Have you heard of the sandwich generation caring for elderly parents?

 The Sandwich generation refers to a group of people who are simultaneously caring for their elderly parents while supporting their own children. This can put a significant strain on these carers as they struggle to balance their full-time job, care for their elderly parents, and their own children effectively. The challenge for the Sandwich generation is finding care solutions that are suitable for their parents and their own lifestyles, without causing undue stress or financial burden. In this article we’ll introduce how using smartwatch personal alarms or aged care facilities could support your caring needs depending on your particular situation.

Caring for elderly parents with personal emergency alarm mother and daughter pictured with mCareMate

Caring at home or in a care facility?

One of the dilemmas that carers face is deciding between keeping their elderly parents at home or placing them in a care facility. Many people don’t want their parents to live with them but are also hesitant to put them in an aged care home. This decision can be difficult and stressful, and carers should consider all options and speak with their parents, other family members as well as professionals, before deciding.

Keeping their parents at home can be a good option for those who want to ensure that their parents are being cared for in a comfortable and familiar environment. In most cases, the parents would also prefer to stay at home in their own environment which makes them feel comfortable. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Carers may need to make changes to their home to accommodate their parents’ needs, such as installing support bars in the bathroom or making sure that the home is wheelchair accessible. They may also need to arrange for home healthcare services, such as a visiting nurse or physiotherapist, to provide additional support.

Another issue that carers may face when caring for their elderly parents is clashing personalities, especially when the parent is used to their own independence and doesn’t want to be looked after by their own child. This can be a sensitive issue and carers should approach it with empathy and understanding. Carers should try to understand their parents’ perspective and communicate with them in a way that is respectful and non-judgemental. They should also be mindful of how their own actions may be perceived by their parents and try to be sensitive to their feelings and accommodating.

Caring for elderly parents can also take a toll on other areas of the carer’s life, such as their career or social life. Carers may struggle to find a balance between their responsibilities, and it’s important for them to consider their own well-being as well as that of their parents. They should also seek support from family, friends, and professionals if they need it. It’s also important for carers to set boundaries and make sure that they have time for themselves and their own families. There is no doubt, the sandwich generation caring for elderly parents has a real challenge on their hands.

Personal emergency alarm as a solution for the sandwich generation caring for elderly parents

sandwich generation caring for elderly parents with assistive technology

A personal emergency elderly alarm can be a helpful solution for the sandwich generation caring for elderly parents, providing peace of mind for both the carer and independence and support for the elderly parent. A personal emergency alarm is a device that can be worn by the elderly person and used to call for help in case of an emergency.

These emergency alarms can be in the form of a pendant worn around the neck or as a smartwatch on the wrist and either connected to the family or a 24/7 monitoring centre, where trained professionals can respond to the call and provide emergency assistance. This can give elderly parents more independence and allow them to continue living in their own homes, while also giving carers peace of mind knowing that their parents can call for help if they need it. A personal emergency alarm with voice call capability such as the mCareWatch or mCareMate will allow the family members to call and talk to the parent wearing the personal alarm, which will help with isolation if they are living alone.

Using a smartwatch personal alarm, such as the mCareWatch, will also provide more functionality than just being a duress SOS alarm. It can become a smartphone, watch, reminder alarm, pedometer all-in-one, providing additional support and peace of mind for the children looking after their elderly parents.

Elderly woman wearing the mCareWatch personal emergency alarm

Hiring a professional caregiver or home health support

Another option for the sandwich generation caring for elderly parents is to consider hiring a professional caregiver or home health support to provide in-home care. This can be a cost-effective solution and can also provide additional support for the carer. Professional caregivers can provide assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming, as well as medication management and meal preparation. In-home health support can also provide more specialised care, such as wound care or physiotherapy.

For those who are unwilling or unable to provide care at home, placing their parents in an aged care facility may be the best option. Aged care facilities provide a range of services, from assisted living to skilled nursing care. Aged care facilities can provide a safe and secure environment for elderly parents and can also provide them with additional support for activities of daily living and healthcare needs. Care facilities can also provide social and recreational activities, which can be beneficial for the mental and emotional well-being of elderly parents.

Considering an aged care facility

When considering an aged care facility, it is important to visit a number of different providers and speak with current residents and their immediate family to get a sense of the level of care and the atmosphere of the aged care facility. It is also important to consider the cost and what type of care is covered by government programs. If you are living in Australia a great start would be to visit https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/ This website will help you learn about the different types of care, how to get assessed for the aged care services and how to find a provider in your area that suits your needs.

In summary, the Sandwich generation carers are those who care for their ageing parents while supporting their own children. This can put a significant strain on the carers as they struggle to balance all three responsibilities effectively. Carers should consider all options and speak with their parents and professionals before deciding on care solutions. They should also be mindful of their own well-being and seek support when needed.