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Q: How do I balance my attention between my young children and my elderly parent?

Posted August 14, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Many of us have heard and referred to the term “The Sandwich Generation.” This mildly-used term refers to being stuck in between taking care of our young children and taking care of our elderly parents. This situation is only growing amongst the U.S. population as our baby boomers are growing older and are looking to their children for help. In a poll taken, more than half of the middle-aged adults say both their parents and their adult children rely on them for emotional/physical support. Many of the adults still having full-time jobs as well, as taking care of both parties young and old. So, how do we elevate some of the responsibility and ease the caretaker of both roles?
• Communication with the older adult is key. Figure out what he or she needs.
• Assign different roles in the care taking process: health care directive, POA etc.
• Taking care of you means accepting help from others.
• Seek out resources that are available in your community.

Juggling the responsibilities of being a part of “The Sandwich Generation” comes with challenges and rewards. Keep in mind the various options and resources available to help with many situations that may come about with the care-taking role. Remember, it is always OK to ask for help. No one person can handle it all.

Information provided by Chelsea Spear, At-Home Care Company, 1513 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 4, Ankeny, 515-963-4410.

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