Working women and men across the country are feeling the sandwich generation squeeze – caring for both their children and elderly relatives. This means these caregivers are working triple duty and spreading themselves thin at work and at home.
There are many benefits to sandwich households – important bonds are forged between younger and older generations and a strong sense of family can be created.
But according to a recent report, this type of caregiving is wearing people in this generation down.
A staggering 63 percent of caregivers polled reported serious emotional consequences from juggling work and looking after family – including stress, anxiety, and frustration.
Looking after elderly relatives with complex care issues and raising growing children can both be emotionally demanding, isolating and stressful. Often caregivers have little time to focus on self-care and instead dedicate the time they aren’t at work to taking care of their loved ones.
Keep Well Tips for the Sandwich Generation
Here are a few tips to help the sandwich generation with managing their stress.
1. Sleep: Make sure to set aside enough sleep each night. Sleep can be one of our best allies during particularly stressful times in life. Our Wello Nurse Practitioners recommend getting between 6-9 hours of sleep each night – less than 6 hours of sleep is not enough and more than 9 hours each night is too much. And, it’s important to keep a consistent sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends. For more “Keep Well” sleep tips read our Wello sleep blog here.
2 Exercise: We all know that exercise and physical activity is a great outlet for stress. We also know that time can be of the essence for the sandwich generation. That’s why we recommend short and simple ways to get exercise daily. This can be as simple as taking a 15-minute walk each day around your neighborhood. We promise you will feel better about being proactive towards your health, your mind will be more clear and you will have the added bonus of newfound energy to take care of the people in your life! Looking for some “around the house” workout and exercise suggestions if you don’t enjoy walking? Check out these 10-minute workouts you can do from home!
3. Nutrition: Not having time to prep a healthy meal is one of the biggest barriers to healthy eating. Yet, providing your body with good nutrition is an essential component of overall health and wellness. That’s why we recommend to prep your meals in advance. It can be as simple as choosing a day to plan. One day each weekend can be set aside to write down all of the groceries needed and to visit the grocery store. Don’t have time to shop? Ask another family member to help you, or see if there is a local grocery or meal service that delivers groceries or pre-ready healthy meals. And, if you are looking for meal inspiration ideas that will take less than 30 minutes, here is a great recipe blog.
Help in Hand, with Wello
There are ways for Canadians dealing with this situation to get support, and one of the most important is through the help of nurse practitioners.
Wello Nurse Practitioners are able to provide support, often with same-day phone and video appointments, to help manage the care of not only aging relatives but also children. For example, a Wello Nurse Practitioner can diagnose and treat minor illnesses (flus and colds, fevers, upper respiratory infections, minor injuries and wounds, and more), which saves time waiting in walk-in clinics or doctors offices. And, they can give preventative advice (nutrition and exercise plans, child and teen health, stress and burn-out concerns, lifestyle planning, and even care advice for elders).
Wello also offers a secure patient portal which can help keep track of key appointments and organize medical data in one convenient place.
Having health assistance when trying to balance work, children and taking care of elderly relatives, can make a huge difference. At Wello, we understand that it is important to take care of the sandwich generation … after all, they are looking after the boomers (who raised us) as well as the next generation (who will take care of us in the future)!
At Wello, we’re here for you at each age and stage, because we believe that healthy families do amazing things!
Want to get more “keep well” tips from our Wello Nurse Practitioners?