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Monday

Free Classical Music mp3 Downloads Are A Treat For The Sandwich Generation

Did you catch my post over at SandwichINK for Labor Day? In case you missed it, I wanted to let you in on a sweet treat from Amazon. For a short time (and you never know for how long), you can download a free album of classical music by clicking the links at SandwichINK. 

Classical music is such a blessing for all of us who are busy caring for the elderly parents in our family while raising kids or babysitting grandchildren. The whole family can enjoy it and what a great brain food it can be. Enjoy. :)

P.S.

Friday

Are The Sandwich Generation Issues Keeping You Home From Church?

If the Sandwich Generation Issues of life are keeping you home from church - just click the widget in the column on the right "Sermons to Encourage the Sandwich Generation." You can listen to a 30 minute sermon by Adrian Rogers. Pastor Rogers is in heaven now, but he definitely knew about leaving a strong spiritual legacy. "Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. For over fifty years, he consistently presented the Good News of Jesus Christ with strong conviction, compassion, and integrity."

I know of him because one of my pastors highly recommended him and I've enjoyed listening to a sermon of his myself. So when I spotted this Blogger widget, I thought it would be a great gift of encouragement for all of us dealing with the Sandwich Generation issues of caring for the elderly parents in the family while still raising children or babysitting grandchildren. I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

Feeling Discouraged? Comforting and Encouraging Bible Verses are Good News for Seniors Dealing With The Sandwich Generation Issues


Have the Sandwich Generation issues of life started wearing you down? Are you feeling somewhat discouraged? It happens to most of us, at times.
When I start to see it in my life, I turn to the encouraging Bible verses in the Word of God. Especially those I've already underlined, as I know they have had special meaning for me in the past and are likely to again. 
I read these encouraging Scriptures over again - sometimes several times. I also use them as simple Scripture prayers, changing the words be appropriate to my current situation. And if there are "instructions" in them, I try to follow them. 
Today, for example, I was reading Psalm 92 (NASB). I have to admit, this is a favorite of mine because of verse 14 - "They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green." As a baby boomer flirting with my senior citizen status (depending on what restaurant I am in ;) ), I especially love the promises of God in the Bible, that I will be yielding fruit even in my old age - not because I am great, but because HE is great! 
Here's some of Psalm 92:
 It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night...
4 For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.
5 How great are Your works, O LORD ! Your thoughts are very deep....
8 You, O LORD, are on high forever.
9 For, behold, Your enemies, O LORD, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered....
12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

And here are some of my simple Scripture prayers from it:

Dear Lord, I thank you for my family, my good health, and that my arthritis is flaring up but that I'm still able to keep moving. I praise You for the birds singing even though it's a cloudy day. 
Thank You for keeping me safe as I slept last night, and bless my beloveds and myself with a safe day in You.
Thank You Lord for providing for my needs yesterday, with the book that I found at the library. 
Thank You that YOU will protect me from my enemies - especially the unseen spiritual ones that attack me with fear, worry, and concern. Please deliver me from evil and from the evil one. 
Thank You for Your promises to use me to bring glory to You, even in my old age. Even when I am so busy with all the Sandwich Generation issues of life, that I wonder how that can be. Thank you for reminding me of Joseph, and how You used him, even when he was sold into slavery and then put in prison. 
Lord, with the psalmist, I choose to declare that the LORD is upright, that You are my rock, and that there is unrighteousness in You. Thank You! I praise You.
The more worried or upset I might be, the more fervently I will pray from verses like these - often out loud. It's amazing how powerful God's Word is - including when it's spoken out loud.

I also try to follow the "advice" in this passage - to "sing praises...sing for joy." Now, I'm afraid I don't have the most glorious voice in the world. I'm very grateful for another Psalm that says, "Make a joyful noise!" :) But I love to turn on praise and worship hymn songs and music and listen to it, and sing along with it. I find it such a comfort. When my husband died, I listened to it all day long for weeks. It helped me to focus on God and His comfort rather than giving in to overwhelming sorrow. Most of the praise and worship music I listen to has actual Bible verses interwoven in the words or is based on the Word of God and that encourages me to no end.

