The sandwich generation. It sounds a little funny. Or at least makes you hungry.
But being in the sandwich generation is no laughing matter. As the generation in the prime of your productive lives, with more options than the other two generations in your immediate family, the responsibility for the well-being of your children, your parents, your partner, and yourself all seem to fall on you. Not to mention the responsibilities you have to your coworkers, neighbors, friends, religious group, and all the people you're paying bills to.
It's impossible to be everything we want to be for the people who matter. We can't be there 24/7 for any single person. And between homework and sports practice for the kids, a demanding career, and aging parents who need help, it is no surprise the sandwich generation is feeling squeezed. It can be hard not to let some things slip.
If you notice that your parent or family member needs more active care, here are a few steps that can make the transition easier.
- Approach the subject gently.
- Notice the subtle changes.
- Start taking notes.
Mention to them that you would like to play a more active role in their life. Explain that you want to be closer to them, and help them without interfering with their independence.
Take note if the laundry or dishes aren't quite getting done. Offer to take care of these chores for them once in awhile. Or, if you are far away, invest in a cleaning service to come by once or twice per month. A little help with some of the more basic housework could be a real gift.
Make a list of contact info for their neighbors, their doctors, their pharmacy, and any friends. Knowing that there is a group of people watching out for their well-being can help diffuse feelings of isolation.
Caring for aging parents is nothing new. But tighter schedules and the fact that people are living longer than ever is placing heavy demands on the current sandwich generation.
That's why Satish Movva, CEO of CarePredict, created his latest product, CarePredict Tempo. It doesn't get stressed or tired. It can't replace your role in your family, but it can predict when your aging loved one has a growing health concern, allowing you to intervene before there is a crisis. So you can schedule family visits and calls in a timelier manner. So you can celebrate with your family, friends, or elderly parents during the good times, and help them feel supported when times are tough.
CarePredict Tempo bracelets are $99 dollars apiece, and $19 for each room beacon. A one-time investment in this system could end up saving you and your family thousands in medical bills following injuries and other forms of decline that are largely preventable. If you have more than one senior to care for in the same building, all you need is another bracelet sensor - and they can both sync with the same room beacons.
Money and time are resources, and we want to use them wisely. The more places in our lives where we're investing, the more precious our resources become. Let's make the most out of the time we have, using our resources to make the most of the time we have left with the people we love. Sometimes it's the little things that matter the most.
Being in the sandwich generation isn't easy. But caring for your aging parents can be rewarding, even if you can't be there as much as you'd like.
Editor's note: This is an update of an article posted 22 December 2013 on GEI News. The text of the previous article has been removed.
About the Author
Daniel McCoy manages marketing for CarePredict, a company that is about to revolutionize life for seniors and their caregivers. Carepredict Tempo is a cutting-edge system that allows seniors to age independently, alerting caregivers before a serious health event occurs. Learn more at www.carepredict.com.