noun: sandwich generation; plural noun: sandwich generations
- a generation of people, typically in their thirties or forties, responsible both for bringing up their own children and for the care of their ageing parents.
SC, 45, carer for her father, on being a member of the ‘sandwich generation’
Dad doesn’t live with us; however, I visit him 4 times a week plus daily calls to him. I cook meals for him, clean his house and do all his washing as well as support him through the bad days with his dementia. I am lucky that I have a very supportive husband as well as very understanding daughters, who never mind if I don’t make a netball match or swimming gala because of my caring role.
We all know that my dad will not be able to live at home alone for much longer, and as a family we are pulling together to get through the difficult times now. Here are a few things that I find helpful on a day to day basis:
- Make lists and keep a diary – I would be lost without either of these! There is so much to remember – dad’s medical appointments, the girls sporting and school commitments; once it’s written down I don’t need to worry.
- Accept offers of help – I have learnt how important it is to say “yes please”; to my daughter offering to wash the dishes, or a friend offering to drop in on dad to save me a trip.
- Take 15 minutes out of each day for yourself – I have just finished an online mindfulness course and am taking time out each day to lose myself in a book.
- Talk and communicate – be it with a friend over a quick cuppa or online to a fellow carer – it helps to talk with others; especially those who understand how difficult it can be at times when caring for a much loved family member.