caring for the aging parents

For Multigenerational Caregivers, Caregiving is a Constant

As Sandwich Generation multigenerational caregivers, caregiving is a vital constant, whether we are full time or part-time caregivers, or even if we are overseeing a beloved senior’s care at a distance.

One of the many walking aids for seniors available to us via Kaye Swain Roseville CA real estate agent

While caring for a loved one is a noble and loving undertaking, it’s also hard work and it can be extremely stressful. If you’re caring for someone close to you, it’s important that you also take care of yourself. If you don’t, you risk burning yourself out—and then you won’t be able to help anyone.

Manage Stress and Help Prevent Caregivers Burnout

Here are five time-tested ways to manage your stress and help prevent caregiver burnout.

  1. Learn everything you can about your loved one’s condition. Once you understand the disease, its prognosis, and the treatments available, you’ll be better prepared to face the future and figure out the best ways you can help. It will also help you to remember that it’s the disease that’s causing the changes in your loved one.
  2. Allow your loved one to care for herself as much as she can. Not only will it make your job easier, but it will also help your loved one to maintain her dignity and allow her to keep her independence for as long as possible.
  3. Get help. Don’t be afraid to ask others to pitch in. They may be more than willing to help, but they may not know how. Be specific about what you need: “Mark, can you drive Grandma to her weekly physical therapy appointments and bring her home after?” or “Susan, would you be willing to pick up Grandma’s groceries when you do your own shopping each week?” Besides asking for help from friends and family, find out what kinds of services your community offers, such as Meals on Wheels or caregiver workshops.
  4. Take breaks. It’s imperative that you take frequent mental and physical breaks. Enlist a friend or neighbor to sit with your loved one for a few hours every so often. Alternatively, you might want to hire a health care worker to come in for a day or more. Some communities offer day care or longer-term respite care for seniors who don’t require intensive medical care.
  5. Seek out support. When you’re caught up in the day-to-day caregiving cycle, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone and that no one understands what you’re going through. Finding a caregiver support group can be tremendously helpful; it’s comforting to know that you aren’t alone, and you may even learn some helpful strategies from others in the same situation.

Caring for the Caregivers is Vital

No matter how much you care about your loved one and want to help them, you MUST take care of yourself first. You’re not being selfish in doing this; you’re actually being very unselfish.   It’s the same reason flight attendants instruct us to put on our own oxygen masks before assisting others. If you’re out of commission, you won’t be able to help your loved one anyway. Your job as caregiver is one of the most important jobs you’ll ever undertake; just remember that you have to take care of yourself, too.

 

Christian Kaye Swain blogger and real estate agent shares words of encouragement

One of the “joys” of moving is often a prolonged period of no Internet 🙂 Hence the shorter posts at SandwichINK. One of the fun moments in the move was a brief visit to a lovely Koi pond – a delightful background for a grand goal for all of us in the Sandwich Generation from 1 Corinthians 10:31.

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 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

P.S. Click here to see my personal caregiving paraphrase of this Scripture.

Spiritual Sundays are full of encouraging and comforting BIble verses and praise music to lift the hearts of the Sandwich Generation

Gorgeous pink sunset for the Sandwich Generation -Gadzooks! The calendar says mid-summer, half the grandkids' schools are saying BACK TO SCHOOL, and the weather just can't make up its mind. Hot and humid one minute and gorgeously cool the next. And my Sandwich Generation family is swaying back and forth as much as the weather. From scooters and fun in the sun back to chess – checkers – minecraft with the grandkids. My senior mom continues to enjoy her gardening activities. The results have been a bit mixed for the flowers but the vegetables are all doing grand!

My senior moms vegetable gardening activities are doing grand in spite of the wacky weather

And she and I had fun together at Kohl's latest clearance sale for the whole back to school season while dodging super heat one minute and raindrops the next. Crazeeeeeee! 

My senior mom has settled on a grand solution for her hair issues. She got her hair permed again and we now have a standing appointment at her favorite stylist for a weekly hairset – shades of the 1950s. And she loves it! She just occasionally supplements the weekly visit by curling her front bangs and leaves the rest to fluffing through the week til the next appointment. Much easier for her and she is so much happier with her hair now. YAY.

I had fun snapping a couple of shots of the setting sun this week – can you believe the gorgeous pinks! Delightful to see in person, and grand for a backdrop for the sweet words of encouragement from Deuteronomy 31:8:

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. 

Pink Sunset and sweet words of Christian encouragement for the Sandwich Generation issues

A lovely end to a strange yet lovely week. How about you and your Sandwich Generation family. How has your week been going?

