Do you know how to care for aging parents while raising children? If not, you are not alone. Let’s look at some key things to keep in mind in this stage of your life.

The Pew Research Center found that almost 50 percent of American adults between the ages of 40 and 59 are raising a child under the age of 18 while simultaneously caring for a parent who is 65 or older. This phenomenon is so prevalent that middle-aged adults in this age group have been dubbed the “Sandwich Generation.” 

How to Care for Aging Parents While Raising Children

Sandwich Generation individuals are noted for being financially stressed and pressed for time. This is likely due to the challenge of balancing the needs of children and aging parents in the same household. For those with this delicate responsibility, here is a guide for balancing the needs of all dependents, young and old, while not neglecting yourself.

If you are needing help with palliative care, check here.

Get Help When Needed

Though Sandwich Gen-ers are notorious for thinking they can do everything themselves, the truth is, you can’t. Asking for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness — it’s an intelligent assessment of the situation. You are one person, and you have limitations. 

Hiring a part-time caregiver can be the difference between your sanity and the end of your rope. Caregivers can help with meeting the needs of both the younger and older family members living with you while offering you the respite you need to care for these loved one’s long term. Remember, you are in this for the long haul. Colleagues or friends may be able to provide referrals to caregivers they trust or consult a registry of certified caregivers. Don’t wait until you burn out to reach out for help. 

Acquire Quality Health Insurance

If you’re raising a child under 18 and working full-time, chances are he or she is covered under your employer’s health insurance plan as a dependent. Your aging parent, though, will likely need additional health insurance to meet medical needs and expenses. 

If your parents are 65 years or older, they are entitled to Medicare, but often that is not enough. Luckily there are options like Medicare Advantage plans that are an excellent way to ensure that your parent’s health care. The MediBlue PPO plan, for example, allows patients to see the doctor or specialist of their choice.

So if your parent has a doctor they have seen for years, you don’t have to stress about that doctor being out of network; they still have coverage and do not need a referral. There is no replacement for the peace of mind quality health insurance brings. This is especially true when caring for an aging family member who is likely to need increased care.

Practice Self-care

Another commonality shared among the Sandwich Generation is managing a demanding career along with a multi-generational household. An incredible amount of worry and responsibility comes along with this, and allowing yourself time to be restored is imperative. It is so easy to neglect your own needs when continually attending to the needs of others.

To combat self-neglect, track your sleep and exercise through the use of a fitness or health tracking app to ensure that you are getting enough of both. It is challenging to eat well when you are always busy but resist the temptation to default to fast food. Poor nutrition will wear you thin fast.

Integrate one self-care activity into your routine, a hobby you want to try or an elective class, and reserve a couple of hours each week to spend with friends or your partner. These short periods should be non-compromised, guilt-free, and away from work and home.

How to Care for Aging Parents While Raising Children

By practicing self-care, acquiring sufficient health coverage for your loved ones, and by asking for help when you realize you need it, members of the Sandwich Generation can feel more confident, less rushed, and empowered to help their young children and aging parents as well as themselves.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.