During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when people talked about family dynamics it would probably have conjured up images of “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver” where everyone got along or any problems they had were magically resolved within the 30-minute time slot. Not so today! Family dynamics are so very complicated that it probably has some folks thinking a trip to the nostalgic days of the syrupy sitcoms wouldn’t be so bad!
Today family structure, just like society at large, has undergone tremendous changes and it is even more evident since the Boomer generation has grown so significantly. While the nuclear family -- with Dad, Mom, and offspring happily coexisting beneath one roof-remains the ideal, the addition of an aging grandparent or two makes for a much more complicated scenario and one that has been termed “Sandwich Generation.” You are a part of this generation, if you are sandwiched in between the needs of your parent and the needs of your spouse and kids. It also means you are probably stretched to your limits. Being a caregiver for your parent and being a parent yourself significantly increases the demands on your time, energy, health and finances – not to mention putting a strain on your marriage and your relationship with your kids.
A recent AARP article states,
“The ‘Sandwich Generation’ is dealing with one of the most elaborate juggling acts – caring for an elderly parent, parenting their own children while working a full time job. Nearly 66 million Americans are care givers and the average care giver is a 49 year old woman who not only holds down a job but also spends about 19 hours a week providing care to a loved one”.
If you're looking for a comprehensive resource for family caregivers, check out our online Family Caregiver Guide.
mmLearn.org is dedicated to providing support and training available to caregivers of older adults with over 300 FREE on-demand videos. Theresa Barron-McKeaney, PhD, presents Family Dynamics for Caregivers, just one of the many free videos to help the caregiver feel more confident in their caregiving role.