Every parent knows the amount of exertion involved in juggling work, life, and childcare. It’s not easy to attain a work-life balance when “life” includes being a parent and a spouse. More and more adults are increasingly experiencing an added role — that of the caregiver. In addition to parent-spouse-employee, we add “child, caring for an aging parent”.

Hiring an at-home health care professional helps alleviate caregiver burnout.
An at-home nurse smiling at her patient during a care visit.

As each role gets added, more time gets devoted to meeting the social, emotional, and physical demands of the others, and less time is dedicated to self-care. You start to feel torn between the proverbial rock and hard place. You want to care for your parents and give them the time and attention they deserve as they face the challenges that come with old age. You also want to be there for your children and provide them with the guidance and attention they need to develop into wonderful people. Before you know it, you’re experiencing the tell-tale symptoms of caregiver burnout:

  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt

The Sandwich Generation

You’re not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, about 15% of middle-aged adults “is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child”. And this is just financial support. This same report found that 38% are also providing emotional support. Demographers have created a term for when middle-aged adults provide care to the generations above and below them, called “the sandwich generation”. Additionally, even though this problematic sandwich has been around for a while, it’s still a problem facing adults today. In some ways, the problem is even more burdensome, as caregivers are not just caring for grandparents and children, but potentially also for great-grandparents and grandchildren as the American life expectancy continues to rise.

Ways to Prevent or Ease Caregiver Burnout

  1. Practice self-care — Finding time to take care of yourself can feel challenging, but it’s crucial, particularly in stressful situations. Find ways to find your zen throughout the day.
  2. Join a support group — Knowing that you’re not alone in your experiences can provide you with relief and support. Find a support group in your community devoted to people who are caregivers. Share stories as well as ideas for managing stress
  3. Talk with your children about what’s happening — With an awareness of what’s age-appropriate, keep your child apprised about the situation. They’ll feel better having an idea about what’s happening (and why you sometimes need to spend time taking care of Grandma).
  4. Accept help when offered — Humans are social creatures. You’re making sacrifices so that your loved ones don’t have to go through their struggles alone. Similarly, your friends and loved ones don’t want you to go through life alone! Let those who can help, help.
  5. Hire professional help —  Family Tree In-Home Care offers professional services so your loved one has the care they need. Also, you don’t have to suffer caregiver burnout. 

How Professional Support Can Help

Professional help can be particularly beneficial as it can:

  1. Give you time to be yourself and practice self-care
  2. Allows you to focus more time and energy on your children, so they can feel involved and alleviate any feelings of guilt
  3. Allow you to let go of the stress caused by worrying about how your parents are doing since you can rest assured they are in good hands
  4. Provide you with time to attend support groups or meet your social needs

At Family Tree In-Home Care, we take a holistic approach to care, which allows us to treat every client as a whole, including care management. Let our professionals give you time and peace of mind, so you can continue being the amazing you that you are.