A Holiday for Caregivers

Do you sometimes feel squashed between the needs of your older parents and your children? Then you know why adults who care for both groups are called the “sandwich generation.” There are nearly 65 million family-caregivers in the United States. A caregiver is anyone who helps someone, usually an elderly or sick parent, with their basic daily tasks. Caregivers often help with grocery shopping and paying bills. Now add on helping with children’s homework and activities.

But care giving without relief can harm a person’s mental and physical health. It can raise blood pressure, interfere with sleep, cause fatigue, increase the risk of illness or injury, and trigger depression or anxiety.

Try these tips to ease the strain:

  • Ask for help if you need it. For example, ask a friend to pick up your children from school.
  • The U.S. Administration on Aging offers links to care giving resources around the country. This includes respite care — when someone spends time with your parents while you take a break.
  • Talk openly with your kids. Ask them how they are feeling. Spend time with your children, such as taking them along on errands and eating meals together.
  • Find a support group, either in person or online. Talking with others in the same situation can help you deal with feelings of guilt, anger and stress.

Visit the Be Smart. Be Well. website to learn more about care giving and other select topics. You can watch videos, read the latest news, take quizzes and find additional resources and information to help you understand and manage your care giving options.

Reprinted from BlueCross BlueShield communication with permission.

About Holly Carter

This entry was posted in Health & Wellness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.