Tips for the Sandwich Generation: Strike a Better Life Balance
Ask anybody in the sandwich generation if they’ve achieved a healthy life balance between caring for an older loved one, children at home, career, self-care, household management, etc., and you are likely to receive a similar refrain: perhaps a sigh of longing, a snort of frustration, or a rolling of the eyes. And if you happen to be a sandwicher yourself, you may be struggling to set aside the time to even read this article completely! Nonetheless, allow yourself just a few minutes to consider the tips for the sandwich generation below that may just help you to breathe easier and let go of some of the pressure and stress associated with so many duties:
1. Identify the top priority – and put everything else to the sidelines. In any given moment, you may end up pulled in a variety of directions: your teenager needs help with a homework assignment, the dog needs to go for a walk, and Dad is becoming agitated. Determine which, if any, of those needs is genuinely an emergency or time-sensitive concern, and resolve to assist with only that task. Then consider a different strategy for handling the other needs. (Perhaps Mom can assist your child with homework – after the child walks the dogs!)
2. Solicit all of the family in helping with care. Children can gain important life lessons through helping to provide age-appropriate levels of care for a grandparent – and everyone will benefit from their assistance. Just setting up a card game for the kids to play with your aging parent lends opportunities for relationship-building, and offers you a little downtime.
3. Ask for – and accept – assistance. Once family members and friends are aware of the level of stress you are facing, they often want to offer support, but are unsure how. If someone asks you if they can help in any way, be prepared with a relieved, “Yes!” and a few options of specific things you need: assistance with housework, meals, mowing the lawn, visiting with your older loved one, etc. And if no one offers to help, reach out to those who are closest to you and admit your need for support.
One of the best ways family caregivers can reduce stress is by engaging the services of Hired Hands Homecare. Our personalized respite care services are available for a few hours each week up to and including full-time care. This allows older adults to remain safe and socially engaged while family caregivers are able to take time to tend to other needs. Contact us online or give us a call at (866) 940-4343 to arrange for a free in-home consultation and learn why we’re the top provider of hospice care in Pleasanton, CA, and nearby communities.