The Sandwich Generation: Caring for Our Aged

Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash

Our aged patient was wheeled in by a distraught daughter and son and checking on their phones if it was time to pick up their child from school. This scenario is very common all over the world, an entire generation sandwiched between caring for the elderly, and their children with little or no time for themselves! 

While we think about our elderly, we are also forgetting the people that surround them. Geriatric care’s reality extends beyond many generations most of the time and also communities and worlds. How then can we help them? What are they facing? What do we know about them? 

Here are key points I came to experience and face with those aged: 

  1. Many elderly people still believe in the culture of their children caring for them as they age until their deaths.
  2. Economical challenges that the elderly faced and hence their mindsets on planning with precision for their futures were not part of their core beliefs. 
  3. Mental health during our aged’s times was nonexistent, they had to be tough no matter what the circumstances were and they expect the same from their children and future generations. This could and has lead to a lot of misconceptions, disharmony, and inability to follow through on help, etc.
  4. Health was wealth but healthcare was not available easily, hence relying on natural care was more appropriate and still revered by the elderly. 
  5. The ability to hear and listen to the new generation’s issues not nearly as appreciated as we thought should be.
  6.  Time was not a barrier then and things went smoothly and not in a hurry and it made them uneasy, distraught, and unconventional to embrace the quick pace of the current lifestyle. 
  7. Trust was hard to come by during the hard times they faced and validation by peers was welcomed. 
  8. Routines were strict and set and had to be followed, while carefree, do as you please or what works was not accepted.
  9. Procrastination was common, because of the scarcity of resources and abundance still looked as surprising or worthy. 
  10. There was no place for mistakes and things had to be right than wrong many times depending on the situation. 

While these norms are norms that will stay forever, it is best to understand the intent behind these, so every age has the opportunity to be treated with dignity, integrity, love, and respect. In doing so, we would know what or how it feels to be in that sandwich generation, like the daughter and son as in the above real incident. 

We would love to hear your thoughts, comments, feedbacks as always, as we are here for mihygge for all. Thank you. 

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