Sandwich generation: a term I’d overheard at a business meeting recently that encompassed exactly the season of life I was currently in. I was raising a school age child and taking care of my 85 year old mother daily in Westchester, NY. I’d been smacked right in the middle of a generation sandwich and hadn’t realized it until then. At that moment, I knew it was time for a change.
A Desire For Change
After learning about the sandwich generation, I went on a quest to learn as much information about it as possible. Various research studies indicated that family caregivers often suffer from financial stress, personal stress, and depression due to the immense responsibility sitting on their shoulders. I could definitely relate and I wanted to figure out how to fix it.
I came across several caregiver support groups where many individuals suggested various types of care options. The care option that stood out to me was home care, but I knew I didn’t currently need it as a long-term solution. I also knew my mother wouldn’t readily agree to that and I wanted to respect her wishes. One individual mentioned respite care as a solution when she’s travels out of town. That’s when a light bulb clicked for me!
Respite Care in Westchester, NY
I immediately began searching of respite care options in Westchester, NY and came across an article by Caring People Inc. The article explained exactly what respite care is and provided strong points as to why the sandwich generation needed it. I still had some concerns, however. How could I trust a stranger to care for my mother? How would my mom react to a caregiver? What would be the cost for something like this? Would I be able to select my caregiver?
The next day, I called Caring People Inc. and was connected with a Case Manager. I told her my concerns regarding respite care and she was very understanding. She reassured me that all caregivers go through a few rounds of interviews and must pass a background check. The Case Manager also explained that they’d be able to match my mom with a caregiver after assessing her needs.
The fact that the Case Manager seemed so knowledgeable and compassionate made me think that this is something worth giving a try.
Setting-up The In-Home Assessment
After the Case Manager answered all of my questions, I decided that I’d like to set-up an in-home consultation. I no longer felt the same level of anxiety about respite care services as I had initially. I also no longer felt bad about considering it as an option.
In the beginning, I felt like I was giving up on my mom, but I realized that I was really doing this to benefit her more. Those breaks would allow me to come back refreshed to care for both her and my child. If you’re in a similar situation you should remind yourself that you simply cannot pour from an empty cup. Choosing to care for yourself is one way you’ll also be able to care for your loved ones.
I never heard this term before, but it makes so much sense!