Are you a midlife caregiver? Also known as the “sandwich generation,” these individuals are currently caring for both their children and their aging parents. This can be a difficult situation to find yourself in, but the in-home companion caregivers from Senior Home Companions can help offer respite care to allow your parents to continue aging in place. Today, we’re sharing some helpful Q&As for those of you serving as midlife caregivers and offering support for the aging loved ones in your life.
The term “sandwich generation” was first used in a Social Work Journal article by Dorothy Miller published in 1982. Social workers, elder care experts and others have sought to help this middle-aged generation by providing financial, emotional and logistical support. In addition, the number of midlife caregivers has only grown in recent years, as many young adults are choosing to wait longer to have children, while simultaneously, older generations are living longer.
According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2018, at least one in ten parents of children under 18 are also caring for an aging adult. They can spend upwards of three hours on unpaid care per day, split relatively evenly between their children and parents. It’s been found that mothers often spend 45 minutes more each day providing care than fathers. Those in the sandwich generation can range in age from under 30 to over 60, but the majority fall into the 40-59 age range.
Avoid the pressure of providing care by “fairness” and focus on need. If your aging parent has an important doctor’s appointment during school pick-up, see if a friend or relative can pick up your child. If your child has a holiday program at school but someone needs to sit with your aging loved one, you can utilize an in-home caregiver from Senior Home Companions to stay with them. With proper support, no one’s care needs to be left behind.
And don’t forget to prioritize self-care too! Respite care with our consistent caregivers can offer you a few hours a week to do your favorite hobby or run errands, or even stay for several days to offer you a much-needed vacation. Taking time to yourself is vital, especially when you are serving as a caregiver to two different generations.
When identifying the needs of those you care for, securing support from relatives, friends, neighbors and companies like Senior Home Companions is vital. Midlife caregivers will soon find themselves overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated when left to do everything alone. Aside from babysitting from friends and relatives, many schools offer before and after care programs, or you can look into a nanny who fits your children’s needs.
With your aging parents, try delegating visits to their home, cooking meals or help with household chores between your siblings, cousins or family friends. And you can always reach out to the caregivers at Senior Home Companions for non-medical elder care services, such as transportation to appointments, encouraging exercise and hobbies, light housekeeping, bathroom/grooming assistance and much more.
Many of the staff at Senior Home Companions have been through this before, and we want to offer you the same care that our parents and grandparents have needed. Explains Client Manager Paige Gilbert, “I’ve taken care of my dad, and now my mom is in her 80s. So I love finding solutions. I love the caregivers out there. You don’t realize how much you change their lives. It’s a big part of their lives, especially if they’re letting you in their homes.”
Finding solutions can be difficult when the older generation is so independent, but our caregivers are trained to offer necessary support while still keeping clients active and engaged. “My favorite part is just seeing the joy we can bring into their home,” says Paige. “I love keeping elderly people at home as long as they can be.”
If you are a midlife caregiver in need of in-home care for your aging parents, contact our team today for a free consultation to discuss your family’s needs. We’d be honored to serve you with integrity, effectiveness and compassion.