Healthy Living Blog – Caregiving Concerns within the Sandwich Generation: Part 1

Healthy Living Blog – Caregiving Concerns within the Sandwich Generation: Part 1

The “sandwich” generation is made up of middle-aged adults who care for both their growing children and their aging loved ones. These adults may be the primary caregiver of their loved ones who have a chronic health disease, disability, or mental illness. Some of these sandwich generation caregivers may be giving care while also working at their jobs. This can cause them a lot of stress and lead them to have poor mental health. November is National Family Caregivers Month, so it’s important to highlight the selfless caregiving that the sandwich generation provides to their families.

Stressors for the sandwich generation

Having to care for two generations is not easy. The sandwich generation caregivers may experience:

  • Burnout
  • Sleep issues
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Depression

How these stressors affect health

These stressors can lead to poor physical and mental health outcomes for caregivers, including:

  • High levels of stress hormones
  • Getting sick for longer because of a weaker immune response
  • Higher risk for obesity
  • Higher risk for mental health issues

Managing the stress

To relieve stress, sandwich generation caregivers can:

  • Ask for help. This can include hiring professional cleaners or drivers to help with some responsibilities.
  • Have a support system. Spending time with friends or joining a support group can give you support outside of the household.
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure to eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep, and do activities or hobbies that are enjoyable. Talk to your family to create boundaries so that you can have time to focus on yourself.
  • Seek a professional mental health provider if the stress becomes too much to handle.

Have questions or curious to learn more?  Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor.  AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!