Christy Yates Helps Caregivers Raising Children Ease the Squeeze

Christy Yates, Building a Legacy of Love:

By Christy Byrne Yates, M.S.

I can’t recall when I became aware that I was being squeezed as part of the Sandwich Generation, or that both my parents had some form of dementia. Mom and Dad needed some help now and again as they aged, my children were in late elementary school and middle school—the other end of my sandwich—and I worked full time as did my husband. Their memory lapses initially seemed almost cliché. Don’t most older folks have some short term memory glitches? But those glitches started adding up. My mother was easily confused. My father stopped playing golf. Their social circles seemed to contract. Once very involved in their church, my father was gently nudged off Sunday collection committee, and my mother stepped away from her role as a greeter. The signs were everywhere, some big and bold and many subtle and so easily explained away.

My involvement started slowly, but rapidly snowballed until I found myself with power of attorney over their money, legal and health affairs. I educated myself on dementia—not nearly enough—as well as other medical issues that plagued them both. I had so many questions, feelings, and countless jobs to do.

Book, Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich GenerationThree years after my parents died in 2015, I set out to write the book I wished I’d had. I hoped mostly to stimulate conversations so that others might have a heads up about what might await them. It’s easy to be caught up in our busy daily lives, especially if we are working parents. As I started to write, I realized how good I’d had it. My parents had planned well and made a lot of decisions. I also realized that I couldn’t separate caring for my parents and raising my children. So much was intertwined, and my children were often far more gentle and patient with my parents than I could manage. It was in this awareness that I saw the many gifts my parents had bestowed upon us, especially not having to worry about money or their end of life wishes. It was also an awareness of love they had always given me and that I could now see reflected in my children who showered them with compassion.

The preeminent message of “Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich Generation” is that for parents raising children, how we care for and treat our own parents will have a direct impact on our children’s lives. This encompasses far more than just the daily chores we may have in caring for them directly or indirectly, but also how we care for ourselves during this time. Are we modeling resilience and self-care? What are we teaching them about acceptance of those who are aging and battling dementia?

Our children are always learning but we aren’t always aware of what we’re teaching them. Everyone’s journey is different, however there are some common challenges I hope to spotlight for others. In that same effort, I hope that in sharing my stories and offering some thoughts on mindset and self-care, I might not only help to ease the squeeze others might feel, but also promote conversations about dementia. The more these stories are told, the more stigma is reduced, leading to greater healing for families. That is how a legacy of love is built.

Purchase Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich Generation on Amazon

About Christy Yates, M.S.

Christy Yates, MS author of Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich GenerationChristy is the mother of two – now adult – children. She is an expert in navigating the challenges and opportunities in life including living in the “Sandwich Generation” (those raising children who are also caring for an aging parent), special needs education, and parenting.  She incorporates meditation, mindfulness practices and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) into her work along with other evidence-based practices to support growth, goal achievement and a pathway to living your best life now.  In California she is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP), an author, speaker and coach.


Connect with Christy Yates

Website with blog






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