Providing care for aging parents and children at the same time

caring for both children and parents

If you're one of the millions of people caring for both your children and your aging parents, you are part of the so-called "sandwich generation."

Caring for children and parents simultaneously can leave you drained, depressed -- and unhealthy. Empower yourself with knowledge and good health to make the best of a difficult situation:

Plan for the future. Although difficult to address, it's important to discuss such things as living wills, medical power of attorney and even estate planning.

Talk with your children. Discuss the changes taking place and ask for their help and understanding. Reassure them that you are not abandoning them, but you have new responsibilities that may require more of your time and resources.

Take a break every day. Avoid burnout by spending at least a few minutes each day relaxing. Prayer, meditation, or even a short walk can help rejuvenate you.

Delegate. If someone offers to help, take them up on it. Also, hold a family meeting with siblings and extended family to cover topics such as time and financial issues.

Adjust your attitude. The way you perceive a situation will largely determine how stressful that situation is for you. By changing your attitude to a more positive perception, you often can reduce the amount of stress you feel. Set realistic expectations of yourself and your world.

SHOP Amazon's Top 100* Best Selling Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements
+ Free Shipping & Returns on Eligible Items.
(*Amazon's Top 100 list updated hourly.)

Learn to manage time efficiently and focus on improving your communication skills.

Talk with someone who has already been there or take a caregiver training class. You can learn everything from how to properly bathe someone with limited mobility to how to handle medical equipment.

Maintain your health. Eat a balanced diet and don't abandon your exercise routine. Plus, be sure to get at least 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night. This is especially important for care- givers who can be drained emotionally, physically and mentally.

Arm yourself with knowledge. A multitude of resources is available for caregivers.

  • Services -- The web site can help you find local services.
  • Benefits -- At you can find help with any federal, state and local program benefits your relative qualifies for.
  • Assistance programs -- The web site and Tips and Resources for Caregivers by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can help you find which government benefits you may be eligible for and provide information on how to apply for assistance.
  • Tips regarding Long-Term Care, Long-Distance Caregiving and more -- You'll find publications, videos, answers on caring for others (and yourself) at National Institute on Aging: Caregiving

In Canada, visit for information on available assistance.

Above all, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you feel you are drowning in responsibility or are confused about which steps to take, share your concerns with friends, a therapist or clergyman. Recognize that asking for help is a sign of strength, not of weakness.

Sources include:
Caught Between Your Parents and Your Children, D. Wayne Matthews, Human Development Specialist, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

Boise Tips for Healthy Living...

Medication mix ups and accidents are on the rise.
Here are tips for preventing dangerous medication mishaps.
medication mixups

Over the last decade, many adults and seniors have ended up in the hospital because the medications they expected to help them actually hurt them. Unfortunately, bad reactions to medications are on the rise, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Between 1997 and 2008, hospital admissions doubled among Americans aged 45 and older for medication and drug-related conditions. These hospital admissions include the effects of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines as well as illegal drugs.

The AHRQ blames the increase on three types of medication and drug-related conditions:
  1. Drug-induced delirium, which is general confusion and agitation caused by drugs.
    Common causes are drugs for sleeping, nausea and pain. Elderly patients are more sensitive to medicines than younger adults.
  2. Poisoning or overdose from codeine and other narcotic medicines.
    Bad reactions from narcotic pain medicines are especially common in older adults.
  3. Withdrawal from prescribed medicines or illegal drugs.
    Drug withdrawal occurs when someone suddenly stops or takes much less of a drug after being on it for a long time.

You can lower your chance of problems with your medication. First, don't take medicine that is not prescribed for you. Also, remember that it is not safe to drink alcohol when you take medicine for sleeping, pain, anxiety or depression.

To reduce your chances of complications from medicine, the AHRQ offers this checklist:

  • Bring a list or a bag with all your medicines when you go to your doctor's office, the pharmacy or the hospital.
    Include all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements. Remind your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any medicines.
  • Ask questions.
    Ask your doctor or pharmacist to use plain language. It may also help to write down the answers or bring a friend or relative with you.
  • Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered.
    Many drugs look alike and have names that sound alike. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure you have the right medicine.
  • Learn how to take your medicine correctly.
    Read the directions on the label and other paperwork you get with your medicine. Medicine labels can be hard to understand. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain anything you do not understand. Are there other medicines, foods or activities (such as driving, drinking alcohol or using tobacco) that you should avoid while using the medicine? For example, ask if "four doses daily" means taking a dose exactly every six hours or just during regular waking hours. Ask what "take as needed" really means.
  • Find out about possible side effects.
    Many drugs have side effects. Some side effects may bother you at first but will get better later. Others may be serious. If a side effect does not get better, talk to your doctor.

Make your medicines work for you, not against you. By taking steps to get the best results from your medicines, you can help prevent problems.

From the Research Desk...

A good mood may boost the brain function
mood and brain function

Columbus, OH - A good mood can help older adults improve their decision-making and working memory, say researchers from Ohio State University.

In the study, half the participants were given a thank you card and two bags of candy to help boost their mood; the other participants did not receive anything. All participants then completed tasks that tested their memory and decision-making. Those given gifts performed better on both tasks than those without gifts.

"Our findings show how simple methods to improve mood can help improve cognitive functioning and decision performance in older adults, just like they do in younger people," said study co-author Ellen Peters.

How TV affects children: Too much TV for kids could lead to psychological problems

Bristol, England - Kids who spend two or more hours watching TV or on the computer are more likely to have psychological problems than kids who don't, according to research from the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol in England. how tv habits effect behaviorThis was true regardless of how much daily exercise the children got.

