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Sandwich Generation? Balancing Caregiver Responsibilities

by Amy, May 31, 2015


At Care Indeed, our Bay Area in home care providers understand that many family members who care for aging or elderly loved ones are members of the 'sandwich' generation - that is, you're sandwiched between caring for your own young family and children, and an aging family member such as a parent.

It's easy to become stressed out and overwhelmed, especially if you are trying to take care of young children and aging parents and holding down a job. You find yourself using your lunch hour to go check on your aging loved one instead of eating. Catching up on work over the weekend seems to have become a regular habit. Eventually, what happens is that you neglect your own needs. How can you bring a sense of balance back to your life? Our Lamorinda professional home care givers have a few tips.

First, pay attention to your own words. You've got a super-busy day ahead, and the thought that you should go visit your mom pops into your head. 'Should' is a word that evokes guilt. Instead, substitute 'need' or 'want' instead. When you 'want' to go visit mom but have a schedule that's already packed, sometimes it can wait until tomorrow.

Learn to say no. As a caregiver, there are times you simply cannot be available 24/7. Set realistic expectations, and know that when there isn't a crisis, you don't have to say yes to every little thing that pops up. What you want to avoid is feeling manipulated, as this often leads to feelings of resentment. If your aging parent or elderly loved one truly needs around-the-clock care, consider hiring an in-home caregiver for the hours of the day you need help.

Keep in mind that people are often more flexible and understanding than you think. Your boss wants a project completed, your son has a soccer game this afternoon, and your aging parent expects you to come prepare the evening meal at 4:30. Something will have to wait, so learn to distinguish between matters that are most urgent, and those that are not. Discern and decide!

Talk to your elderly parent about bringing in a hired caregiver. Understandably, aging parents love to have their adult children take care of their needs - but it just isn't always possible. Your parent may be having mobility issues, limited stamina, or vision/hearing problems. Explain that you cannot be available every minute of the day, and that hiring a caregiver from a reputable agency like Care Indeed could mean the difference in remaining in his/her home, and having to go to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

At Care Indeed, our Bay Area in home care services make it possible for those who are aging to enjoy living in their own homes while being cared for by caregivers who are compassionate and loving. If you are a member of the 'sandwich' generation who finds yourself burning the candle at both ends, give us a call today!