Open Accessibility Menu
Grandmother with adult daughter and granddaughter

Preparing Yourself for the Issues of Being a Multigenerational Family Caregiver

Caregivers in Westwood MA

A large percentage of family caregivers these days are not just caregivers for their aging parents. Instead, they are members of what is known as the “sandwich generation.” This is the group of adults who are currently “sandwiched” in between care responsibilities for their aging parents as well as their children. This presents challenges and needs that go beyond those of people who only care for one generation, and can be stressful. Despite the stress and additional challenges, however, being a multigenerational family caregiver can also be extremely rewarding and create memories that you can cherish for years to come.

Use these tips to help prepare you for the issues of being a multigenerational family caregiver:

  • Explain the change. Stepping into the role of being a family caregiver for your parent is something that will not just change your life. It will also change the lives of those around you, particularly your children. If they are old enough to clearly remember a time when you were not caring for your parent as well, this can be an emotionally difficult transition. They may feel slighted or ignored, and miss the attention that you were once able to give them but now might have to reduce in order to fulfill your parent’s needs. Take the time to explain this change to them. Give them as much information as you can about why your parent needs help and what you do for them so that your children can understand what you do and why it is important that they be understanding and supportive.
  • Be clear with your parent. Just because you have agreed to become a family caregiver does not mean that you are completely putting aside your role as a parent. Your children will remain a valuable priority for you and you will want to continue being as involved and invested in their lives as possible. Be clear about this with your parent. Make sure that they understand that while you will put forth as much effort for them as possible, that you will also be doing things with and for your children so you may not always be as available as they want you to be. Offer solutions to help them reach a level of care, presence, and support with which they are comfortable.
  • Be willing to combine efforts. Caring for both generations does not have to be a divisive situation. You do not need to always spread yourself so thin by spending part of the day with your parent and part of the day with your children. Instead, be willing to combine your care efforts and get both generations involved in the care efforts for the other. Let your children step up and help with household chores and responsibilities, come with you to spend time with their grandparent, and enjoy arts and crafts and other activities together. Encourage your parent to come along when you bring your child to activities, prepare meals for the extended family rather than two separate meals, and allow them to be a source of information, cultural references, and wisdom for the younger generation.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073