The Sandwich Generation

Are you part of The Sandwich Generation? Do you know someone who might fit into this category?

The Sandwich Generation refers to adults that are caring for their children, but also caring for the elders in their life. It’s a category for those who have three generations living in the same house or under the same financial support system. For anyone, this situation is not easy and can lead to mental pressure and strain. An initial response to a health care crisis can be draining and the long-term damage can take a toll on multiple generations of a family. This blog validates the pressures of the caregivers in this role and lends some tips for coping.

We sometimes get to a place where we are overwhelmed, burdened, or at our tipping point. A little bit of help or a laugh from a loved one, or support system can provide momentous relief. We can use simple tools to deal with these pressures, or at least push them off for a short while. Caregiver burnout is a top worry for those in the middle of the sandwich. You can only take care of other people if you are mentally and physically up to it. Being able to call friends or let people know that one needs assistance, and being willing to accept that help, is key. Caregiver support is essential if you are in a position of feeling overwhelmed, and building a solid support team around you will help ensure long-term support.

When we are supporting others and still working, we need to be focused on streamlining care tasks. In-home care or Personal Cares Services (PCS) usually averages $25-$30 per hour so it is best to line up family or friends for small visits while the caregiver is out. Talk with healthcare personnel also to find out some best practices for cases JUST LIKE yours. Examples:

• If your loved one needs tasks to occupy time, one may have a box full of photos or nuts and bolts to go through

• Sometimes providing a doll or stuffed animal works if there are memory or dementia issues

Regardless of the specifics of your situation, healthcare professionals can help you gather a plan. Having the right tools will assist these processes when families feel overstretched.

Another great thing to take advantage of is homecare surveillance technology. Monitoring systems that come with voice capabilities and mobile applications; one can literally guide someone through making a sandwich while they are at work. Nanny-cams are a bit cheaper, but still make it easier for caregivers to monitor their situations while away working.

The most important point is that you are not alone in this journey, there are others in similar predicaments as you. There are support groups and Facebook groups that post great ideas. Many Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) offer a day care option for seniors as well. Reach out to your trusted home health agencies, home care workers, or even us at Heatherwood – we are here to help you! For more information call Heatherwood at 208-345-2150.