Being in the sandwich generation can make life feel like a “house of cards”

david_meistrell

April 20, 2011

There are approximately 20 million Americans who are currently taking care of children while tending to the needs of older adults, and stress is often a daily occurrence for these individuals. When they're not busy dropping the kids off at school, they're rushing to Mom's house to bring her to a doctor's appointment.

The arrangement leaves hardly any time for a break and the result is a delicate balance of responsibilities that can collapse at any time. Community relations consultant Marcia Hines told The Kansas City Star that a caregiver's life can become a "house of cards" in this situation.

"If just one small dynamic changes," she said. "Everything falls out of place."

Caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed may want to consider installing an elderly alert system in a loved one's home. This device allows users to immediately send a personal emergency response message if they require assistance. This could help add an extra sense of security to the day and afford the family with some much-needed peace of mind.

Careers may also be affected by this constant juggling act, and not many companies have support programs in place to help workers. In this case, experts suggest reaching out to family and friends who may be able to share the burden while one goes to the office.