The Sandwich Generation

  1. Is anyone here with me? :uhoh21: I've got a 16 y/o son, my aging parents, a cat, and oh yeah, I'm a nurse. There is something the matter with this scenario. Dad is a cardiac patient, he has had two triple bypasses in the past 10 years, and is being worked up again for new angina now. (Newly rx'd Ranexa, stress test two days ago...) He had a stroke February 2006 and is aphasic, and was diagnosed with dementia about 5 years BEFORE that. He is completely loony, but in a lovable way. Mom is diabetic (thank God she's pretty compliant and controlled!), has PVD and occasional angina, seems depressed, and was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis last year. I moved in with them after my divorce and during the time of dad's last CABG. My son has a hearing loss, won't wear his hearing aids, and has occasional hematuria when he gets a viral or bacterial throat infection. (But with him, the biggest thing is he's a TEENAGER!!!!) I have HTN, borderline cholesterol, and hyperparathyoidism, being worked up. I think I also have a bone spur on the bottom of my left foot.
    I manage the finances, although mom keeps the checkbook, and pays the bills, after we review them. I do all of the shopping, and 2/3 of the cooking. I have now arranged a financial advisor, a CPA for the taxes (dad was an accountant and always did their taxes himself, before the stroke), a cleaning service...I'm thinking about getting LifeAlert for them, because daddy would NOT be able to dial 9-1-1 if anything happened to him or to mom during the time no one is at home.
    Is there anyone out there dealing with aging/sick parents and children? Why aren't there more posts about this? There is an online support group on Yahoo that I have joined. I just think more nursing-types would get themselves into this predicament, because we are caretakers by nature.
    Thanks for listening. If anyone is in the same situation, please let me know, maybe we could correspond a little! THANKS!!!
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   muffie
    good luck with all your stuff karen
  4. by   GardenDove
    My mother died 15 years ago and my father fortunately lives 1200 miles away and has a younger girlfriend who will probably get most of his money, so I don't need to deal with aging parents.
  5. by   hikernurse
    Yep, I've been there. We took care of one set of aging parents in our house for several years and are starting with the next . . . We've also got a passel of children, plus school, work and church. It's tough. It's funny, when you have a baby you get on some mailing list (must be GPS attached to the pg test, LOL) right away, but when you take care of parents, it's hard to find any support out there.

    I would think a lot of nurses would be in this same situation since we do tend to be caregivers on and off the clock and also tend to be responsible for the medical side of our parents--which increases each year. You're definitely right about that. Although, I would definitely opt to take care of the very young and the very old before the teenagers They can be a much bigger handful, can't they?
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    *sigh*

    Hugs to you.
  7. by   DDRN4me
    I feel like i am the middle of a double decker some days. Mom is in her 70s and her mom just turned 98. Nana lives far away so when she is ill my aunt (in her 60s ) expects me ( a pedi nurse) to give her advice...and then doesnt listen if its not what she wants to hear Add my dh and 2 dd's.....makes me crazy!!!!At one point i had Nana here with an allergic rxn to a bee sting, Mom with a fx knee and dd post op hip surgery!!!
    Calgon take me away!!!
  8. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    My folks are in their late 60s. My dad's health is poor. I am the only girl and I live the closest (2 brothers). My daughter is 14. It is very difficult to be in the sandwich generation. Worried about folks and teens in the same day! Just the other day, my dad fell while getting out of the tub. He didn't hurt himself, but I was talking to my mom and we don't know what we are going to do if he can't at least do his ADLs. My mom is still in relatively good health...keeping my fingers crossed.

    My dad is on massive amounts of pain medication due to chronic back pain and my mom has to "watch" how many he takes. My dad has an electric w/c. He can walk short distances with his walker but rarely does. I think the fall scared him some and now he is trying to walk more to keep his strength up. My dad is the kinda a person who wants a magic pill to fix everything. My mom has arthritis and needs a knee replacement. Lately my dad has been forgetting things and then gets mad at my mom because he can't remember. Hope its the meds and not the beginnings of Alzheimer's.

    To KJRN79: bless you- your situation is 10X worse than mine. I know it must be rough.

    Feel free to PM if you need to vent...
    Last edit by General E. Speaking, RN on Mar 9, '07 : Reason: oops...
  9. by   compassion1
    Hugs to you all. And prayers for you all. I've been in those boots. My parents are gone now so I've just got the "kids". That can still be hard enough. May God give you the strength you need and the peace in your heart that you need to survive. :kiss :flowersfo :icon_hug:
  10. by   Halinja
    I'm getting there quick. Still have one of four boys at home, he's just 12. Parents both around 78. And their health has just gone to hot places in a handbasket this last year. I'm graduating in June and then getting my tail up to be nearer them, as they are not going to be able to be independent much longer. It's scary. I'm just getting ready to enter a whole new world, as a single Mom after 20 some odd yrs of being a married SAHM, and now I'll be dealing with taking care of the folks too. My other siblings have all been basically disowned by my parents, so there won't be much help coming from them.

    It's a great life if you don't weaken! (john buchan, 1919)
  11. by   KJRN79
    What do you all do for fun? People ask me that quite often. I don't have an answer. "um, I sleep", doesn't quite come across right. Does it feel better to talk about it? Does anyone need suggestions/ have suggestions? Does it feel better to know you are not alone?
    My ds was in a regional musical competition yesterday. My dad doesn't understand what it was and my mom is cranky because she couldn't come and is actively (like moaning about it) feeling sorry for herself. She had her kids, let me enjoy my one son!!! For goodness sakes!!!
  12. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from KJRN79
    What do you all do for fun? People ask me that quite often. I don't have an answer. "um, I sleep", doesn't quite come across right. Does it feel better to talk about it? Does anyone need suggestions/ have suggestions? Does it feel better to know you are not alone?
    My ds was in a regional musical competition yesterday. My dad doesn't understand what it was and my mom is cranky because she couldn't come and is actively (like moaning about it) feeling sorry for herself. She had her kids, let me enjoy my one son!!! For goodness sakes!!!
    Well, I work the weekend program at my hospital and hope to be in a transitional nsg program in May. Then the real fun begins. I have been taking pre-reqs since Fall of 2004 (part time while working full time) and finally have all to apply to 2 programs. Fun? hmmm I like to sleep too (hehe) seems I am forever getting up either for school or work. I haven't been able to have any real fun lately- most events are on the weekends. I'm in Texas and we love to go to all the festivals that the small towns have. In the summer we usually go and float the Comal river in an intertube (toobin'). sooo much fun!! If I'm not working, in class, studying or cleaning I am usually chauffeuring my 14 yo daughter and her buddies around.

    awesome for your ds- what instrument does he play? My dd played (I use that term lightly) cello for a couple of years but lost interest.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    rough times . bless you
  14. by   hikernurse
    Hey KJ, you do need to take out time for fun--and sleep, too . We've spent several years not doing anything without taking the in-laws along because we couldn't leave them alone. That includes vacations, etc--which meant driving two cars since there isn't room in just one for all three generations. I recently found out that our county has a lot of respite programs that I wish I could have taken advantage of. They have volunteers who will come and sit while we could have gone out as a family.

    You know, you hear about "granny dumping" and while we never did that, I can sure see why some families would need the respite.

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