With August comes the end of the summer season and the beginning of the back to school rush. For some, this time is filled with excitement, but for many in the sandwich generation it can cause a great deal of stress. The term “sandwich generation” refers to individuals in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who are caring for both their children and their aging parents. Though it can be rewarding, acting as a primary caregiver to both growing children and aging parents can create a great number of challenges.
Does this sound familiar?
My mother’s Alzheimer's is getting worse, she’s getting more forgetful and I need to be around more to help her. My father-in-law has ALS and he is needing help too. I keep having to miss work to take my parents to appointments and I know my boss is getting frustrated. I am trying to balance my full time job, raising two teenagers, taking care of my parents and cleaning the house. I have no time for myself or to get anything done. I am always tired and stressed.
The chaos from balancing work, children and the unexpected needs that arise from aging parents (hospitalizations, illnesses, falls, etc.), can easily lead to family caregiver burnout. Here are some strategies for dealing with this situation:
With all the responsibilities that you are faced with, it is important to be able to reach out for support with regards to making decisions on your parent’s needs. Do your research and consider all your options. Understanding what your needs are, what resources are available, and seek professional help. This will not only relieve stress, but it can also provide you with the opportunity to continue to spend quality time with your parents.
Note: This article is for informative purposes only. Always check with a medical professional.