Sandwich Generation Survival Tips

Are you a member of the sandwich generation? If you are raising children while caring for your elderly parents, then you definitely are. You probably feel caught in the middle; hence, the name “sandwich.” 

You’re not alone. You can count yourself among the 7 to 10 million or one out of every eight Americans (according to the Pew Research Center) who face the challenges of helping make decisions for both your parents and your children.

According to sandwich generation expert and author Carol Abaya, follow these suggestions to protect yourself and your family:

  • Empower your elderly parents just as you do your children to help them retain their independence. Allow them to continue to live normal lives as long as possible.
  • Make decisions with your parents, not for your parents.
  • Get help from others – like Right at Home – to protect you physically and emotionally when a parent becomes frail or sick. Don’t take everything on yourself.
  • Maintain financial independence by continuing to work as long as possible. The Family and Medical Leave Act may allow you to take time off in case of crisis and still keep your job.
  • Gain durable power of attorney. Choose someone trustworthy to handle your affairs in the event you become unable. Durable power of attorney is in effect from the time of signing until death.
  • Create a living will, or healthcare directive, to designate who you want to make medical decisions for you when you can’t. This takes the pressure off family members to make potential end-of-life decisions during difficult, emotional times.
  • Have a testamentary will that decides who gets your assets and guardianship of your children.
  • Take care of yourself. It’s easy to forget about your own health and well-being when looking after parents and children. Make sure to remember your needs, too.

 What other tips could you add as a member of the sandwich generation?

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