Many adults in their 40s, 50s and older spend at least some time caring for their aging parents. But what if you also need to raise and take care of your own kids simultaneously? Congratulations, you’re now a member of The Sandwich Generation!
The Sandwich Generation is defined as having to raise children under 18, or financially supporting your kids who are 18 or older…and having at least one parent 65 or older to take care of. In addition, these people work full-time to support their role as caregivers to those who depend on them for their physical or emotional needs.
As you can imagine, members of this unique club usually have many issues to juggle in their lives. Yes, it’s not easy! Here’s a brief look at some of their concerns:
- Financial Strains – Because the Sandwich Generation must financially support their younger children, adult children, and aging parents, it can put them in a financial bind. Many adults in this position report they have lost over $10,000! All due to issues like reducing their working hours, increased expenses, or having to leave their job entirely due to these responsibilities.
- Career Implications – Adults having to care for both their kids and parents often have to adjust their work lives to accommodate these new demands on their time. These changes could result in being unable to advance their career as they were hoping to, or perhaps switching to part-time work. Many businesses are beginning to allow individuals more flexibility to address employees’ family demands.
- Health Concerns – The stress, challenges, and responsibilities of being a caregiver can take a toll on your health and well-being. Often, you may be tempted to put your own needs aside. This could lead to:
- Foregoing doctor appointments
- Eating fast food and not taking the time for nutritious home-cooked meals
- Little or no exercise
- Feeling isolated and unsupported due to a lack of support from friends, family, and the community
- Ending up feeling drained, becoming sick often, and suffering from pervasive stress
- Relationship Issues – Even your marriage can suffer if you spend most of your waking hours working and taking care of your children and a parent. 25% of caretakers for older relatives said they’ve had to make sacrifices in their romantic relationships.
Small Ways You Can Take Back Control of your Life
- Don’t compare yourself with others who are in different situations than yours. Everyone has their own challenges and ways of coping with them.
- Make time for yourself – even if it’s just an hour a day or a week – that will allow you to take care of yourself without worrying about anyone else.
- Create a support system of help. For example, enlist friends or other family members to watch the kids or take Dad to lunch once in a while.
- Plan ahead for future events. Think about the needs of your parents or children in 1,2 or 5 years down the line. And anticipate what new challenges could come up. And what you can do about them.
Enlist The Help of An Aging Solutions Professional
You realize being part of the Sandwich Generation can feel rather daunting and even overwhelming at times. If so, it may be time to get extra help from an Aging Solutions professional.
Brynne Malone is the founder and owner of Aging Solutions, based in Spokane, WA. Nobody is more uniquely qualified to help you through the morass of Sandwich Generation issues than Brynne!
Brynne has had years of experience in both the financial and health care industries. Even as a young man, he was drawn to help the elderly in any way he could.
He can help you have the hard conversations you and your family need to have – with hope, empathy, and understanding.
Brynne will help you develop a plan for your family’s future with specific action steps to ensure your family’s health and financial stability. He can even be your legal advocate if necessary. And he’ll be there every step of the way to ensure the success of your specific plan of action.
You’ll receive valuable information from Brynne you won’t find anywhere else! As one local Elder Law attorney exclaimed to Brynne, “You are the solution for my clients I have been looking for.”
Want some advice and help? Go ahead, schedule a consultation with Aging Solutions today!