18 Jul Ease The Burden of the “Sandwich Generation”
Are you caring for your elderly parents and your own children at the same time?
Are you feeling ‘sandwiched’ and burdened by the many demands on your life? Welcome to the rapidly growing segment of the American population. Sandwich Generation is a term coined by social worker, Dorothy Miller, MSW—used to describe a generation of people who care for both their aging parents and school-aged children.
Baby Boomers make up most of the Sandwich Generation as they chose to have children later in life, while their parents (on average) are living longer. Consequently, many parents of school-aged and young adult children living at home are also being confronted with managing the home care needs of their elderly parents, from near or far. As this trend continues, families will be forced to figure out how to best meet these needs—usually while working full time jobs outside of the home.
The sandwich generation needs some help
Caring for the needs of elderly parents while working, raising children and maintaining a marriage can be a daunting task. Those who have managed it successfully have learned they must know when and where to ask for help. However, many are reluctant to ask for that help. Their reasons vary. Some:
- Feel a sense of guilt or obligation
- Believe that multi-tasking will allow them to manage it all
- Think they have to be all things to all people—or there is something wrong with them
A daughter of a client recently shared, “Having a professional caregiver from A Helping Hand Homecare come to our home and not only help my mother with bathing and personal care, but also with household tasks, like cooking and laundry… I can’t tell you what a relief that that has been! I was stretched so thin before. I thought I was going to lose my mind! Now, I can leave for work in the morning and know that my mother will be safe and well cared for during the day and BONUS: I won’t have a pile of laundry waiting for me when I get home.”
We have learned from our clients the importance of self-care
Our Client Services Manager, Dana Graves, MA, believes, “It really is in the best interest of all family members to recognize when it’s time to get an extra set of hands involved to help out with the home care needs of an elderly parent. Getting that extra support can provide so much, not only for that elderly parent, but the whole family as well. When family members are relieved from some of the ‘duties’ of caregiving, they are freer to focus more time and attention on their relationships.” She adds, “We must help family caregivers to understand the importance of pacing themselves, taking breaks and making time for self-care.
“Recharging and filling up is essential because no one can give out of an empty cup. Sometimes delegating tasks to professional caregivers is the best way to get those windows of time you need to practice healthy self-care.”
Our RN Geriatric Care Manager reports that “The extra pair of hands and eyes to help with the day-to-day home care needs of our loved ones allows us to provide for the safety and well-being of those that are needing assistance while enriching all the family relationships. It’s good to remember that we’re not just caregivers, but sons, daughters, mothers and fathers—and individuals who need time and care.”
Enlisting help from a professional caregiver can make a world of difference in your life. Call or email us for a free consultation, 206-686-7440 or 877-281-7111. Be sure to check out our Services for more information.