Your parents need help due to health issues like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or heart disease. But, you’re also needed by your children, as they’re too young to be on their own. Welcome to the role of a sandwich generation caregiver.
Sandwich generation carers care for two generations at the same time. They have children at home and parents or grandparents in need of help. It can seem overwhelming, but there are ways to ease the strain of caring for multiple generations at the same time.
Leave Yourself Free Time
Your afternoon has been busy. You haven’t vacuumed, and it’s almost time to get your kids from school. You’re feeling mad, upset, and so many other conflicting emotions. You want time to yourself, but there’s too much to do.
Prioritizing is essential for family caregivers, and it can also be one of the most difficult parts of being a carer. If you don’t vacuum today, will the world come crashing to an end? The odds are high that some of the things you feel must get done are minor and can wait for another day.
Push a few things to another day and make the most of that time. Take that time to lock yourself away to read, take a nap, or write down your emotions in a private journal. Go for a walk or drive and get away for a little bit.
Eat the Right Foods
It’s easy to want to cut corners and eat less healthy options like a frozen pizza that you can toss in the oven and bake while doing the laundry. Ordering takeout Chinese, pizza, or fast food is even easier.
Foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium do more than impact your health. They can also drag you down. Your body is fueled by whole foods like seafood, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you’re short on time, make a breakfast smoothie that takes little time to prepare and provides the nutrients you need. A handful of oats, frozen blueberries, banana, nut milk, spinach powder, and non-fat yogurt give you protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
Don’t Feel That You Have to Do It All
Ask any sandwich generation caregiver what they wish they’d done differently. Many will say they wish they’d said no more often. You can care for your parents and your children, but do you really need to take your neighbor’s kids for an afternoon? Is it necessary for you to be the one running errands?
Sandwich generation family caregivers need to look into companion care at home. You can provide the bulk of your parents’ care, but breaks are equally important. With companion care at home aides, you’re free to see friends, stay home and rest, or take a vacation. Learn more by making a call.