Spiritual Sundays are full of encouraging and comforting BIble verses and praise music to lift the hearts of the Sandwich Generation

Faith-Filled Friday for the Sandwich Generation

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

Scripture and a Snapshot to encourage the Sandwich Generation with encouraging and comforting Bible verses

Sunday Stillness - visit Janis Cox and be blessed by encouraging Bible verses for the Sandwich Generation

The Sunday Community - with encouraging Bible verses and pictures for the Sandwich Generation

The Weekend Brew With words and Scriptures of encouragement for all of us in the Sandwich Generation

 

 

Say it Saturday is a fun linkup for all of us boomers and seniors including grandparents writing about their grandkids

 

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social

 

Encouraging Bible Verses from Joni & Ken

Welcome! If you are new to SandwichINK, perhaps via the Ultimate Blog Party 2013, this is my weekly devotional for all of us boomers and seniors, caregivers and parents or grandparents in the Sandwich Generation. Today I wanted to share a special book with you that I just read and thoroughly enjoyed – Joni & Ken, An Untold Love Story.

It's not your traditional story – one that starts at the beginning and ends at the end. It bebops around from today to 5 years ago to 10 years ago back to today back to 8 years ago etc. It's more of a montage of moments, little bits and pieces of a relationship, that God has woven into a wonderful loving "oneness."

So many of us get married thinking it will be easy peasy to live happily ever after, don't we? Of course, it doesn't take long for reality to set it. Nowadays, it is truly a miracle when a couple lasts past the "seven year itch!" But for those of us who persevere (and I am blessed in my family with many such examples – including my husband and I, who would have celebrated our 26th anniversary if God had not called him home), God does wonderfully intertwine us more and more through the years…and through the struggles…and through the trials…and through the arguments…and through the tears…and through the hugs….  

That's what happened to Joni and Ken. They share many special moments, in both good times and bad, good examples and bad and the result is a book that is both an interesting biography of their marriage and a good mini-manual on marriages. But beyond that, because Joni has been a paraplegic for over 30 years and has recently dealt with breast cancer, it is also full of a wide variety of "gold nuggets" like:

  • comfort for those dealing with cancer
  • words of wisdom to caregivers
  • encouraging quotes and Bible verses
  • positives that come from pain and suffering – grief and loss
  • and more….

It's one of those special books of mine that is now totally underlined, dog-eared, and has a list of people I want to share it with, starting with you!

Joni has long been one of my spiritual mentors through her writing, along with Corrie Ten Boom, Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and a handful of others whose words still resonate in my mind. I've shared her story with my grandkids and just bought the movie of her life story for them. Talk about a sweet way of leaving a spiritual legacy in their hearts and minds! 

Neither Joni nor Ken are perfect, any more than you or I are. But both have reached a point in their lives of realizing how vital full surrender to God is and both are seeking to share God's love and power with others, for which I'm forever grateful. I do, indeed, recommend this book to you – for yourself and to share. 

The Scripture in the picture above, Hebrews 6:10-11, was from the book and here's one of the quotes from it that really blessed my heart. I pray it will be a sweet blessing to you as well! Joni spoke these words during an online devotional, and Ken heard them on the radio shortly after her surgery from cancer – at a time when the show shouldn't even have been on the air – a sweet miracle for him, and a lovely gift for all of us caregivers:

"Life is hard for people in wheelchairs," she was saying. "But it's just as hard when you're the caregiver. So let me take a minute and pray. I want to pray, not only for you who are listening today who might have a physical disability, but let me pray for the people who help, OK?…Dear Father in heaven, as I think of the cross Your Son endured for me, I thank You that the cross You have called us to bear will never, never be heavier than You have designed…daily as we pick up this cross and follow You, bless You for more than matching the burden with grace upon grace upon grace…Never let us forget that You are with us through it all, whether it is we who are always sitting down in a stand-up world, or whether it is our caregivers who are always tending to our needs. And please, Lord Jesus, expand our vision, that we can appreciate the influence our trust in You is having on people, others who watch and learn, even from a distance. For that brings You glory! And brings rich and wonderful meaning to our days. In Jesus' name. Amen."

Ken shared how touched he was at hearing her pray for him and for other caregivers. And as I read it, I was beyond blessed as well. What a wonderful reminder that God does, indeed, cause "all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Caregiving may not be glamourous, but it is definitely a calling and kudos to all of you who have joined in this special journey during the Sandwich Generation season of life! And thank you to Joni and Ken Tada for their prayers for all of us and their wonderful encouragement and ministry to so many! 

Now, how about you? What's your favorite book that encourages you in a closer walk with Jesus? We'd love to hear.

P.S. Here's a smaller version of the Bible verse as well as a coloring page of it for your grandkids. You could help them glue the smaller copy to cardboard, attach a clip to it, and voila – a cute and encouragement bookmark – great for homeschooling projects or just fun around the house. Hmmmm…Mother's Day is coming up soon… 🙂 

Encouraging Bible Verses from Joni & Ken

Spiritual Sundays are full of encouraging and comforting BIble verses and praise music to lift the hearts of the Sandwich Generation

Be blessed by words of Christian encouragement and inspiration for the Sandwich Generation at Faith-filled Friday

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun