Stress management tips for the sandwich generation
Sandwich generation – It can be challenging to juggle your time to meet the concurrent needs of children and aging parents who all require your attention and care. There are some things you can do to achieve a better balance of work and caring responsibilities.
Learn more about the illness or condition. If you’re supporting a relative with a chronic illness, or a condition like dementia, speak to their doctor or a healthcare professional to find strategies that can help you care for them. You can also seek out a local support group to connect with others who are going through the same things; the more you know about the illness, the easier it will be to cope.
Practice self-care. It’s important that you don’t forget about your own needs and wants, and make time for yourself. Making sure you get enough exercise, sleep well, and eat healthy foods can go a long way towards keeping your mind and body up to the task of caring for your family. Create time to do the things and hobbies you enjoy, like reading, socializing with friends, or taking a walk.
Keep family in the loop. A group email chain or online chat group can quickly and efficiently give siblings and family updates, and make sharing responsibilities easier. This can also free up time spent on the phone for something more productive or to simply relax. You can also share schedules, documents and financials through cloud-based services to facilitate coordinating appointments and other details.
Explore government financial support. As our population ages, there is more assistance for Canadians who are providing care to loved ones through the Family Caregivers Tax Credit, and Employment Insurance Special Benefits for those caring for a dying relative or a critically ill child. These resources can lessen the financial strain and give you one less thing to worry about.