Taking Care of Aging Parents

If your days are overflowing with managing a home, parenting, working, caring for older parents, and trying to squeeze in time for yourself while looking after other relationships, welcome to the sandwich generation! Made up of those ages 35 – 54 who are “sandwiched” between meeting the needs of aging parents and taking care of school-aged children at home, it will not come as a surprise to you that this demographic of individuals is facing higher levels of stress than almost any other, with up to 40 percent reporting overwhelming degrees of stress.

Katherine Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, American Psychological Association, states, “It’s not surprising that so many people in that age group are experiencing stress. The worry of your parents’ health, and your children’s well-being as well as the financial concern of putting kids through college and saving for your own retirement is a lot to handle.”

It is crucial to take the appropriate steps to lower stress levels, as long-term stress may bring about heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and other significant health problems. On top of that, stress can carry over and impact the loved ones you are working so hard to take care of.

Anthem Home Care suggests the following tips to decrease stress and discover a healthier life balance:

  • Identify your triggers. What exactly is it that tips the scale for you from busy to overburdened? Do your feelings of stress originate from financial concerns, relationships with your children or parents, issues at your workplace, feeling out of control?
  • Note the manner in which you respond to those triggers. When you’ve uncovered the source(s) behind your increased stress, take an honest assessment of how you respond. Do you lose patience with your loved ones? Have trouble with falling/staying asleep, or adhering to a healthy and balanced diet? Use unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking or drinking?
  • Make self-care a main priority. You give so much of yourself to care for your family; make taking care of yourself equally important. You are able to only provide the best care when your own needs are met. Put aside specific time to relax, participate in pleasant hobbies and activities, spend time with friends, exercise, etc. Your time away needs to be a top priority, and to occur on a regular basis – ideally, each and every day.

If you’re wondering how you can possibly carve out time for yourself while taking care of school-aged children and aging parents, we are able to help! Anthem Home Care is always available to provide trusted, highly skilled in-home respite care services – as much or as little as needed – to allow family caregivers peace of mind in knowing their older senior loved ones will be well cared for while they take needed time to step away.

Our fully trained and experienced senior caregivers are ready and waiting to help you reduce your stress and discover a better quality of life, both for yourself and people you love. Reach out to us at 361-643-2323 a free in-home assessment and to learn more about how our home care assistance in Portland and the surrounding areas can help.