Caring for Older Parents

If your days are overflowing with managing a home, working, parenting, caring for older parents, and attempting to squeeze in time for yourself while looking after other relationships, welcome to the sandwich generation! Made up of those ages 35 – 54 who are “sandwiched” between meeting the needs of caring for older parents and school-aged children, it won’t come as a surprise to you that this demographic of men and women is facing higher degrees of stress than almost any other, with as many as 40% reporting extreme degrees of stress.

Katherine Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, American Psychological Association, says, “It’s not surprising that so many people in that age group are experiencing stress. The worry of your parents’ health, and your children’s well-being as well as the financial concern of putting kids through college and saving for your own retirement is a lot to handle.”

It is essential to take steps to lower stress levels, as long-term stress may cause cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, diabetes, and other serious health problems. Not only that, but that stress can carry over and affect you when you’re caring for older parents and school-aged children.

Grace Home Care, the leaders in Topeka senior care, recommends the following tips to decrease stress and discover a healthier life balance:

  • Know your triggers. What is it that tips the scale for you from busy to overburdened? Do your feelings of stress originate from financial concerns, relationships with your parents or children, issues where you work, feeling out of control?
  • Note the manner in which you react to those triggers. Once you’ve acknowledged the source(s) behind your elevated stress, take an honest assessment of the way you respond. Do you lose patience with your loved ones? Have a problem with falling/staying asleep, or adhering to a healthy diet? Rely on detrimental coping mechanisms, such as smoking or drinking?
  • Make self-care a top priority. You give a great deal of yourself to care for your loved ones; make looking after yourself equally important. You can only offer the best care if your own needs are met. Schedule specific time to relax, take part in pleasant hobbies and activities, spend time with friends, work out, etc. Your time away ought to be a top priority, and to happen on a frequent basis – if at all possible, each and every day.

If you’re wondering how you can possibly carve out time for yourself with all of the other responsibilities you are managing, we are able to help! Grace Home Care is always here to provide trusted, professional in-home respite care services – as much or as little as needed – to allow family caregivers peace of mind in knowing their older loved ones will be well cared for as they take necessary time to step away.

Our professionally trained and experienced senior caregivers are ready and waiting to help you lessen your stress to find a better quality of life, both for yourself and the ones you love. Call us at 785-286-2273 to get started with respite care in Topeka or other nearby areas. Visit our Service Area page to see the full list of communities we serve.