Rising to the Sandwich Generation Challenge

For many parents, caring and providing for their immediate family is proving to be a bit difficult these days...especially for some people who make up the so-called 'Sandwich Generation'. The Sandwich Generation refers to those between the ages of 40 and 60 who are not just caring for their own children but also helping their aging parents.

The term Sandwich Generation was coined over 25 years ago by social worker, Dorothy Miller, and since then the catchphrase 'Sandwichers' started to become more widely used. In addition to raising their own children and caring for their aging parents, many people in this group are also contemplating their own retirement. These people therefore find themselves being 'sandwiched' between their young children and aged parents.

If you are a Sandwicher, then here are some tips that might help you successfully cope with the various challenges associated with this generation. As a member of this group, you should make sure that you pay attention to your nutritional and physical needs. You have to be practical with everything that you do. For many people in this generation, it is quite easy to forget about their health concerns. Most don't have enough time to eat a healthy balanced meal, leaving them with the only option of take-away meals and highly processed convenience food.

It's good to have a long, healthy and happy life even as you care for your loved ones. When it comes to eating, ensure that you eat healthy meals regularly and in the right-size portions. You should cut down on your intake of junk food and focus more on eating whole grains and other healthy carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates get digested slowly, which help you feel fuller for longer. This also keeps the insulin and blood sugar levels stable.

Reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet but don't avoid it completely...your body still requires some saturated fat for several systemic functions, especially the endocrine system. One thing to remember is that regardless of how busy you are, ensure you start your day with a healthy breakfast, however small it may be.

This will help you avoid the unhealthy snacking mainly associated with people who have a busy lifestyle and tend to skip breakfast. On the flip side to this, avoid eating late at night. Also make drinking enough water a regular habit.

In addition to eating healthy, you should also get some time to exercise, even if it means getting the whole family involved. This way you will help reduce the risk of developing various hypokinetic diseases such as heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

Exercising will also help improve your stability and flexibility, in addition to reducing stress, anxiety and depression, ultimately boosting your overall mood and emotional wellbeing. Even moderate activities like domestic chores, gardening, or walking can contribute to good health. Ensure you get enough sleep to keep you feeling more rested. It may be difficult as a Sandwicher to fi nd the time to get some rest, but take every opportunity you can get. Find some time for other forms of relaxation too. These include activities like playing games with the family or watching a fun movie.

Natural dietary supplements may also help support the health and wellbeing of many people making up the Sandwich Generation. Supplements may help support your nutritional needs by filling certain 'gaps' left in your diet due to various factors, including the nutrient defi ciency affecting many crops and products these days. For example, omega 3 fish oil is a great supplement to take daily due to the many different benefits associated with fish oil. It contains omega 3 fatty acids like DHA which is readily absorbed by the brain, nourishing it and therefore helping the rest of body maintain optimum health and function.

It's important to emphasize the importance of taking time out of your busy schedule, especially as a member of the Sandwich Generation, to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. This will help you not only reduce the risk of developing life changing ailments and degenerative conditions; it will help you manage stress better and cope with various daily challenges associated with the busy society in which we live.

Stress management is very important for Sandwichers. While there is a large number of stress management techniques, one that is gaining popularity is the notion and understanding that stress is all in the mind. By disconnecting your mind on the factors contributing to your stress, you'll be able to not only manage stress more effectively, you'll also be able to think clearer as well as improve your focus and concentration levels. It doesn't really matter what stress management technique you do...what is important is doing one that you enjoy, so you're more likely to continue it and ultimately reap the relaxing benefits associated with effective stress management.

Senior care is a big part of what dealing with the challenges associated with the Sandwich Generation is all about. One of the emerging trends in senior care is the franchising of many different senior home care agencies and professionals who can help senior citizens manage their health better in the comfort of their home. Various forms of health technologies and equipment such as support units and rails for the bedroom and bathroom as well as medical alert monitors and slip-free floor strips help empower the elderly by making their lives a little easier and safer.

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