Senior Living Advice: Generations continue search to find right balance in daily life
By Beth Dow, Solutions By Beth
The Sandwich Generation was a term first coined by Dorothy A. Miller in 1981.
Miller originally used it to refer to women in their 30s and 40s, who were taking care of their children, while having to meet the demands of their parents and employers. The term has since grown to include both men and women, and due to societal changes and an increase in our longevity, is now affecting many generations.
The Sandwich Generation still refers to those trying to balance children, parents and jobs, but now also includes balancing grandchildren, retirement, leisure time and the health of the person trying to do it all. The issue doesn’t seem to end or resolve.
The Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 to 1955), has been joined by Generation Jones (born mid-50s to mid-60s) and the Baby Busters Generation (born between mid-60s to 1980).
Three generations of people, and a fourth one coming fast, trying to figure out how to do it all and stay healthy. The truth is you can’t.
No one can. So, we settle for being stressed out, overweight, over or under medicated, tired, putting our dreams on hold… for just a little while longer.
We let promotions, or job transfers, pass us by. We delay our “second acts” of retirement, we postpone that “trip of a lifetime,” we allow guilt to control our decisions. We allow close relationships to suffer or let prospective relationships go. We try to make everyone happy then fail at doing so and once again feel guilty.
What are we doing?!?!
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something repeatedly and expecting the same result.
As Susan Powter, motivational speaker of the 1990s used to scream, “Stop the Insanity!” I am telling you, it is time to do something different.
I often tell folks some variation of this statement, “It is your job, your responsibility, to be sure that a loved one’s needs are taken care of and they are safe. It is not your responsibility to do it by yourself. Sometimes the best care you can give to someone is care that is not provided by you.”
Often, immobility is caused by lack of information or lack of time. We don’t know how to find help or we know there is help there but we just don’t have time to research it.
There are people who can help you find services: home care, meal preparation, transportation. There are people who can help you find housing and legal help. And there are people who can help you develop a plan that will reduce your stress and guilt. If you would like help in getting connected with someone who can help you, email me at [email protected].
I don’t have all the answers, but I know lots of folks, and I am confident one of them can help you find your answer.