They’ve been dubbed “The Sandwich Generation” – children who find themselves caring for aging parents and their spouses and children. In addition, many of this group also juggle job responsibilities and health challenges as they age. While it’s a complex and unenviable position to be in, some people have successfully handled these dual responsibilities of caring for a parent(s) and their growing children. Here are some pointers they’ve shared that can help you better meet everyone’s needs, including yours.
Tap into your support system
Your spouse and children likely want to help you care for your aging parents. Kids often love spending time with their grandparents and enjoy helping with chores, driving grandma or grandpa to the doctor, or running other errands for them.
The challenge is when your family doesn’t know how they can help, and you don’t tell them. Let them know what they can do to help you care for your parents and take some of the pressure off you.
Use community resources
If you live in an urban or suburban area, you probably have more resources at your fingertips than you realize. For example, many counties and states have departments specifically structured to help seniors. In addition, online resources such as the Health and Human Services website (HHS.gov) can provide tips to make caring for your parents a little less stressful.
Other community resources can help, like Meals on Wheels or other volunteer organizations that provide services to seniors. Many churches also have food and senior visitation programs that can make life a bit easier for you and provide Mom and Dad with some new friends to visit with occasionally.
Forgive yourself for missing events
As much as you sometimes wish you could, you can’t be in two places at the same time. Unfortunately, there will be times when your parent is under the weather or you can’t find someone to be with them, preventing you from attending a business function with your spouse or watching one of your children perform in a school musical or sporting event.
When this happens, go easy on yourself. Understand that you’re doing the best you can, and sometimes your parent will need you to be there when it’s not convenient for you. Your spouse and kids will understand and accept this better than you think.
Practice healthy self-care
It’s true – if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else. Take time for yourself and rejuvenate regularly. Have lunch with a friend, take a book to the park and read for a while, or enjoy a warm bath or massage.
This will only happen if you put it in your schedule and make an appointment with yourself. Call it “Me Time,” and enjoy your time off guilt-free. You deserve it.
Let Family Resource Home Care help
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, we can help ease the pressure through respite care, giving you the chance to take a breather and let us do the heavy lifting for a while. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one is being well-cared for by a professional while you rest and recharge your battery or attend to other needs or functions you might have.
Contact us today for more information. We can help daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly from 2-24 hours. Family Resource Home Care is committed to providing the highest quality respite care to meet your and your loved one’s needs.