The sandwich generation refers to middle-aged Americans who are raising children and providing some level of care for an aging adult loved one. Many of us live in this reality, and it can cause some serious issues. Stress, financial strain, anxiety and depression are common among this group. If the demands of cross generational care are getting to you, there are some strategies that can help you cope. Let’s explore them.

The Benefits of Support

Adults living in the sandwich generation often feel guilty about expressing their concerns and frustrations. The truth is, this kind of venting is helpful and even necessary. Joining a support group provides you with opportunities to talk about your feelings in a safe and supportive environment. It also offers you fellowship with individuals who understand what you’re going through and can provide strategies that have worked for them in overcoming challenges. Support groups are available online, through many local rec centers and even through places of worship or neighborhood associations.

Accepting Help

The value of support groups cannot be overstated, but the truth is, weekly opportunities to talk won’t really help you to meet the day to day demands your children and senior loved ones present. When you’re handling everything on your own from grocery shopping, to transporting your dad to the doctor’s office and your son to little league, to providing medication reminders and homework support, it can quickly feel overwhelming. Asking for help is not only okay, but it’s something we should all be doing more of. Help can come in the form of a friendly neighbor, a family member or a community volunteer. If your kids are capable, you can ask them to chip in too.

When family support isn’t available or isn’t enough to meet the needs of an aging loved one, professional caregiver services, hiring a nanny to help with the children or enlisting a housekeeper are other options. Having help from an in home caregiver takes the burden off of you for many tasks, perhaps even some that you are less than comfortable managing alone. This gives you time to shift gears without feeling guilty.


Even with the best help in place, there are some chores that will always fall on your shoulders. When they do, it’s important to realize that you only have so many hours in the day. We all have to prioritize. If it helps, make a list of all your day to day responsibilities. Are there things you can cut out? Are there things that can wait until tomorrow or next week? Are there ways you can minimize the load on your plate?


Throughout this process, you’re going to spend a lot of time taking care of other people. However, even as a person living in the sandwich generation, you need to make taking care of yourself a priority. If your health fails or you get burnt out because of stress or anxiety, it will hurt you and every member of your family too. Self-care includes making time for exercise and sleep, eating a balanced diet, keeping up with your doctor’s appointments and medications and keeping check on your mental health too. Doing these things makes it easier to stay healthy and give time and attention to the people you love.

Living in the sandwich generation is not always easy, but the love that you give to your family certainly matters. Take care of yourself, ask for help and don’t forget to take time to step back and breath. If you need professional support, Salus Homecare San Fernando Valley is always here to help. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation today.

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