Could you be a member of the Sandwich Generation?
You’ve no doubt heard of the Baby Boomers – in fact, you might even have been raised by one. You’ve probably also heard of Generation X, Gen Y (aka Millennials), and now Generation Z.
But have you heard of the Sandwich Generation? Chances are, if you’re reading this news post you could be a member!
What is the Sandwich Generation?
This new generation faces a whole new set of challenges. Unlike the generations listed above, it’s not a grouping that’s strictly based on a specific age. If you have a parent who is older than 65, and you’re raising children under the age of 18 – then you are right in the middle of the Sandwich Generation.
So just what is the Sandwich Generation? It’s a term that refers to people who find themselves ‘sandwiched’ between looking after their growing children, and their ageing parents at the same time. Their parents may be ill, unable to perform daily life activities, or even needing financial support; while their kids still need financial, physical and emotional care. If you’re reading this blog, you may be nodding along at this point!
Adding to the complexity is that, as a member of the Sandwich Generation, you may also be at the pinnacle of your professional career, with many different responsibilities and commitments at work. It’s easy for stress to build up as you feel torn between spending time with your family, at work, and helping your aged parents.
If you’re a Sandwich Generation member, it’s completely ok to ask for extra help, especially if it means relieving the pressure on those family members who feel as if they are being pulled in all directions.
How to look after your ageing parents
If you see yourself in the Sandwich Generation, we have a few handy tips to help you through these challenging years.
Request flexibility in your work hours
Ask your employer if you can work from home one or two days per week; think about working shorter days or perhaps consider job sharing to give you more time for your family commitments.
Think about a compressed work week
Instead of the standard five day working week, think about whether a ‘compressed work week’ (where you work 40 hours over four days) could be better for you. With an extra day off work per week, you’ll have more time for yourself and your family.
Remember to get your own family to help
You don’t have to do it alone! Ask your kids and spouse for their help during the week to free up time to enjoy each other’s company, especially on weekends. Then if you need to hire a cleaner or outsource some home maintenance tasks, you can enjoy a break together.
Look after your own exercise, nutrition and mental health
No matter how busy you get, you must take care of you. That means making the time to do what makes you feel good, and not letting it fall away because you are busy.
Take a holiday and really recharge
The Sandwich Generation years are busy years. To get through them, you should take regular rest breaks by getting away from it all. Even a day at the beach works wonders!
Have regular conversations with family and friends
If you do realise you’re struggling, don’t keep things to yourself! Make sure you ask for help when you need it, by letting your support networks know if you are finding things tough.
It can help to remember that this phase won’t last forever. So do what you can, enjoy having your parents around while they still are, and reduce your stress levels by not stressing!
Find out whether in-home care could help
There are many personalised, relationship-based and dependable in-home care options available for your ageing parents. In-home care helps to reduce your caring duties, so that you can still spend enjoyable time with your parents instead of only seeing them when you are caring for them.
If your parents live in a retirement community, you’ll find that management are very receptive and accommodating to in-home care providers.
Take a tour of Renaissance’s retirement living
If you feel your parents could benefit from living in an independent, resort-style retirement community, you’re welcome to come and have a chat with us at Renaissance Retirement Living at beautiful Victoria Point.
You can also join us at one of our regular small group information sessions where we answer all your questions about retirement living over a relaxing morning tea. You can even chat with our lovely residents and ask them all about life at Renaissance. We’ll take you on a tour of our stunning facilities and show you some of our attractive villas.
Call Renaissance today on (07) 3820 7700 or contact us to book a spot at our next information session. We look forward to meeting you!