10 Ways to Bless the Sandwich Generation

Parents are often playing the role of caregivers to older family members as well. Here’s how you can help.

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Posted in , Jul 19, 2017

10 Ways to Bless the Sandwich Generation

Have you ever accidentally squished a sandwich by sitting on your lunch bag? I imagine that’s the pressure some people feel as they juggle raising their children while taking care of aging parents or a chronically ill spouse. What can we do to help friends or family who are struggling to manage all these responsibilities? Here are a few ideas: 

1) Offer your help. And make sure it’s known that your offer is genuine, not just a polite gesture.

2) Pick up the phone and call. Sometimes caring for two generations (especially if dementia is involved) means the caregiver never has a normal adult conversation. Just hearing a pleasant voice and knowing that someone cares can make a huge difference.

3) Make clear that their conversations with you are safe. They can let off steam without being judged.

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4) Let them know you’re praying for them. Ask for specific requests.

5) Fix dinner and take it to them. Bake a cake or prepare several meals they can just remove from the freezer and heat up at mealtime. Or give them some restaurant gift cards, particularly to places that will make home deliveries.

6) Come for a visit. Fold the laundry or do the dishes while you talk with your friend.

7) Offer to run errands. That will help an exhausted mom or dad or caregiver mark one thing off a long list of to-do items.

8) If it’s not a problem from a medical perspective, offer to sit with the ill family member so the caregiver can spend quality time with his or her own children. Sometimes caring for a loved one with a chronic illness means that they never have time for things like shopping with their daughters for a prom dress or attending their son’s ballgame.

9) Or find a second friend and tag-team to stay with the children and the family member who needs care. Send your friends on a date night. Caregiving can be rough on a marriage.

10) Do fun things yourself with their children. Even little ones pick up on stress and can become resentful if they feel like they’re no longer the top priority for their parents.

Be a blessing, and God will bless you as well.

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