multigenerational caregiving

Have you ever noticed how the Sandwich Generation seasons can ebb and flow as time goes by.

The Sandwich Generation issues are tough but love can see us through

The Sandwich Generation Issues Began Early

I first entered the Sandwich Generation when helping with my elderly grandmother while my mom was working full-time. So I spent many days out overseeing grandma with my 1 year – mostly at home, but sometimes in hospital waiting room when grandpa was sick.

Sandwich Generation Issues with Neighbor

Later, I was kinda sorta in the Sandwich Generation for a couple of years while helping an adopted grandma (our next-door neighbor) after her husband died while raising 3 kids under 6. We loved her mightily and enjoyed helping her, bringing her home-made bread and taking her to the grocery store, doctor’s and the occasional bridge game.

Long-Distance Sandwich Generation Caregiving

Next on the list of Sandwich Generation issues? It was my step-mom-in-law in Southern California when we were in Northern California. Distance does add to the challenge. We were able to match her up with another senior relative – and they lived together for a few years, with us just overseeing them. It was a true blessing for both as they literally saved each other’s lives at least once each! (Not quite a Golden Girls scenario, but similar.)

One of the many tools of the Sandwich Generation caregiver along with elastic waist pants canes and more

Sandwich Generation to the Max

My dad and mom and I rejoined the Sandwich Generation when they moved closer to us just as my first grandkid was born. First it was just helping a bit here and there, then walking daily and supervising regularly as my senior dad‘s Parkinson’s Disease progressed. And finally, they moved in with us for the last six months of my dad’s life. Since then, mom and I have made a “good team” as we like to say, helping each other while I helped with many more sweet grandkids. Her health is not as great as before along with other issues, but we’re doing ok.

More Long Distance Sandwich Generation Issues

The latest Sandwich Generation chapter has begun with a sweet elderly relative several states away while I am currently enjoying helping with my newest grandbaby. She has been having major health woes and will most likely be moving into assisted living or a skilled nursing facility. Those will entail new challenges for both of us. And new learning opportunities to share with y’all. I’ll keep you posted. (And YES – any advice and suggestions are welcome as well – either in the comments or at our Facebook page – @SandwichINKforTheSandwichGeneration.)


Merry Christmas to the Sandwich Generation and others visiting for the Caregiving Holiday Progressive Blog Party - with this cute country clipartWelcome to – where we talk about multigenerational caregiving, grandkid fun, and encouragement for those caring for their elderly parents.

MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Do enjoy some hot cocoa and a tasty bite of gingerbread cookie – this was a delightful gift to me from the very sweet Denise Brown of – the hostess of this delightful annual blog party for caregivers.



Then click here to be wisked off to the REST of the blog party fun, including a drawing for an Amazon gift certificate. Thank you for stopping by and again, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas cute country clipart for the Sandwich Generation



Water is always a blessing and a strong need - in the summer that is doubly so - especially for our elderly parentsSummertime woes and it isn't even the middle of spring! Ahhh, but tell that to the weatherman! 🙂 While Denver has yet another late snowstorm, we keep going back and forth between winter and summer. And in the midst of that, we discovered our air conditioner had died! I'm quite grateful we found out nice and early and that it's already back up, and running as I speak…err…type.

As I explained at SandwichINK Real Estate Info, that pesky little incident did remind me of some important seasonal tips to help all of us caring for the beloved aging parents in our families, like:

