July is Sandwich Generation Month – Are You a Member?
Janet is a mother of two children, both in middle school. They are involved in sports and other school activities, so Janet is constantly running them from place to place. And, of course, Janet holds down a full-time job. In addition to all of that, Janet spends a great deal of time helping her elderly mother with day to day tasks.
If Janet’s life sounds a lot like yours, congratulations! You’re a member of the Sandwich Generation. The term “Sandwich Generation” describes adults who are sandwiched between caring for children of their own and are also family caregivers for their aging relatives.
Who Are the Sandwich Generation?
According to the Pew Research Center, around 71 percent of people who are caregivers for older adults while also taking care of their own children are middle-aged. They are between the ages of 40 and 59. Additionally, 19 percent of the sandwich generation are under the age of 40 and 10 percent are 60 or older. Clearly, the term “generation” in this case isn’t defined by your age, but by your situation!
Interestingly enough, statistics show that people of Hispanic descent are more likely to be in this situation than Caucasians or African Americans. In fact, 3 out of 10 Hispanics are in the Sandwich Generation.
Ways to Balance the Sandwich Life
Raising children while also being a family caregiver comes with its own special kind of stress. There are the demands on your time, worrying about both kids and older relatives, and the financial strains that can come with both responsibilities. Making it through requires finding a balance between the two. Some ways you can keep your life in balance are:
- Don’t Give Up What’s Important to YOU: If you love your job and it’s a part of your identity, don’t give it up to spend more time as a caregiver. Instead, find other ways to create extra time in your life. This applies regardless of what is important to you, whether its volunteering, a hobby, or something else.
- Take Care of Yourself: Caregivers have a tendency to neglect their own well-being for the sake of others. Make time to exercise, eat healthy, and attend your own medical appointments.
- Set Your Priorities: It can help to write down your priorities and keep them where you can see them. This can help you address the most important things first when you’re pressed for time.
If those tips for finding balance sound easier said than done, you might benefit from hiring a professional in-home caregiver. Professional caregivers can look after your aging relative while you spend time with your children, work, or make time for yourself.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care in Kennewick, WA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve all of the Tri-Cities area. Call 509-627-8575