There are 24 million Americans who are trying to juggle careers, children, caring for an elderly parent and caring for themselves. As discussed in a Forbes article titled, “The Sandwich Generation Juggling Act”, 47% of America’s 40 and 50 year olds, are most likely to neglect self-care when juggling these responsibilities.
The first hat members of the sandwich generation wear is that of a parent. Members of the sandwich generation are responsible for the care of young children or the tuition of young-adult children. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, stress is the worst thing for a caregiver. There are many outlets for stress relief such as support groups or senior centers. Additionally, caregivers need to be willing to ask family members and friends for help.
Secondly, most members of the sandwich generation are still working and may be at the height of their careers. However, many do not know whether their employer offers resources that can help juggle work and caregiving. The human resources department should be able to direct you to any resources such as access to a geriatric care manager. Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is intended to help those juggling career and caregiving. FMLA calls for eligible employees to receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave or 26 weeks if caring for a Veteran.
There are other resources that can help make caring for an aging parent more manageable such as in-home care or moving a parent to senior living facility. While nursing home care is not necessary for all seniors, there are assisted and independent living facilities that can give children peace of mind when they are not able to care for parents. If a parent wants to remain in home, there are many at-home care services as well. An elder law attorney can help decide what is best for your situation and how to pay for it.