  1. Be proactive in preparing for any outage during extreme weather – hot or cold, power-related or equipment-related. So stock up on plenty of batteries, TONS of water bottles, lots of candles, flashlights and other battery-operated lights, and loads of easy to serve food like soup cans, V-8, crackers, etc. (Might want to throw in some good books and magazines while you're at it.  And for all of us multigenerational caregivers, that can include comic books and easy readers for the grandkids as well as some fun mysteries and gardening magazines for our senior parents.)
  2. Make sure all of our portable computer equipment, cell phones, iPad, iPods, etc. are caught up on charging as much as possible – especially if a storm is predicted (BUT BE SURE TO UNPLUG THEM ONCE ANY STORM ARRIVES). And once the storm has passed, if the power has gone out and stays out, don't overlook free wifi restaurants in surrounding cities that DO have power. I lived at a local Panera's for a couple of days, just to keep up with computing I had to do. And thoroughly enjoyed their good food while I was at it. 
  3. After spending two days without power on days that were very warm but not quite as hot as summer, I'm thinking about getting a second battery-operated fan just for such an emergency. We've never used the one we have, but if we ever need it, I know it will be MUCH appreciated!
  4. Make sure you can put easily put your hands on your emergency radios to keep apprised of the latest storm news. I, personally, like the hand crank ones in case the situation lasts so long we even run out of batteries. 
  5. Make sure you, AND your senior parents if they live elsewhere, have at least one wired phone in your house. If the power goes out and the cell phone battery runs down, you'll be SO glad you did! Of course, if the whole phone line goes down, hopefully you can conserve that smart phone battery longer. 🙂
  6. If you do experience power outages and inconveniences, MAKE SURE you and your senior parents drink lots of water throughout as dehydration can be a serious problem on a good day. And a much worse problem in the midst of this kind of situation! 

Wow! It's amazing what a brief period of no air conditioner on a hot day can do to my imagination, isn't it? And now, it's your turn. Got more suggestions? We'd love to hear them! 

An interesting magazine can help keep the Sandwich Generation more patient during long caregiving waits"I can't believe I've been here TWO HOURS!"

"If this doctor doesn't take me in SOON, I'm leaving! I can find another one!"

"I am so frustrated – this is ridiculous that I have to wait so long to be seen!"

While I may not totally disagree with the comments above, long waits in the doctor's office have been a fact of life for me for over 30 years! These comments were made by three people who got to chatting in my senior mom's newest doctor's office – and promptly turned it into a total complaining session. And were quite loud about it. Yes, we all had a long wait. No, they didn't explain why. But the complaining just made things much worse.

And to be honest, I've found that doctor's offices and hospital trips have one definite thing in common – long waits. Sure, we can sit there and be bored and moan and groan about it. But why? My mom has always brought books with her and this was no exception. She sat there and enjoyed some reading time while I worked on my iPhone. I answered two emails that couldn't wait, checked on some websites like EldercareABC for my latest guest post, Seniors For Living for the latest Eldercarechat, and 5 Minutes for Mom for the latest update on the very fun Ultimate Blog Party 2013 (YES – you are also invited 🙂 ), and even enjoyed some Carcassonne fun to give my brain some healthy exercise.

Join Kaye Swain of the Sandwich Generation at the biggest blog party around - the Ultimate Blog Party 2013 at 5 Minutes For Mom -dates

When we got inside, I was so proud of my senior mom. She made a comment to the nurse's assistant, thanking her for being so nice. She made that gal's day!

Yes, doctors do schedule appointments back to back. If they don't, the people who are late or just don't come in leave huge holes in their schedule. And yes, they do get behind when talking to some patients. I always ask a lot of questions and I'm so grateful when they all get answered. And sometimes, they have to go to the hospital to help their patients there. And sometimes their day just doesn't go the way they wanted. Boy, I can SOOOO relate to that – how about you? (Can you tell I'm saying all the things I would have liked to have said there – but didn't as I did NOT want to start a huge brouhahahahaha ! 🙂 )

Quick tip for the Sandwich Generation - When headed for the doctors office or hospital be sure to grab a book - a smart phone - or something else to pass the time

I just make sure, when I go to the doctor's office – for myself or my senior mom, that I block out several hours on my calendar and take plenty to keep me busy while we wait (perhaps that interesting eldercare magazine at the top of this post 🙂 ). Then I can keep my cool, get a lot of work done, and go home with all my questions answered and a positive sense of accomplishment.

And unfortunately, from what I'm hearing from our doctor's offices – due to the many changes taking place from the federal government on down – those waits may be getting longer! It definitely pays to be prepared for it, especially when the Sandwich Generation is keeping us so busy. What do you think? 


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


The Sandwich Generation can find sweet words of encouragement in the Women helping Women linkup


Rednesday adds a fun seasoning to the day of the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren