caring for aging parents

If your days are full of managing a home, working, parenting, being a caregiver for older parents, and attempting to squeeze in time for yourself while nurturing other relationships, welcome to the sandwich generation! Made up of those ages 35 – 54 who are “sandwiched” between meeting the needs of both children at home and older parents, it won’t come as a shock to you that this segment of the population of people is coping with higher amounts of stress than nearly any other, with approximately 40 percent reporting severe degrees of stress.

Katherine Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, American Psychological Association, says, “It’s not surprising that so many people in that age group are experiencing stress. The worry of your parents’ health, and your children’s well-being as well as the financial concern of putting kids through college and saving for your own retirement is a lot to handle.”

It is essential to take steps to lessen stress levels, as long-term stress can lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes, along with other significant health risks. Not only that, but that stress can carry over and affect the loved ones you’re working so hard to care for.

Hearts at Home In-Home Care, offering home care and respite care in Overland Park and the surrounding areas, suggests the following helpful hints to lessen stress and discover a healthier life balance:

  • Know your triggers. What exactly is it that tips the scale for you from busy to weighed down? Do your feelings of stress stem from financial concerns, relationships with your children or parents, issues at the office, feeling out of control?
  • Note the way you respond to those triggers. When you’ve recognized the root cause(s) behind your elevated stress, take an honest assessment of the way you respond. Do you lose patience with your loved ones? Have trouble with falling/staying asleep, or following a healthy eating plan? Use unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking or drinking?
  • Make self-care a priority. You give so much of yourself to care for your loved ones; make taking care of yourself equally important. You are only able to provide the best care when your own needs are met. Schedule designated time to relax, participate in enjoyable activities and hobbies, spend time with friends, exercise, etc. Your time away has to be a high priority, and to happen on a regular basis – if at all possible, every single day.

If you are wondering how you can possibly carve out time for yourself with all the other commitments you’re balancing, we can help! Hearts at Home In-Home Care is always available to provide dependable, professional in-home respite care services – as much or as little as needed – to allow family caregivers peace of mind in knowing their older family members will be well cared for as they take needed time to step away.

Our highly trained and experienced senior caregivers are ready and able to help you reduce your stress to find an improved quality of life, both for yourself and your loved ones. Contact us at 913-440-4209 to learn more about our top-rated respite care in Overland Park and the surrounding communities.