How You Can Avoid Burnout and Still Care for Your Aging Parents

Many couples nowadays work simultaneously and take care of both their aging parents and their children. Coined the “sandwich generation”, these couples may experience a burnout as they have to focus on their job, care for their children, their marriage and the health of their aging parents. A study published in the Social Psychology Quarterly looked at what factors attributed to these burnouts and coping methods for successful couples. In interviews from the study, one of the most frequently mentioned stress factor was caring for aging parents, which was reported to be even more difficult than caring for young children.

The couples who were interviewed pointed out that much of the stress that comes from taking care of elderly parents comes from watching their decline in health each visit, and that having the support from their partner helped them immensely. The study found that lower rates of couple burnout correlated with lower rates of job burnout, and that one of the most important coping methods associated with reducing couple burnout was visiting their parents together. Visiting their parents together therefore strengthened their marriage, and reduced the stress of seeing their loved ones in a compromising situation.

Coping with the difficult task of watching the health of your loved ones decline is only one of the many stresses that families have to deal with. Families that decide to choose a nursing home for their parents are presented with a whole new array of stresses. With the wide array of choices, it becomes difficult to decide which facility will provide the best care with the most convenient location. As the article suggests, an important part of making the decision is making it together. It is also important, before making the decision, to visit the facility together to ensure that the facility has all the needs of your loved one, and staff that will offer professional care.

If you or your loved one is seeking a nursing home, the main issue to keep in mind is ensuring that the nursing home is not understaffed. In order to provide the proper care, one of the most basic requirements is that the nursing home has enough staff to give attention to each resident. Understaffing can lead to a wide array of problems, including malnutrition at mealtimes, an increased amount of falls, increased likelihood of pressure ulcers, and possible misuse of physical restraints.


It is important to ensure that the nursing home does not add more unnecessary stress. Nursing homes should provide the proper care when you are not available to do so and should have your loved one’s health as the number one priority. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed and so they may not be providing enough care for their residents. If you feel that your loved one is receiving improper care that has resulted in an easily avoidable injury, please contact us today to see how we can help.