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Tips for the 'sandwich' generation


Last updated 1/24/2008 at Noon


Millions of people spend their time sandwiched between two generations, so much so that they’ve become known as the “sandwich” generation. It can be a struggle for these people who care for young children and aging parents, all while maintaining some semblance of their own lives.

The cold-weather season can be particularly challenging for the sandwich generation. But there’s no need to stress out; many services are available to ease the burden on this rapidly growing generation of people. Consider these ideas.

1. Supermarket shopping online is a practical way to shop for groceries and supplies for aging parents and have them delivered directly to the house. Many seniors do not like traveling in wet or cold weather, so having the convenience of groceries delivered to the door is a big plus. Services are offered by many familiar supermarket chains, so brand-name and store-brand products will still be available in many instances.

2. Cleaning services can provide relief for parents and caregivers. They’ll go top-to-bottom throughout the house and tackle all of the chores that parents may not be able to handle any longer. A service also saves a trip over and added cleaning work. Most cleaning services can be scheduled for a weekly or monthly visit, keeping on top of all cleaning tasks.

3. Other professional services can help everyone stay healthy and happy. From dog walkers to volunteers who come spend time with aging parents, there are many people willing and able to share the workload.

4. A caregiver can also look into transportation for Mom and Dad if they no longer feel comfortable driving. Some cities and towns sponsor accessible vans that will take seniors shopping or on special excursions. Their children no longer have to serve as chauffeur to both their parents and any kids who aren’t yet old enough to drive.

5. Caregivers should make close friends with the parents of their children’s friends. Just knowing there is another responsible adult they can call upon if they need a quick sitter or someone to pinch hit with school carpooling and the like can lift pounds off of their shoulders. These friends can also be willing listeners if one just need to vent a little bit now and then.

By looking to others to take on some of the workload created by caring for both children and adults, caregivers can ease stress and develop better relationships with the people they love by being able to spend quality time with them.


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