There are numerous family caregivers in today’s world caring for an elderly parent while also caring for their own children. While both parents and children require the family caregiver’s attention, the techniques and strategies are very different. What works for one often does not work for the other. The generation in this position in life are often referred to as the sandwich generation, because they are metaphorically sandwiched with an elderly person above them and a child below them, both needing care.
Differences between Caring for Seniors and Caring for Children
If you are a family caregiver looking after both an aging parent and your own child, here are a few ways this care will differ.
Aging parents and children differ intellectually. While you may be able to reason with your child and have the final word, this is not the case for your parent. Your parent raised you and took care of you for quite some time; they may not take kindly to you telling them what to do. Getting a third party involved like a therapist or doctor can be helpful for dealing with a strong-willed parent.
Emotions come into play caring for both parents and children. You will probably feel joyful and excited about your kids but may feel angry and sad about your aging parent. It can be hard taking care of someone who once took care of you. It’s important to talk about these feelings with loved ones; if you aren’t comfortable doing that, a therapist is a good option.
Children and the elderly age differently. With your kids, you generally have an idea of what’s going to happen at each milestone and you can see the progress of learning. Aging parents on the other hand may experience sudden health issues which can be scary and require different kinds of care. Learning can be difficult for aging adults and you may see more regression than progress.
If you work full-time and have children, you have a lot on your plate. Add an aging parent to the mix and it can be overwhelming. You can send your kids to daycare for a few hours every day but if an elderly parent falls ill, you may be required to spend much of your day with them.
Financial planning is usually do-able with your kids. You can put money away each month for college and plan for school supplies. If an aging parent requires care, it is usually unknown what the costs will be. Long-term insurance is a good option if you want to plan ahead for unseen medical issues.
Many family caregivers are taking care of their own children as well as aging parents. Understanding the different strategies and techniques both parents and kids require can be extremely helpful. If you need more time for your kids, you can also hire elderly care providers to meet your parent’s needs.
The articles posted on this blog are provided for general information and discussion purposes only. These articles are not intended to suggest anything with respect to the operations or services of this office.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Raleigh, NC, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (919) 229-8944