Providence Healthcare

Providence Healthcare

October 12, 2005 11:49 ET

Recipes for a healthy sandwich generation

Here are some simple yet helpful ways to lend a hand to the "sandwich" generation - a term used to describe adults caring for aging parents Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 12, 2005) - Life has become more hectic and stressful in recent years for most of us, but likely no one feels the pressure more than the "sandwich" generation - a term used to describe adults who are caring for aging parents while raising their own families.

While helping frail parents is often an emotionally-rewarding experience, it can be exhausting when children, careers and your home, also demand your time. Often too busy or reluctant to ask for assistance, life takes a bite from the sandwich generation.

So here are some simple yet helpful ways to reach out to lend a hand:

· Offer to spend time with their parent for a few hours so the caregivers may have an outing with their children.

· Before setting off to the grocery store, call to find out what you can pick up for the caregivers while you're at the supermarket.

· Pick up a humorous video for the caregivers and, even better, pop by the next day to return it for them.

· When preparing a casserole or soup, double the recipe and freeze the extra servings for the caregivers and their family.

· Help with fall gardening by raking leaves, planting bulbs for spring and mulching flowers. Should the caregivers enjoy gardening, then provide respite while they have an opportunity to be active outside.

· Keep an eye out for helpful services for caregivers in your community, such as local church volunteers who drive people to medical appointments. Note the contact information and pass it on to caregivers who could benefit from the services.

· Create a caregiver support team with them. Bringing seven friends together, who can each pitch in for an hour once a week, will make a tremendous impact. Helping out as a group will add a social element for all of you, including the caregivers.

· Stop by for an hour so the caregivers may take a walk to have time for themselves, fresh air and exercise.

· Help them get organized by buying them files, a large calendar to note appointments, birthday cards, Christmas cards and stamps.

· Drop off tapes of relaxing music, scented candles and fragrant flowers.

· Spend an hour at their home, so they can have a nap while you are there.

· Wash their car for them.

· Buy them a gift certificate for a restaurant with takeout and delivery.

Caregivers quickly become isolated. It is important for friends to be proactive by anticipating the needs of caregivers before a potentially-debilitating cycle of fatigue and isolation is established. These tips, although they may seem simple, can make all the difference in the world of a caregiver.

Providence Healthcare is committed to healing lives and helping people. For information about 24-hour/7-day recreational activities and supportive care for people with dementia, and support and education for caregivers, visit or call 416-265-3666 ext.3803.

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For more information contact:
Christina Marshall, APR
Vivant Communications Inc.



Research demonstrates the positive impact of caregiver support on the recovery process of loved ones. Providence Healthcare is launching a series of initiatives to engage and to help caregivers throughout an individual's treatment and progress. Highlights include:

· The Internet Café is the realization of a vision created by a peer support group of amputees, who wanted to build a supportive sense of community. This unique meeting place allows patients and caregivers to stay 'connected' through Internet access, board games, a kitchenette and gourmet coffee bar.

· The Alzheimer Day Program provides 24/7 support for caregivers and people with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementia through an innovative "caregiver-friendly" approach in this nationally-recognized program.

· The Caregiver Room is a dedicated, relaxing space created exclusively for caregivers, supported by pastoral care, social work and volunteers.

· The current Learning Centre for Caregivers provides resources and a dedicated 24/7 hotline for caregivers whose loved ones suffer from Alzheimer's Disease. Support groups organized by relationship are provided for husbands, wives and children. When the new Scotiabank Learning Centre for Caregivers opens - thanks to a generous donation from Scotiabank - it will expand the Centre's resources to include a wide variety of topics and diseases related to aging.

· The Tamil Caregiver Project provides an innovative level of support and education to Tamil newcomers, while promoting access to respite as an outcome.

· The St. George's Society of Toronto Healing Garden, a peaceful and therapeutic environment for clients of the Alzheimer Day Program, is expanding due to the generosity of the St. George's Society of Toronto.

Providence Healthcare is a leading Toronto health care facility specializing in rehabilitation for patients who have experienced strokes, orthopaedic surgery or lower limb amputation, or who require specialized geriatric rehabilitation, assessment and treatment. We also provide complex continuing care, long-term care and community outreach with a particular focus on addressing the medical, physical, spiritual and emotional needs of individuals with geriatric conditions.

Contact Information

  • Christina A. Marshall, APR, Communications specialist
    Primary Phone: 416-686-4116
    Secondary Phone: 416-435-3570