The average life expectancy in the United States was 76 in 2000, an increase of nearly 30 years in a century. As people continue to age there is a growing need for caregivers. This responsibility often falls on these senior citizens’ adult children. These children are tasked with the responsibilities of taking care of their now aging loved ones and often their still growing family. This situation has earned them the name of the “Sandwich Generation”.
What Is the Sandwich Generation?
Members of the “Sandwich Generation” are mainly between the ages of 40 and 59. Alost 20 percent are under 40, and 10 percent are 60 or older. Although both men and women can be caregivers, a majority of people in the “Sandwich Generation” are Women. Members of the “Sandwich Generation” are more likely to be married and affluent. Hispanic adults are the ethnic group that has the greatest percentage of members in the Sandwich Generation.
Many of the middle-aged people who care for their aging parents also have children of their own. This presents them with a very difficult situation in which they now have to care for both their aging loved ones and their children. Doing one or the other is difficult enough but the stress of both is more than enough to test anyone. Many people would love to take this task on alone, but unfortunately for many this is not an achievable goal. Their responsibilities can make this a difficult task.
Demands of Being a Member of the Sandwich Generation
There are many families who have three generations living under the same roof. This situation strengthens bonds between them. Caring for others often gives people a greater sense of self-worth. Although many people who take care of their aging loved ones gladly accept the responsibilities, they find that it creates unique challenges. The new responsibility of caring for an aging loved one’s physical and possible mental decline can cause stress. Now couple that with the challenge of raising their own children and working to provide for everyone and many people can find it hard to cope.
Many members of the “Sandwich Generation” Struggle to work a full-time job, raise their children, and take care of their parents. This stress can lead to financial difficulties and burnout for the caregiver. In some cases the stress can lead to depression for some people. A burden like this is one that can be felt by the whole family. It is important to understand that this is normal and can be managed.
How a Caregiver Can Reduce Stress for Members of the Sandwich Generation
There is no shame in accepting that something is too difficult. If you are a member of the “Sandwich Generation” who is feeling stressed out by the responsibility of caring for your children and an aging parent, hiring an in-home caregiver. This is not you giving up on your parents, this is you accepting that you need and help and getting them, and yourself, the care needed. A caregiver can help out anywhere from a few hours a week to daily with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, transportation, and even bathing, dressing, toileting, and feeding. An in-home caregiver can help give your loved one and yourself the freedom to live life to the fullest.
Dependable Care has a team of compassionate caregivers who can help take care of senior citizens in Connecticut. We can match your parent with the right caregiver who can provide a level of care customized for your family’s specific needs. If you are a member of the Sandwich Generation who is feeling stressed out from all of your responsibilities, let Dependable Care help by matching your parent with a caregiver. Contact us today to get started.