I have learned, through experience, that when the Sandwich Generation issues are getting to me, encouraging and comforting Bible verses, spoken or sung, are a wonderful prescription for this senior! How about you? What are some of your favorite verses? We'd love to hear.

Thursday

ElderCare Chat On Twitter for the Sandwich Generation Issues Of Caring For the Elderly Parents In Our Family

Twitter has turned out to be a great resource for this Sandwich Generation granny nanny. I find useful links to help with babysitting grandchildren, encouraging Bible verses to lift my spirits, and great compadres who are also caring for the elderly - whether their parents or senior citizens living in their care facilities. As you can imagine, they are a wonderful resource of information and encouragement.


Recently, I've been able to "attend" a one hour ElderCare Chat on Twitter. These occur every other Wednesday from 1 - 2 pm EST and you are invited to join as well. The next one is March 9, 2011 at 1 pm EST. Just turn on your favorite Twitter "client" (I use Tweetdeck) and watch for the tweets with #eldercarechat . (Feel free to email me at SandwichINK@SandwichINK.com if you have questions :) ).

If you don't use Twitter or can't make that time, you can check out my Twitter Updates in the right column (and, of course, I'd love for you to follow me @SandwichINK :) ). They usually update fairly quickly, so I would check fairly close to the time. In the meantime, you can click on the above link to see the whole chat, here's some useful info from the last couple of Elder Care Chats:

Denise Brown at Caregiving.com is collecting your caregiving story - and it only takes 6 words!
Mine was: Sandwich Generation Elderly Parents-Babysitting Grandchildren - although I wish now I'd made it Sandwich Generation = Elderly Parents + Babysitting Grandchildren (Can you tell I'm helping with junior high math and writing algebra expressions. :)  ) If you click to go there and leave your 6 words, we'd love to hear about them here as well. :)

Speaking of Denise, I loved her comment, "In my family, my parents are still in good health. My mom has designated me; I'm a family caregiver in waiting." That was me for several years. If you have senior parents in good health, it's so vital to set things up now for the future - things like a durable power of attorney, medical directives, a will, a list of their wishes, etc. take a lot of time to set up, but you'll be so glad to have it done when a crisis occurs!

And for those of us who are in the throes of actively caring for the elderly parents in our family, be sure to share those power of attorneys and medical directives with every medical team you work with - your senior parent's doctor, the hospital, and any other medical personnel you have to work with. Plus I always keep a copy in my purse, just in case. Even when they put them into the computers, not every place I've had to go to had them available. It really pays to have a copy with you.

Michelle, from Seniors For Living, had a great link to share for a Wall Street Journal article, A Referee for Family Disputes.

A geriatric care manager can be a big help to those of us caring for elderly parents, particularly from a long distance. Amy Magan from The4thFrog shared the link to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.

Angela Krakker had a great suggestion, "Certified Senior Advisors can help in planning with planning for caregivng needs," along with a link for the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

Craig Fukushima of FoxGroup shared Carol Marak's Tips for lowering high blood pressure - good for both our senior parents as well as those of us caring for our elderly parents. :)

This was just SOME of the great info at the last two ElderCare chats. We'd love to have you join us for the next ElderCare Chat on Twitter, on March 9, 2011 at 1 pm EST. It really is an excellent resource for all of us in the Sandwich Generation dealing with the wide variety of issues that go along with caring for the beloved elderly parents in our families. And don't forget to pop over to SandwichINK for daily info, resources, and encouragement for all of us in the Sandwich Generation. :) 



Sunday

The Sandwich Generation Issues - Simply Easy Tip 1 - Washing That Grey Right Out of Your Hair Can Speed Up Your Day!

The Sandwich Generation Issues - Simple Tip 1

Would you believe, this Sandwich Generation granny nanny shares something in common with many of the rich and famous movie stars? I have a great hair stylist! Who just happens to live several states away! Now, I have to confess, that's where the similarity ends. I don't get to jet set her to me or me to her any time I need a "do." Nor do I ever hold up all the plane traffic in a major metropolitan airport. I just wait til I can get out to see her, and if my hair starts to get too unruly, I have a little trick I try.


