What’s Your Sandwich (Generation) Situation? Caring for Seniors in Oceanside?

Sandwich generation caregivers face many challengesHave you got sandwich on the brain? The Thanksgiving food coma has passed but there’s still turkey and ham to be dealt with…mmm, sandwich…. If that’s the kind of sandwich you’re thinking of, this is not the post for you right now — but it might apply to your life, so please come back. This post deals more with the prep-work needed for a family sandwich, for instance, if you are responsible for in-home caregivers in Oceanside.

The Sandwich

If your search for sandwich ideas led you here, please don’t go away frustrated. Check out ideas for making your own sandwich rolls or bread from scratch; creative condiments , and ideas for sandwiches that won’t bore you. If “sandwich” was just your last resort, not your craving, also check out these ideas for making your leftovers into a new meal.

The Sandwich Generation

Please read on if you came for information on the family sandwich. If you have parents, children, and perhaps grandchildren in your life, you have the makings of a family sandwich. People who provide financial or physical (or both) care for their parents and for children or grandchildren are sometimes referred to as the Sandwich Generation.

The Signs

Perhaps right now you are only supporting your own children or grandchildren. Have you prepared for the possibility of being sandwiched?

  • Have you reached the realization that your parents are no longer the forces of nature you remember?
  • Are there dust bunnies in your parents’ home where you never expected to see any?
  • Did your daughter spend Thanksgiving answering to your sister’s name?
  • Have you made a plan for what comes next?

Preparing for the Sandwich

Picture the scene: You’re feeling like you could eat a little something and decide on a sandwich. You start at the fridge and pull out everything you need to make the perfect Dagwood. Then you go to the breadbox and…it’s empty. Somebody used the last slice and didn’t replace the loaf (maybe it was you). No bread, no sandwich…what now? Had you planned ahead you could be enjoying your meal right now instead of trying to figure out what to do.

Planning the Other Sandwich

You need to check the inventory of your fridge and pantry before you make a sandwich to eat. You need to check the inventory of your assets, liabilities, and resources before life makes you the middle of the sandwich. Before Mom calls and tells you that Dad fell and she needs help taking care of him, you need to know how to respond. What will be done? Who will do it? You need a plan.

Action Versus Reaction

It’s better to act than to react. Decisions made when life is calm are likely to be better thought out than those made in the middle of a crisis. Sit down with everyone involved and have an open, if difficult, discussion.

Some Things to Consider

  • What do your parents want if they become incapacitated by accident or illness?
  • Who will make decisions for your parents if they are unable to do so?
  • Where will your parents live?
  • Who will care for them?
  • What kind of support (financial, physical, etc.) will each family member provide?

This is not a comprehensive list by any means. If you may soon find yourself caring for your children and your elderly parents, consider this list a starting point. If you are ready for more information this article covers information from the list and other legal and financial considerations in detail. If you are already in the sandwich, now might be a good time to work out any answers you don’t already have. It’s also a good time to help others in your situation.

What kinds of things do you know now that you wish you’d known starting out? What are you still unsure about?

Blogs by Members of the Sandwich Generation

Sandwiched – Musings and information from someone in the middle
Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna – “A blog about parenting, aging, aging parents, and being part of the Sandwich Generation”
SandwichINK.com – “Information and Encouragement for The Sandwich Generation and Other Multi-Generational Caregivers”


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Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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