The dog has to go to the vet, your daughter needs a ride to volleyball, and the office just called. But right now, your Dad needs help putting his shoes on.
Life gets complicated when everybody needs you, especially when that everybody includes an aging parent.
According to the Pew Research Center one in eight Americans is caring for aging parents while also tending to families of their own. And this role comes at a price. The University of Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies estimates that as much as 12 percent of women quit their jobs each year to care for loved ones full time. And although this is a labor of love, the American Psychological Association reports that mothers in the “sandwich generation” between the ages of 35 and 54 feel more stress than any other age group.
Caregivers must be the strong ones in the family, but too often the care-giving role sets a person up for serious health problems of her own. Studies show that caregivers have higher rates of mental and physical health problems stemming from stress, self-neglect and exhaustion. In fact, experts now refer to a growing problem known as “caregiver syndrome.”
When caring for loved ones, young and old, self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity. Read on to learn more about how best to care for yourself when caring for others.
Elderly Parents Moving In
The Importance of Caregiver Health and Support