family caregiver seem to be doubled for those operating out of the sandwich generation. If you are one of these caregivers it is of the utmost importance that you to do the following things to manage the many challenges you face on a daily basis.
- Hold regular family meetings. This can help to keep everyone on the same page as well as give you a place to voice your joys and frustrations and enable your family to support you.
- Don’t be afraid to take time off! Getting burnt out is the worst thing you can do as a family caregiver. Consider asking other family members for help occasionally or contacting us about our special Respite Care.
- Encourage your family members to communicate with each other. Even though there are generational gaps active communication can go a long way in easing the stresses of every day life.
- Be intentional about pursuing time for your marriage and other family and friend relationships. You can’t do it all alone, so be sure to make time for the people in your life who can love and support you.
Way to go, Sandwich Generation! We hope you’ll let us know of any way we can help to make your caregiving experience more enjoyable. If you need respite or support, you may be interested in our family services. Learn more here:http://synergyhomecare.com/Services/Family_Support.aspx