Caring for Aging Parents

If your days are full of managing a home, parenting, working, caring for elderly parents, and attempting to fit in time for yourself while nurturing other relationships, welcome to the sandwich generation! Made up of those ages 35 – 54 who are “sandwiched” between balancing caring for aging parents and meeting the needs of children at home, it won’t come as a surprise to you that this demographic of men and women is dealing with higher quantities of stress than almost any other, with up to 40% reporting extreme amounts of stress.

Katherine Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, American Psychological Association, explains, “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’s essential to take steps to reduce stress levels, as chronic stress can result in heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and other serious health risks. Furthermore, stress can carry over and affect the loved ones you’re working so hard to care for.

Live Free Home Health Care, a trusted provider of home care services in Bristol and the surrounding areas, offers the following techniques to cut back on stress while balancing caring for aging parents and young children:

  • Recognize your triggers. What is it that tips the scale for you from busy to weighed down? Do your feelings of stress originate from relationships with your parents or children, financial concerns, issues at your workplace, feeling out of control?
  • Note how you react to those triggers. After you’ve recognized the source(s) behind your elevated stress, take an honest assessment of how you respond. Do you lose patience with your loved ones? Struggle with staying/falling asleep, or following a healthy and balanced diet? Use unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking or smoking?
  • Make self-care a main priority. You give so much of yourself to care for your family; make taking care of yourself just as important. You can only provide the best care if your own needs are met. Set aside specific time to relax, participate in enjoyable activities and hobbies, spend some time with friends, exercise, etc. Your time away should be a top priority, and occur on a routine basis – ideally, every day.

If you are wondering how you can possibly carve out time for yourself with all of the other commitments you are balancing, we can help! Live Free Home Health Care is always available to provide trusted, professional 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 as they take necessary time to step away.

Our professionally trained and experienced senior caregivers are ready and able to help you lower your stress and discover a far better quality of life, both for yourself and the ones you care about. Contact us at 603-217-0149 to set up a free in-home consultation and to learn more about our top-rated live-in care in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.