I can often manage to stave off a haircut using a tip a dear friend shared with me. I "beat my hair into submission." Well, not really, but close. :) Turns out dying your hair with the grocery store products like Loreal or Revlon actually "damages" the hair a bit which, in turn, makes it easier to work with. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?

I really don't care about my grey hairs (I'm a member of the baby boomer generation and proud of it - grey hair and all :) ) and I was somewhat leery of trying this as I didn't want any rashes, orange hair, or other problems. But my hair was driving me batty, so I finally broke down. After spending hours (or so it seemed to me and the people waiting behind me) looking at all the different products, I picked a non-ammonia product by Loreal (I've also used Revlon and Garnier quite happily). I always pick the same brunette color as my own or a tad lighter.

It was very nerve wracking the first time I did this, but now it's quite easy. I always make sure to read through the directions carefully, though, just to be sure there's no changes. Then I follow the directions exactly. And voila - I do, indeed, have hair that cooperates much better!

Now, that's not to say it works that way for everyone. You know all the disclaimers that the dear lawyers want us to use. And I would never suggest this to my senior mom, as her fine hair is already coming out faster than she likes. I wouldn't want to take a chance and make it worse. I'm just saying that, for me, and for my friend, doing this really does seem to make our hair behave a bit better.



There is the side benefit to all this that I really do get to "wash that grey right out of my hair." As I said, though, I don't personally care much about that and I probably wouldn't even bother to do this just for the grey hairs. BUT as long as it keeps my hair more manageable I can get ready faster and that makes it very worthwhile for me. Especially when I'm running to a fun day of babysitting grandchildren or scooting out the door fast to take my senior mom to a doctor's appointment.

It's one of those simple solutions for the Sandwich Generation issues that simply work well for me. How about you? Got any simple solutions to share with us. We'd love to hear. :)

Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday From The Sandwich Generation

The Sandwich Generation issues of life come and go, don't they. Last month, my senior mom was having health problems. Last week I was in the throes of extra hours of babysitting adorable grandchildren due to a loved one's health issues. And today, a quiet peaceful Pink Saturday - full of writing, walking (yup - out in the snow!), and watching the cute Kentucky birds. Next week, who knows.

But in the meantime, here's some Pink Saturday fun. I'd also like to invite you to my main site, SandwichINK, for a more serious Pink Saturday post on one of the harder aspects of the Sandwich Generation issues. Have a blessed week! :)







Don't you love all the cute pinks in each snowman clipart? Especially the pink cheeks for the snowman face clip art? And I pray you were blessed by the encouraging Bible verse. Verses like that are vital to my dealing with the Sandwich Generation issues of life! How about you?

Monday

The Sandwich Generation Issues Defined




The Sandwich Generation issues of life can vary from family to family, but some things are fairly constant. Caring for the elderly parents in the family is always part of the Sandwich Generation. Caring for children is another key element - either your own or perhaps your grandchildren. You are in the middle, dealing with all the issues of caring for elderly parents, raising children or babysitting grandchildren, and making sure you take good care of yourself as well. Congratulations, you are officially in the Sandwich Generation and I'm right there with you, along with all the "tools of the trade" such as wheelchairs and teddy bears.

My senior dad passed away after he reached end stage Parkinsons Disease several years ago. My senior mom has been living with me since he entered into hospice a few months before his death. She is wonderfully independent overall, but cataract surgery, hernia surgery, and other ailments - minor and not-so-minor - have kept both of us extra busy over the last few years.

My children are grown and on their own. I have several sweet grandchildren living a few states away who I enjoy visiting as often as I can. In addition, I am the granny nanny for several other grandkids who live nearby.

Most of the time I do fine, but sometimes special needs on the part of several family members can make life a little more crazy than normal. God is good, though, and enables me to keep up the juggling I do with everyone's health needs, along with writing all about it at SandwichINK.com.

How about you? Are you looking for information, resources, and encouragement as you deal with the Sandwich Generation Issues? We're here to help! Join us, won't you? :)