Are you a member of the sandwich generation – someone who is raising children while, at the same time, caring for aging parents? If so, you know that you have to make the most of every minute in every day.
“Caring for children can be tiring. Caring for older loved ones can be challenging. Caring for both at the same time… well, that can be exhausting,” said Sierra Goetz, co-founder and operations manager at Trail Ridge Home Care’s partner, the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “To help lighten the load, we encourage families to involve their children, especially the older ones, to help care for their grandparents.”
So, how can your children help care for your aging loved ones?
Companionship. Something as simple as watching a favorite TV show, putting together a puzzle or sharing stories will help ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation – especially for seniors who live alone. Children also have a way of energizing their grandparents – encouraging them to play, go for walks or do other activities which will help them get some exercise.
Light housekeeping. There are many easy-to-manage chores that you can assign to your older children – dusting, washing the dishes, vacuuming or folding the laundry.
Mind games. Encourage your child to play board games and puzzles with your aging loved ones. They’ll have fun and improve their brain health, too.
Help with technology. Your children have grown up with technology, so they’ll likely be able to help aging loved ones with their smartphones, tables or televisions.
“When children are able to help with caregiving responsibilities, it really benefits everyone,” Goetz said “It will give you a chance to catch your breath – completing other tasks or maybe taking a well-deserved break. For the kids, it can be fun, and it often gives them a new sense of purpose. And for the seniors, it gives them something to look forward to and an opportunity to share their knowledge and family history. Most importantly, spending time together will likely deepen the connection between your children and your parents – which is priceless.”
If you need additional assistance with your aging loved ones, we’re here to help. From companionship to personal and Alzheimer’s care, our care team will work closely with you to develop a customized care plan to meet your senior’s needs. Visit trailridgehomecare.com to learn more.