The Sandwich Generation


jmca
on Apr 05, 2016 @ 05:44 pm

ok, I'm probably older than most here (turning 48 tomorrow) and feel very stressed due to being in the Sandwich Generation.

What is the Sandwich Generation?  Well, it's when you are stuck being the caregiver to the younger generation (your children) AND the older generation (your parents) at the SAME time.  

What are some of your experiences? 
 


10 Replies


KrissiC
. on Apr 05, 2016 @ 05:51 pm

I'm 32 but beginning to find myself in this situation...one parent retiring, one in poor health and I have small kids at home but feel torn and unsure as to how to approach this in a good and feasible manner...
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Stephs.fav.stuff
Not there yet. on Apr 05, 2016 @ 05:54 pm

Maybe one day I will have some experience in the sandwich department. Haha I do like that term though.
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RaeBlair
. on Apr 05, 2016 @ 05:56 pm

Though I'm not in this generation, I feel that I will eventually be. It's more than a generation, really, but a inevitable point in life that we have bred in to society as normal. We are all transitioning to the next stage of life later - adults act like teens, elders like adults. Most people aim to have children at thirty or later nowadays. When I am thirty, which is definitely when I aim to have children if life allows, my parents will be fifty, fifty, and sixty-five (mom, step-dad, dad). When my children are ten, my parents will be sixty, sixty, and seventy-five! I will be caring for at least one of them as well as young children.

It's just what we do. But I can't imagine it's easy at all!
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RaeBlair
. on Apr 05, 2016 @ 05:57 pm

* not eventually in your generation lol, impossible. eventually caring for both my children, and my parents.
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Irememberu
sandwiches on Jul 08, 2016 @ 02:49 am

Not in that generation yet because I always make sure the kids have a good lunch. Nothing wrong with sandwiches at all though. It's just for a weekend snack or late night bite at night at my place.
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fly_eyez
. on Jul 08, 2016 @ 05:01 am

Happy belated birthday!
Last year my husband and I found ourselves in this situation. His mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given 6-12 months to live. It was a horrible situation. We both have 20 y o daughters (his lives in another province and mine is still living with us) and an 8 y o son. I was (and still am) suffering from a chronic illness and have been off work for just over two years, so there was already a strain in our lives.
Immediately after diagnosis, we took his mother in to live with us. It was her wish to die at home and we promised we would do everything we could to honor that wish. It placed a hellish strain on our marriage and seriously affected the two kids at home.
She declined rapidly, especially after her two weeks of radiation therapy. It was done to try to improve her quality of life, not extend it, but the treatment did the exact opposite. It made her quality of life very bad. I could go on and on about the ways it affected our lives and hers but that would turn this into a novel.
Her cancer was in the lung (stage 4) but it had already metastasized to the brain, and let me tell you, that's one of the most horrible ways to go. Lots of suffering and because her brain was affected she did and said things she never would have. It was awful. We were on call 24/7 to meet her needs and care for her around the clock. Our entire lives were consumed with taking care of her including lifts, toileting, feeding, bathing and all other aspects of personal care. She suffered mini strokes and lost mobility on one side of her entire body and was confined to bed. We had baby monitors all throughout the house to tend to her. We had so many errands to run daily yet she couldn't be left alone ever. The only help we had was an LPN for personal care twice a week for an hour. We had to do all meds including sub q injections around the clock. She constantly called out for us 24/7, so much that eventually we would take turns sleeping so someone was always awake. I often slept on the floor in her room (we turned the home office into her bedroom). Her room consisted of a hospital bed and medical equipment so I would be scrunched up on the floor between her bed and her commode. Most of the time I didn't even sleep because she didn't. I would sit on the floor and hold her hand and talk to her or just be there.
My husband and I barely made it. It almost tore our marriage apart. We were newlyweds - we got married when she was still relatively well, 2 months after her diagnosis. My kids were very stressed and angry that I couldn't be there for them and most of my time was spent taking care of her. They also had to listen to and see the awful things brain cancer makes a person say and do. One day I thought my daughter was going to lose it when she hit our dog with her cane. It was hard for everyone to deal with the behavioral issues. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, all while being very ill myself.
She only lasted 5 months. We tried our best to keep her at home but at the very end she was such a danger to herself (always trying to get out of bed and falling so many times) and she was a 3 person lift and I hurt myself lifting her from the bed to the commode because she had no mobility. We took her to Palliative Care and we stayed with her there until she died 5 days later. She would have turned 62 the following month.
My husband's father is 80. We are DREADING the day he becomes ill. His wife is already in very bad health. At least in this instance my step-MIL has her own kids in town to assist. It was just my husband and me taking care of his mother because he was her only child.
I hope that you never have to go through something like this, but as mentioned by others, this is something most of us will have to face at some point, unfortunately. All I can do is highly recommended that you get as much help as humanly possible and do not put your relationships with your own children and partner on the line - it's extremely difficult to recover from.
All the best :)
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fly_eyez
Side note on Jul 08, 2016 @ 05:09 am

As a side note, I have told my daughter, and will tell my son when he's older, that I NEVER want them to care for me when I'm old and sick. I would much rather have them be there for me as my children and not my caregivers. I never want to place a burden on them.
This may come across as harsh, but although I was glad to fulfill a dying woman's wishes to the best of my ability, this is something that places so much strain on the entire family when you do not have the proper support systems in place. I think that my husband and I, as well as his mother, would have preferred to be there for her emotionally and as family than to spend all our energy and time physically taking care of her. It is so incredibly draining and I think we really missed out on quality time with her. Yes, we were there, but in a state of complete mental and physical exhaustion. It would have been better to have nursing care in place for the day to day tasks so we could focus our energy on her emotional needs.
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jcb75
:) on Jul 08, 2016 @ 07:58 am

I'm single and have no children, but I do have my father living with me. Due to his health he can't really work, so it made sense financially.

I guess that makes me an open faced sandwich??
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wendyroy
. on Jul 08, 2016 @ 02:17 pm

I just had this conversation with my sister the other day. I am a young widow, with children (young adults) and ageing parents. Dad has Parkinson's and recent sudden onset dementia. Every day is a challenge.
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Angelwingsx2
Sandwich Generation on Jul 11, 2016 @ 07:45 am

Hello Fly-Eyez,nice to meet you.I just read every word that you said and what you went through when your Mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal ill Cancer.I went through the exact same thing as you did.My Mom God Bless Her was given 6 months to a year.That was in the monh of Sept and she passed away Dec 23rd,the same year.There was nights and Days I don't remember ,even though it was only six years ago.The pictures we took before she passed away,I looked twice her age.I felt like I was dying inside.My sisters helped when they could and also my Daughter.We were her palbeares because we figured,she carried us for nine monthe,we can carry the casket to the Cemetary.I have one Sister and a Brother living home in her house,they nver married.Sister has a lot of medical problems.Before Mom passed away,I took her little face in my hands and promised her I would take cae of them.She smile and then died,I knew that was what she wanted to hear.I keep my promise,even today and will as long as long as I can,with no regrets,I done my best.Love you Mother.
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