The study was based on the self-reported TV and computer usage of 1,000 children between the ages of 10 and 11. They also completed a questionnaire which rated their emotional, peer, conduct and hyperactivity problems.

Researchers say that they can't determine if media exposure causes the psychological problems or if troubled youth simply seek out screen time. Study authors suggest that limiting screen time may be important for ensuring children's future health and well-being.

As a side note, The American Academy of Pediatrics' position is to discourage any media time for children under the age of 2; it's better that they be involved in interactive activities. And, though it is likely to be met with resistance, the AAP also suggest limiting older children's TV, video game and computer time to no more than 2 hours per day. (A couple tips they suggest are to hide the remote and allow no TV in the childrens' bedrooms.) It is more beneficial for children, they believe, to be reading, talking or taking part in exercise or outdoor activities.

Low Prices on Best Selling VITAMINS &


Latest Boise health posts:
A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
NBC News Health
NBC News Health
NBC News Health
05/07/2018 07:53 AM
Some patients fight for hepatitis C cure
Cost of drugs pits states and insurance companies against desperate patients.
05/04/2018 10:55 AM
Why walking is the most underrated form of exercise
Science shows that placing one foot in front of the other leads to some seriously impressive mental and physical benefits.
05/04/2018 08:26 AM
Healthy (and delicious ways) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Don't skip out on the fiesta. Whip up these delicious and healthy takes on your favorite tacos, Mexican casseroles, margaritas and more!
05/04/2018 07:13 AM
Trying to get pregnant? Drop the burger
Eating more fruit sped conception
05/03/2018 06:43 PM
Older Americans aren't talking about sex
A new poll on the sex lives of older Americans highlights the need for more conversations with doctors about sexual issues.
05/02/2018 05:50 PM
Mosquito, tick diseases triple across U.S.
Most states not fully ready to fight off ticks and mosquitoes, CDC finds
05/02/2018 05:49 PM
One dies in romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak
Three more states have been affected by the outbreak, bringing the total to 121 people sickened in 25 states.
05/02/2018 05:08 PM
Try these core and glute exercises to tone up for summer
As the largest muscle group in your body, your glutes are key to making everyday tasks easier. - RSS Channel - Health - RSS Channel - Health delivers up-to-the-minute news and information on the latest top stories, weather, entertainment, politics and more.
05/07/2018 11:33 AM
Doctors raise alarm about ancient disease: 'Prevalence is off the charts'
An ancient virus infecting residents across Australia's Northern Territory is leaving death and despair in its path, and doctors are now calling for greater efforts to stop the spread of infections.

05/05/2018 05:37 AM
132-pound ovarian tumor removed from Connecticut woman
A 132-pound ovarian tumor was removed from a 38-year-old Connecticut woman this year, according to two doctors involved in the case.

05/02/2018 03:43 PM
Group of rare eye cancer cases baffles experts
A group of patients with a rare type of eye cancer called ocular melanoma has researchers and epidemiologists stumped.

05/02/2018 11:47 AM
Breast cancer scandal may have cost 270 lives due to computer error
Up to 270 women in England may have died because they were not called for a final breast cancer screening, the British government disclosed on Wednesday.

05/02/2018 07:04 PM
Brain tumor study raises cell phone concerns in England
The incidence rate of diagnosed brain tumors has climbed in England from 2.4 to 5.0 per 100,000 people between 1995 and 2015, according to a new study that questions whether excessive cell phone use is to blame. Experts warn there is not enough evidence to make that claim.

05/03/2018 05:15 AM
'Rapid autopsy' races the clock to unlock mysteries of cancer
After Keith Beck died of bile duct cancer last year, family members said more than 900 people showed up to pay respects to the popular athletic director at the University of Findlay in northwestern Ohio.

05/07/2018 12:55 AM
Number of children in Japan shrinks to new record low
The number of children in Japan has fallen for the 37th straight year in a row, a sign the country's attempts to offset the country's severely aging population are failing.

05/05/2018 03:13 AM
New Guinea warriors used human bones as formidable daggers
Warriors in New Guinea favored human bone daggers as objects of great prestige, and deliberately engineered them to be stronger, according to a new study.

Health – TIME
Health – TIME
Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates
05/05/2018 07:53 PM
How Nigeria’s Start-Stop Immunization Battle Is Winning the War to Eradicate Polio in Africa
"We’re in a hurry to make sure no child is paralyzed"
05/04/2018 12:01 PM
A Connecticut Woman Had a 132-Pound Ovarian Tumor Removed
It was one of the largest tumors of its kind
05/04/2018 07:00 AM
Weekend Recipe: A Quick, Tasty and Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese
You'll want seconds
05/03/2018 01:34 PM
Canadian Raw Oysters Are Behind a Norovirus Outbreak in California
Several people have tested positive for norovirus
05/03/2018 11:00 AM
American Seniors Have Active Sex Lives, According to a New Poll
And most of them are sexually satisfied
05/02/2018 04:00 PM
Here’s Another Reason Saunas Are So Good For You
The relaxing habit comes with health benefits
05/02/2018 03:45 PM
The First Person Has Died From the Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak
The outbreak has sickened 121 people
05/02/2018 12:35 PM
Why It’s So Hard to Learn Another Language After Childhood
It’s nearly impossible to become fluent in a language after age 10, study finds
Copyright 2018 All rights reserved. rss Subscribe to our RSS
Information provided here should not be relied on to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition, disease or illness. Please consult with your physician or health care professional for guidance on any health concern. is a commercial website and is not affiliated with any government agency, university, or private medical center. COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE: This site may be compensated for products promoted here. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.