You know what? On the heels of composing my series about a typical caregiver’s day, I realized something.
While a lot of my writing orients toward championing the beleaguered Sandwich Generation, there exist some further distinctions. Coaching and workshop clients have mentioned these. I’d therefore like to extend huge kudos to three types of people for ALL they deal with daily.
Caregivers with Their Own Growing Families
This is the classic definition. You so often feel like a burnt-out triple-decker cheese sandwich! Life bombards you from every direction. Your children are growing up to establish their own careers and/or families. You may even be a hip Grammie or Grandad. On the other hand, your parents are declining rapidly and you’re vainly striving to maintain balance amidst the intensity. Between work and multiple competing responsibilities, you’re bushed!
Adult to Challenged Child
In my second book in this realm, Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare, I commended the Canadian government for funding devoted toward citizens contending with special burdens. These regard supporting a young or adult child who is challenged physically, emotionally and/or mentally. When you add onto these individuals’ burdensome load care of aging relatives, it shouldn’t be hard to locate true empathy for their plight.
Spouse, Relative, Friend
Having survived (and I mean that quite literally) my father through to his passing-away, I thought I was “done”. That was, until my cousin’s sudden hospitalization. More on that later… For now, I wish to acknowledge the many Angels who offer compassion to relatives besides parents. Several friends in my circles provide practical, financial and legal backing to neighbors because they have no one else to look after them. How sad.
Welcome to the Aging Population Reality
That said, there may well be other combinations I’ve not even thought of. Either way, these scenarios are increasingly the norm as exploding numbers of (especially) Baby Boomers struggle TODAY – not in some far-distant future, as some would like to imagine.
Trapped by impossible demands, I leave the exhausted with an important reminder from Vernon Howard, spiritual teacher and philosopher:
“Another hypocritical morality is when other people press upon you a false sense of duty. They tell you what you owe them. Don’t fall for demands to be unselfish. The simple truth is, they want something from you, though they call it by a noble name. Your first duty is toward yourself.”
I see his call to action about the criticality to practice self-care. To learn how I can help you navigate what is nothing short of a grueling eldercare marathon, please check out my Coaching page at www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com.