The Sandwich Generation: Tips on Achieving Harmony and Balance

Published in March 2021

Article Summary

It can be challenging as a member of the sandwich generation to support both your parents and children. As you work hard to care for your loved ones, it is also important not to neglect yourself. Here are a few tips to help you achieve balance and protect your family’s well-being.

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 might 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 simple steps above you can find balance and take care of your own health.

This article is brought to you by UOB in partnership with Prudential. It was first published on Prudential Singapore’s blog Life Matters.

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