Caring for people of multiple ages can pose a challenge for even the most savvy caregiver. The simple reason why is that children and seniors require different types of care from their caregiver. If you are a caregiver member of The Sandwich Generation, then you know that juggling the various, much needed, responsibilities can be stressful.
We know our clients and their senior loved ones face these challenges each day. From balancing everyone’s schedule and attending appointments to providing emotional support and medication management, often the job can seem overwhelming. Let us share our five tips for managing a multi-age caregiver schedule.
1. Create a calendar and stick to it. One of the easiest ways to fall behind on responsibilities or miss important appointments is to not keep track of your schedule. Keep either a digital calendar that syncs with all of your devices or utilize a handwritten calendar you can take with you. Color coordinate by either level of importance or age group so you can easily see the responsibilities and priorities for each day and the week as a whole. Be sure to stick to your calendar and update it regularly! If you fall behind with adding in appointments or activities, your days will feel unorganized and jumbled.
2. Don’t procrastinate. While this may seem nearly impossible for many, try not to procrastinate. Procrastination makes tasks more complicated and rushed than they should be. This is not to say you should not take breaks. Giving yourself a little time to yourself each day is important as well.
3. Think of every “What-If?” scenario – and plan ahead. Life never works out exactly how you’ve planned. Don’t let unplanned situations derail your progress or get in your way. If something does not go as planned, make sure you always have a backup plan ready. For example, what if your car breaks down and you cannot get to your child’s soccer practice? Or what if your mom forgets to take her medicine at the proper time? Having a contingency plan for any situation is important to keep stress levels at a minimum when something goes awry.
4. Ask for help. Do not avoid asking for help and never feel bad when reaching out for assistance. Even the strongest and most organized of caregivers need support every once and awhile. Arrange a carpool for drop-offs and pick-ups from school. Ask a neighbor or friend to check on your parent while you run some errands. They say it takes a village…so use your village.
5. Take time for yourself. You will not be able to give full attention to multiple age groups if you have not given yourself some attention first. Whether you take a few extra minutes in the morning to get ready, join a gym or take time for lunch once a week, it is important to take a moment to live your life.
While it is a labor of unpaid love for the majority of family caregivers today, it is a much needed service. Do you need assistance right now? Do not wait to contact our firm so we can assist you and your family.