I’m a Generation X’er, also known as “The Sandwich Generation”

The Sandwich Generation

It’s a very special month for me, as this time last year I was preparing to bring my sweet girl into the world. In one week, we will be celebrating my sweet Laila’s first birthday. It sounds cliché, but “Where has the time gone?”

Navigating Life as a Working Mom

Navigating life as a working Mom, along with caring for aging parents over the last year has been a challenge. I am in, what is considered The “Sandwich Generation,” a middle-aged adult sandwiched in between caring for their aging parents and their own children. According to The Pew Research Center, 1 in 10 parents are caring for an adult in addition to their children. They spend about three hours per day on caregiving duties, split between their children and their parents. 

Juggling Work and Caregiving

Just yesterday, I made multiple phone calls to arrange durable medical equipment to be delivered to my parents’ home, attended one of their telehealth appointments, all the while juggling work and managing a very busy toddler.  Thankfully, I have siblings who carry their share of responsibility, as well as a very understanding and flexible employer. Whether you are on this journey alone, or sharing responsibilities with other family members, here are some things I have found helpful when managing these demanding caregiver roles:

  1. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule: I couldn’t manage being without my Google Calendar! My appointments are color-coordinated for work, personal, and family. I also am able to privately share the family appointments with my siblings, along with assigning who is responsible for which tasks need to be done.
  2. Enlist non-family caregivers: We have to admit when we can’t do it all, so enlisting outside agencies for support is sometimes necessary. Convincing my parents of the idea of a “stranger” coming into the home was no easy task, but thankfully they recognize the need now and are open to some assistance. This provides some much needed respite for my siblings and I.
  3. Self-Care for the Caregiver: Caregiver burnout is common and happens often with those caring for their loved ones. Signs of burnout include emotional and physical exhaustion, withdrawal from things of interest, changes in appetite and weight, difficulty concentrating, and lack of energy. Be sure you are doing the things you need to care for yourself-rest, proper nutrition, exercise, etc.
  4. Be Prepared Financially: Dual caregiving can be expensive. While some insurances assist with expenses, a lot can be out-of-pocket. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging to find out what benefits are available. Assistance with utilities, meals, etc. may be available. 

Now that you have read my list, what tips can you offer to help navigate this caregiving journey? Comment below.

As always, Advocates For Seniors, LC is here to help with whatever you may need. 

I’m a Generation X’er, also known as “The Sandwich Generation”

It’s a very special month for me, as this time last year I was preparing to bring my sweet girl into the world. In one week, we will be celebrating my sweet Laila’s first birthday. It sounds cliché, but “Where has the time gone?”

Navigating Life as a Working Mom

Navigating life as a working Mom, along with caring for aging parents over the last year has been a challenge. I am in, what is considered The “Sandwich Generation,” a middle-aged adult sandwiched in between caring for their aging parents and their own children. According to The Pew Research Center, 1 in 10 parents are caring for an adult in addition to their children. They spend about three hours per day on caregiving duties, split between their children and their parents. 

Juggling Work and Caregiving

Just yesterday, I made multiple phone calls to arrange durable medical equipment to be delivered to my parents’ home, attended one of their telehealth appointments, all the while juggling work and managing a very busy toddler.  Thankfully, I have siblings who carry their share of responsibility, as well as a very understanding and flexible employer. Whether you are on this journey alone, or sharing responsibilities with other family members, here are some things I have found helpful when managing these demanding caregiver roles:

  1. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule: I couldn’t manage being without my Google Calendar! My appointments are color-coordinated for work, personal, and family. I also am able to privately share the family appointments with my siblings, along with assigning who is responsible for which tasks need to be done.

  2. Enlist non-family caregivers: We have to admit when we can’t do it all, so enlisting outside agencies for support is sometimes necessary. Convincing my parents of the idea of a “stranger” coming into the home was no easy task, but thankfully they recognize the need now and are open to some assistance. This provides some much needed respite for my siblings and I.

  3. Self-Care for the Caregiver: Caregiver burnout is common and happens often with those caring for their loved ones. Signs of burnout include emotional and physical exhaustion, withdrawal from things of interest, changes in appetite and weight, difficulty concentrating, and lack of energy. Be sure you are doing the things you need to care for yourself-rest, proper nutrition, exercise, etc.

  4. Be Prepared Financially: Dual caregiving can be expensive. While some insurances assist with expenses, a lot can be out-of-pocket. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging to find out what benefits are available. Assistance with utilities, meals, etc. may be available. 

Now that you have read my list, what tips can you offer to help navigate this caregiving journey? Comment below.

As always, Advocates For Seniors, LC is here to help with whatever you may need. 

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