The Sandwich Generation: Tips on Achieving Harmony and Balance
When you start a family, your focus is on your partner and children. But soon, your own parents start leaning on you more for emotional support. As your parents age, they will also naturally need medical assistance — and this can take a toll on your finances. In Singapore, for instance, healthcare costs for the elderly are expected to rise tenfold in the next 15 years. Additionally, your children may continue to rely on your financial assistance past their teenage years due to rising student loans and uncertain employment.
Here are some simple ways you can support both generations while taking care of yourself.
1. Make Medical Check-ups a Family Habit
While your children may be too carefree to think about their health, your parents may be too considerate to talk to you about their health problems. Make it a family habit to schedule regular medical check-ups, and ensure that you accompany your parents for these check-ups. In the event they display symptoms of a more serious illness, you can you look into a clearer diagnosis and get treated early.
2. Consider Flexible Working Options
Distance often adversely affects a parent-child relationship. If your parents need more support, consider moving in with them or living closer to them. In the past you may have had to quit your job, but today you could negotiate options like working remotely from home to be near to your parents, or working part-time.
3. Start Saving Up for a Rainy Day
With ageing parents and growing children, a big financial commitment is always around the corner. Be prepared with an emergency savings fund or medical insurance. Often you are still the only member of the family, supporting your children and your parents financially. So make sure that their lives are not affected should something happen to you.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Constantly giving your time and energy to others can impact your own emotional state. Take breaks often and find time to relax with your friends. Keep yourself physically active so that your own health is the least of your worries.
It takes time and effort to love. For the sandwich generation supporting both their children and their parents, this may take its toll. With the above simple steps you can find balance and take care of your own health.
For more on how you can protect your loved ones, read more.