The Sandwich Generation
Youre rushing out of the office on a weeknight, hoping to get your daughter to soccer practice on time, cook dinner and help your other child with their homework. Just as you hit the road, your cell phone rings. Its the pharmacy telling you that the two prescriptions your father needs immediately are ready for pick up. Or youre off to your sons school play just as your moms neighbor calls to inform you that she has fallen again and needs you right away.
If these scenarios sound familiar, youre stuck in the middle and have joined the “sandwich generation.” The term refers to adults with families of their own who find themselves caring for their parents as well. According to numbers from the National Family Caregiver Survey, 44 percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 55 have aging parents or in-laws as well as children under 21.
This means that lots of families are dealing as best they can with the stress of running two households. Whether your parent lives with you, lives nearby or lives in another state, trying to juggle all these responsibilities is stressful, no matter how much support you have from family and friends.
And dont forget the guilt. Theres plenty of that, too. Guilt over not spending enough time helping your kids with their homework because youre cooking and freezing meals for your dad. Guilt over making your mom postpones her doctor appointment because your meeting at work ran overtime. Guilt at not having enough time to spend with your spouse. Guilt over asking your next-door neighbor to drive the kids to football practice again because you have to make long distance arrangements to attend to your loved ones needs in another state.
“Caring for an aging or ill parent is a full-time job that can take a toll on the caregiver. Add to that the demands of your job, lost time at the job plus your immediate familys needs chances are youre going to need assistance along the way,” says Richard Bitner of Visiting Angels, a national network of franchised non-medical senior homecare agencies.
“Not everyone needs to be placed into an institutional facility and can remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own home,” says Bitner. In home care provides something these families have been missing stability in everyones lives and peace of mind.”
Homecare agencies provide senior homecare to help elderly and older adults continue to live in their homes. These caring, experienced home caregivers provide up to 24-hour care in the comfort of the clients own home.
In addition to offering joyful companionship, Visiting Angels can provide a vital link in patient care. Although Visiting Angels are non-medical caregivers, they are an important link between the patient, their family and their doctor.
Caregivers will provide light housekeeping, run errands, prepare meals, do shopping, or provide stimulating companionship. They can also provide a respite for families dealing with the care of a loved one.