An estimated 65 million families share a mother with her job and taking care of her aging parents. This phenomena is being called the Sandwich Generation. Most of the women involved are in their mid to late 40s who work full or part-time, have children still in public school and give at least 20 hours a week to the care of an elderly parent.
Have I just described you or someone you know? The strain of juggling all these responsibilities can take its toll on the physical, mental and emotional health of those facing these challenges.
While it’s not easy to balance the needs of your kids and your loved one, there are some things you can do that will help. These suggestions come from WebMD at http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/features/alzheimers-caregivers-sandwiched-between-parenting-your-kids-and-your-parents?page=3.
Explain the situation to your kids. They know something is going on. If you explain to them that grandmother is sick, you will go a long way to calming them. Also be sure you tell them that this sickness is not contagious. Reassure them that you will still be available for them even if you will be spending more time helping grandmother.
- Involve your children. According to a survey by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of American, 60% of the children of Sandwich Generation caregivers help out in the caregiving. Younger children can provide entertainment while the older ones can help with increasing the amount of household chores. You might hate to burden your children with caregiving responsibilities, but you may not have any choice. If the household runs better with their help, they also benefit.
- Meet as a family. Sit down with your spouse and kids to talk things over. Find out how the situation is affecting the family. You can also meet with a professional, a case manager or a therapist. We have people like that available through Sequoia Solutions and other healthcare providers do as well.
Sometimes, exclude grandfather. A special needs person can become the center of attention, leaving other family members feeling left out. It is all right to spend some time away from grandfather while you, your spouse and children go out for dinner, to a movie or something else you all like to do together.
For more information on how to help your family learn how to live with your loved one, please contact us or your local home healthcare provider. Do you need some help?
Stanton Lawson is the Co-Owner of Sequoia Senior Solutions. Sequoia’s mission is to ensure a better quality of life for their elderly clients and their families, by providing dependable and affordable in-home care. Sequoia’s focus is to keep you or your loved ones at home and avoid:
- Loss of friends and possessions
- Loss of independence and freedom
- Loss of spirit which is drained by the battles of daily living
Sequoia Senior Solutions, Inc. services Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties. The main office is located at191 Lynch Creek Way, Suite 102, Petaluma, CA 94954. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (707) 763-6600 Fax: (707) 763-6607, www.sequoiaseniorsolutions.com.
- Sandwich caregivers balance dual responsibilities (sfgate.com)
- Best of 2011: Sandwich Generation: A Personal Story. (innovationslab.wordpress.com)