The “sandwich generation” describes those of us who have the responsibility of caring for our kids and our parents at the same time.
It’s a path filled with a curious combination of blessings and stress. It is a blessing as the family is able to spend more time together across generations making memories. But this can also be a huge source of stress when everyone’s schedule is going in opposite directions and no one is able to stay with mom at home for the evening. Here are some tips to make being a part of the “sandwich generation” easier:
Learn what resources are available. There are many community resources available to help you at churches, senior centers, health care centers, and associations like the Alzheimer’s Association. Many adult care services are affordable especially when you only use them every once in awhile when you need them.
Prioritize what is really important. With your schedule being twice as busy, perhaps it’s time to be involved in less. Pair up with another family to carpool to kids activities. Or perhaps take a season off from one activity that your kids have normally done. This will help free up more time in the schedule.
Take time for yourself. Many caregivers burnout because they don’t make time to refresh and rejuvenate. It is difficult to give to everyone else when the tank is empty. Finding a support group in your community can help. Learn to prioritize healthy eating and exercise in order to be at your best.
Learn how you can become a restorative aide.