Are you a member of the Sandwich Generation? The Sandwich Generation is the adult group in their late 30s through 50s who are trying to take care of young children and older parents at the same time. There are some unique challenges that come with trying to take care of little kids and your senior parent at the same time and many caregivers are on the edge of burnout because of these challenges. This is especially true if the parent has Alzheimer’s and could benefit from Alzheimer’s care providers.
If you’re struggling to be a caregiver to your senior parent and a parent to your young children please know that you’re not alone. The Sandwich Generation is large and there are thousands of other caregivers, mostly women, going through the same thing.
There is help out there and there are things that you can do to manage the dual responsibilities of caring for a senior loved one and caring for your kids like:
Get Alzheimer’s Care
If your senior parent has dementia or Alzheimer’s the best thing that you can do is to get Alzheimer’s care for that parent. Even if it’s just for a few days each week having Alzheimer’s care will give you some time to take a break and focus on your own needs while keeping your senior parent safe. You need to make sure that your own needs aren’t falling by the wayside so use Alzheimer’s care to give you the time you need for yourself.
Get Into A Healthy Daily Routine
Maintaining a healthy daily routine is the best thing you can do to support yourself when you’re a caregiver. Those small habits will keep you centered, help you manage stress, and stay healthy while you are taking care of everyone else. A good daily routine should include some exercise, some time to journal, and some time for a healthy breakfast. Making time for yourself each day is essential to preventing caregiver burnout.
Follow The Five-Minute Rule
If you don’t have time to maintain a healthy routine or think that you don’t have time to maintain a daily routine you can adapt your daily routine with the five-minute rule. The five-minute rule is that you do each of the items you would normally do as part of your morning routine but you do them for just five minutes. So if you’re crunched for time instead of doing a full workout just do five minutes of stretching. Or write for five minutes. You don’t have to spend as long as you normally would on your daily activities but doing them for just a few minutes lets you maintain your routine and continue building healthy habits.
Get Support From Other Sandwichers
Support groups, either online or in person, are essential for caregivers. No one can really understand what it’s like to care for an aging parent unless they have experienced it. And talking with other people going through the same challenges that you’re experiencing will help you process your emotions, manage stress, and find strength when you feel like you’re at your breaking point.