The Sandwich Generation describes an adult child who is managing care to both ends of the age spectrum. That is, the Sandwich Generation is caring for their own children and one or both of their aging parents. According to Statistics Canada (2011), 2.7 million Canadians provide care for people 65 and older. The majority of caregivers are female, married between 45 and 55 years old and still working.
There is no doubt that many people struggle to balance caring for their children, work and aging parents. The struggle is compounded when we consider that people are living longer and therefore there is an increased likelihood of parents developing certain age related medical conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. When families live across the country from each other the stress associated with caring for an aging parent can be tremendous.
Hold a family meeting
- Discuss tasks for caregivers that have to be done and delegate.
- Mutually accepted expectations
- Each person has a chance to express themselves.
- Older grandchildren an get involved and benefit by having a needed involvement.
Find programs to keep aging parents engaged
- If isolation sets in possible day programs (Baycrest, Bernard Betel Centre)
- Societies (Alzheimer Society, MS, Parkinson's, Heart & Stroke)
- Social groups
- Newspapers and magazines
- Tickets for concerts, cultural events, shopping malls and religious communities
- Day trips
Home Care Providers
- In home care providers offer a variety of services to help parents with activities of daily living.
- Certified PSWs help with household tasks, chores, personal care and can accompany your parents shopping, appointments and other outings.
The Personal Support Workers (PSWs) we hire at Qualicare Vaughan are expected to engage our clients in activity. Our PSWs not only keep our clients safe and independent in their environment but also try to increase their independence in activities of daily living and keep their minds bright and stimulated. Please refer to our 'services' section for a full list of home care service offerings.
Qualicare also offers 360 Case Management where one of our Personal Care Managers can meet with your parents and conduct an assessment and out together a comprehensive care plan. The Personal Care Manager who is aware of community resources can coordinate services, check in on your parents on a regular basis and advocate for their needs and help the, navigate the healthcare system. 360 Case Management can be especially valuable when you live miles away from your parents or if you are caring with your own children. The key to effective case management is a liaison between children and parents so that worry can be alleviated.
It can undoubtedly be difficult for adult children to take care of elderly parents. Typically parents take care of children and to see the dynamic reverse can be stressful. Moreover, meeting the demands of your children, your parents, your work and your own well-being can you make you feel like you’re pulled in a million directions. But when a proper plan is put into place that allows you to manage your stress and it is rewarding to see that your parents are living a happy and productive senior life.
If you have any questions about how to improve the quality of life for your parents and relieve your own stress please call Qualicare Vaughan for a free consultation.