Ask any individual included in the sandwich generation if he or she has obtained a healthy life balance between providing care for an older loved one, kids at home, a job, self-care, household management, etc., and you are more than likely to receive a similar reply: perhaps a sigh of longing, a snort of frustration, or a rolling of the eyes.
And if you are actually a sandwicher yourself, you might be struggling to set aside the time to even read this article completely! Nonetheless, allow yourself just a few minutes to consider the tips below that may just help you to breathe easier and release some of the stress and pressure involved with so many duties:
- Identify the top priority – and put everything else to the sidelines. In any particular moment, you may discover yourself to be pulled in a number of directions: your child needs help with a homework assignment, the dog needs to go for a walk, Dad is becoming agitated. Decide which, if any, of those needs is truly a crisis or time-sensitive issue, and resolve to tackle only that task. Then work out a different plan to handle the other needs. (Perhaps Dad can help your child with homework – after the child walks the dogs!)
- Solicit all of the family in helping with care. Children can learn valuable life lessons by helping to provide age-appropriate levels of care for a grandparent – and everyone will gain from their support. Merely setting up a board game for the kids to play with your senior parent offers opportunities for bonding, and gives you a little downtime.
- Request – and accept – help. Once friends and other family members know about the level of stress you are facing, they often really do want to offer support, but are not sure how. If someone asks you if he or she can help in any way, be prepared with a grateful, “Yes!” and several options of specific things you need: assistance with housekeeping, preparing meals, mowing the grass, spending time with your senior loved one, etc. And if nobody 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 alleviate stress is by engaging the services of Amy’s Helping Hands. Our professional Windsor Ontario senior care services are available for several hours each week up through and including live-in care, allowing older individuals to remain safe and socially engaged while family caregivers are able to have time to take care of other needs. Call us at 519-915-4370 to schedule a home care consultation to see how we can help you.