Friday, October 24, 2014
THE SANDWICH GENERATION: WHO IS CARING FOR YOU?
Social worker Dorothy Miller, originally coined the term "sandwich generation" back in 1981, to describe women in their 30s to 40s who were "sandwiched" between young children and aging parents as their primary caregiver. A lot has changed since then. Women are delaying child-bearing and seniors are living longer. Because of these added variables, the "sandwich generation" definition has morphed along the way and tends to target both genders and the predominant age is 40-65 years old.
According to a 2013 Pew research report, "Nearly half (47 percent) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). And about one-in-seven middle-aged adults (15 percent) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child" (Parker & Patten). In 2005, the sandwich generation was largely made up of baby boomers.
Self-care is typically neglected by the sandwich generation. Learning to integrate simple self-care tips into your daily routine will help caregivers to stay healthy. The heathy caregiver provides a higher level of physical and emotional care to their loved one and this is a gift that keeps on giving.
Be kind to yourself
Often we are kind to others while we push ourselves beyond our own limits. The first step in dealing with caregiver stress, anger, or frustration, is to care for yourself. Well-meaning friends and relatives often tell you to take care. But no one will actually tell you how to take care of yourself while supporting a loved one or sitting at his or her side at the hospital.
Take spontaneous and unplanned breaks
If your loved one is in the hospital and needs to have a test, give the nurse your cell number and go sit outside for ten minutes. If caring for someone at home, consider the use of a wireless doorbell system to enable your loved one to call when needed. This allows the caregiver on duty the freedom to be in another room or go outside.
For more tips ......