Published on June 01, 2018

Club Sandwich, Anyone?

Sandwich GenerationCaring for a parent while raising your own children and/or supporting an adult child makes you a bona fide member of the Sandwich Generation. Your role in this special club? Holding it all together.

Nearly half (47%) of adults ages 40-60 simultaneously care for an aging parent while also raising young children and/or supporting adult children. Here’s why:

  • People are living longer. The number of people age 65 or older will double by 2030 to more than 70 million.
  • The Boomerang Generation. About 38% of people ages 18-29 live with their parents.

Multigenerational households can be fun and full of love. That doesn’t mean the situation isn’t also stress-filled. If your parent doesn’t live with you, you likely spend quite a bit of time moving between two households. Long-distance caregivers have yet another unique set of stressors.

Bouncing between work, school events, doctor appointments and making sure everyone has what they need may leave you little time to catch your breath. Here are some ways to balance things out.

  • Make time for yourself. It’s tough to step away from the people who need you most. Yet, doing just that will recharge you physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether it’s grabbing coffee with a friend, stealing a few hours for a workout or settling down with a good read, find your own space and enjoy it … guilt-free.
  • Get everyone organized. From finances, to household chores, to extracurricular activities, to health-related services to just having fun, create a plan, write it down, share it and stick to it.
  • Accept help. You may be a superwoman, but no one can handle all the responsibilities alone. If running the numbers isn’t your thing, hire a financial planner. If your parent needs additional care and/or companionship, search around for good care. Get help with your own tasks, too, stuff like cleaning and shopping. Enlist your children, or hire someone to help once a week.
  • Manage your stress. First, figure out what triggers you. Then, identify ways to change your reaction. Short walks, deep breathing, meditating, time with friends and exercising are some of the more common - and free – stress relievers.
  • Take care of your own health. If you aren’t in good health, you can’t take care of others. Eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and socializing with friends give you the energy you need to keep holding your sandwich together.