In 1981, social worker Dorothy Miller coined the term sandwich generation. This term describes people in their 30s and 40s who are (sandwiched) in between their young children and aging parents, providing care for both. Since then, a lot has changed. Today’s women are delaying childbirth, and our elderly live longer. With this change occurring, the sandwich generation now consists of both men and women aged 40–65.
According to a study, almost 47% of people in their 40s and 50s have both a parent older than 65 and at least one child they are taking care of. So the newly formed sandwich generation is still the core of the caregiving nation. But who cares about them? Who cares for our caregivers?
In most of these cases, no one cares for this particular group of caregivers. Nobody seems concerned with how this generation—in addition to caring for their offspring and elderly—also have to work a full-time job. Additionally, there are those who carry the financial responsibility: for example, an elderly loved one’s hospitalization. Many people believe that hospitalization actually relieves some of the pressure from a caregiver. This is, of course, not true. The caregivers who are used to providing care at home generally have more problems with their schedule and other duties when their senior is in the hospital.
What almost every member of the sandwich generation has forgotten to learn is self-care. What might help a caregiver with their responsibilities and health is a little dose of caregivers’ self-care. Here are a few simple tips on how to maintain your high level of caregiving, but also how to care a bit for yourself.
Caregivers Self-Care Tips
- Be kind to others, but above all, be kind to yourself.
- Stop. Take a break now and then.
- Have a caregiver bag of your own.
- Eat healthy, be healthy.
- Don’t forget to sleep.
- Laugh. Laugh a lot.
- Don’t be rushed. Don’t make fast and hard plans.
- Get counseling if needed.
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