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Stuck in the Middle – Looking on the Bright Side


By Victor Willson at 2012-10-15 04:38:28
It is possible that juggling the needs of your parents and children at the same time can be a good thing?


When given a choice, most people prefer in-home care to living in a nursing or assisted living home. Staying where you feel safe and happy is appealing to anyone, but when you're the one making sure that your loved one is well, in-home care can seem like an overwhelming choice. Add in your own growing children and it can be a recipe for stress, frustration, and exhaustion. You might be surprised to discover that there are some wonderful things about being in the “sandwich generation” that others just might miss out on.


1. Grandparents are Important – Many young people today don't know their grandparents well. They may live far apart and see each other rarely. Grandparents can be great friends and confidants, especially as kids get older and start to pull away from mom and dad. An in-home care situation can give your child an ally when they feel misunderstood.

2. Kids Bring Joy – Even when they are able to stay in-home, care recipients often suffer from depression. Grandparents might spend long hours alone while the rest of the family is busy with school and work. A little bit of time with the grandkids can brighten their outlook.

3. Teamwork and Responsibility – It might be surprising how much in-home care even young kids can help with. Little ones can do simple chores like help put away laundry. School age kids might read to their grandparent or help with meals. Teenagers may drive to appointments, go for walks, and help keep the house clean. In-home care shows them the importance of caring for loved ones, even when it isn't fun and easy.

4. Goodbye Loneliness – Grandparents and grandchildren can keep each other entertained when you need some down time. Although it certainly depends on individual capabilities, often the very old and very young can work together on a craft project or play a game, giving you a little break from the constant in-home care. A quick game of Go Fish or a coloring book might give you a chance to do something that you enjoy.

5. Everyone Needs a Purpose – As people age and are less able to care for themselves, they often feel useless and unwanted. In an in-home care situation, your loved one can find ways to help and avoid those feelings. If they are capable, they can supervise older children, help with homework, or read to them. Folding laundry is another chance for them to work together, as long as you aren't picky about how the towels are folded.


It can be very hard to raise children while providing in-home care for an older family member. Being pulled in different directions is exhausting. It can help to take a step back and look at the other side of things. There are plenty of great things about it also. Your children have an opportunity to know and love their grandparents in a special way.


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