While the term sandwich generation comes with a funny connotation, there is nothing humorous about this group of generational caregivers. For many, it defines their life and is the sole factor holding their family together.
A Caregiving Balancing Act
A caregiver that is part of the sandwich generation is typically caring for their own children as well as their aging parents. This can put a great deal of stress and strain on the individual as they work to meet the demands of their children as well as their parents.
In this caregiver role, you are pulled in all directions as you try to balance the needs your children have as they grow as well as the health concerns of your ailing parents. These needs extend beyond traditional caregiving services and often require financial care as you are tasked with providing shelter, food, medical care, and all the daily living requirements that these dependents rely on you for.
According to Pew Research, as many as 47 percent of adults are part of the sandwich generation, caring for small children and their elderly parents. While living in this arrangement can pull a family closer together and allow your children to have direct daily interaction with their grandparents, the burden that it places on you as a caregiver can be extreme as there is no one there to care for your needs.
In a Caring People’s article, the sandwich generation is fully explored and shows the physical, mental and financial effects of caring for extended family. While many feel the burden of this responsibility, others report that they are happy with the arrangement. According to a report by Pew Research, as many as 37 percent of people say they are very happy with their lives as part of the sandwich generation.
Respite Care Options To Help
As much as you feel fulfilled by your role as a caregiver to your children and parents, there does come a time when you need a break from your responsibilities. You may need to mentally recharge or just get away for awhile. You may feel guilty about feeling this way, but it is perfectly normal. It is your body’s way of telling you that you need a break from your caregiving duties to help restore and refresh yourself.
You may feel that you have no one to care for your parents when you are gone, but there is the option of respite care to help you. With respite care, you can trust in professional caregivers to stay with your parents and provide them the care they need while in the comfort of their own home. Your respite caregivers will come to you and be there if your parents need assistance. This can decrease your worry and allow you to get away for a moment so you can come back ready to take on your caregiving challenges with new vigor.
To learn more about respite care and the sandwich generation, refer to the Caring Peoples’ articles located on its website.