Many of us may be familiar with the term “sandwich generation” and know the potential challenges associated with this. It is natural to feel concerned. Dorothy A. Miller, MSSW, the author of the article, the ‘sandwich generation: adult children of the aging’ stated, “Adult children of the elderly, who are ‘sandwiched’ between their aging parents and their own maturing children, are subjected to a great deal of stress.” With the desire and need to care for multiple responsibilities at the same time, it can be comforting to know that you do not have to do this alone.
The sandwich generation includes adults who are actively responsible for an aging parent in addition to raising their own children. The number of individuals who fall into this category is increasing along with the common feelings of increased responsibility and pressure. According to the Pew Research Center, just over 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to between 7 to 10 million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance. Even if we live next door to our elderly parent, the challenges with assisting and supporting older parents’ needs as well as the needs of our children can be daunting. Every day logistics of work, transportation, financial and household responsibilities, as well as education costs and preparation can be a lot to manage and juggle. When we or a loved one has a health concern that is added to the equation, it is natural to feel concerned and overwhelmed.
According to Beth Myers, Registered Nurse and Chief Executive and Founder of 2×2 Health, “We hear from a number of our clients that a healthcare issue with a parent, child, or ourselves, is a significant, frightening experience that can tip the scales in an already challenging balancing act.” She continued, “It can be reassuring to reach out to others for assistance, even if it is simply to accept offers from friends and neighbors to assist with the car pool or grocery store runs.” She has also witnessed success with clients reaching out to experts for assistance with everything from financial planning to counseling services. Another way to support yourself and your family, is to partner with an organization like 2×2 Health for Care Coordination. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Care Coordination involves deliberately organizing patient care activities and sharing information among all of the participants concerned with a patient’s care to achieve safer and more effective care.” 2×2 Health can assist by accompanying your loved one to a doctor visit, by helping prepare questions and a follow-up plan, by accessing a specialist and coordinating medical records, and by providing reassurance. You won’t need to continually ask yourself, “Is there anything additional that I can do about this?”
At times, an extra set of eyes and ears can help reset the balance in our lives. At 2×2 Health, we inspire confidence, navigate complexity, and provide expert care in a genuinely compassionate manner. We are there to help navigate the increasingly complex healthcare system. Whether your loved one lives across the country, across the street, or lives under the same roof, it can be reassuring to have a clinical resource who listens to your needs, provides support and guidance, and partners with you and your medical team to provide you real peace of mind.
Healthcare with you. Healthcare for you.
Wendy Benson, MBA, OTR/L
References: Dorothy A. Miller, MSSW, Pew Research Center, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.