What To Do If You Find Yourself Stuck In The Middle
People in the Sandwich Generation often find themselves stuck in the middle. The middle of what you might ask? The generations on either side. Women in Ireland and the UK are finding themselves sandwiched in between their aging parents and their children. Sometimes these children are teens, sometimes they’re in their 20’s, even their 30’s.
If you’re a Jinga who has found herself in the Sandwich Generation, you may be wondering what you can do or how you can cope.
Read on, as we have some helpful tips for you:
Know You’re Not The Only One
While it might seem like you’re the only person in the world going through the stresses and strains of caring for an aging parent and supporting your children, believe us, you’re not alone. In fact, in Ireland 141,400 women (TILDA) are part of the Sandwich Generation. In the UK, there are an estimated 1.3 million people in the Sandwich Generation. “62% of these are women” (Office for National Statistics via Aviva). Knowing that there are people in a similar situation to you can ease your worries. It also means that there is support available.
Learn To Budget
Unless you’ve got access to an endless cash flow, financial strain is part and parcel of life in the Sandwich Generation. If your parents decide to go into a care or nursing home fees up to €80,000 per year can be expected (Independent.ie). In the UK, you’ll be expected to pay about £800 per week for a nursing home (Age UK). Whilst financial aid is available, it is’s means tested which means you might find yourself contributing majorly to your parents care. Even if they don’t opt to go into a care facility, they might end up having to live with you or hire a carer to take care of them in their own home. This can also lead to high costs. As well as this, you might have your children on the other side needing financial support. Learning to budget and financial plan is vital if you find yourself in this situation.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a care facility, or your parents insist on staying in their home, or they are moving in with you keeping track of them can be a daunting thought. What if they fall? Or can’t reach the phone? Or forget to take their medication? All of these thoughts can whirl throughout your head on an hourly basis. Especially if you are away during the day at work. With new technology, you can keep track of your elderly parent(s) in the home. From cameras and sensors to personal alarms, there’s something to suit all your needs. Jinga Life can be super helpful to give peace of mind in tracking health for you and your parents. Have you tried it? It is easy, just download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play store. It’s FREE!
Look After Yourself
Often a throwaway comment from a friend or neighbor “look after yourself” must become part of your everyday mantra if you’re in the Sandwich Generation. Being pulled on both sides from the generations before and after you can take its toll. Self care is now your best friend. If you don’t look after yourself, you won’t be able to manage looking after others, especially not elderly parents who may suffer from illness or chronic disease. Getting into the routine of prioritizing yourself, your health and well being will allow you to become a better carer. A trip to the gym, a yoga class or a night at the cinema - are all options for a bit of self care, whatever helps you become your best self!