Who Are the Sandwich Generation?

picture2.jpg If the term Sandwich Generation leaves you feeling hungry, you may not know about the new buzz surrounding a subset of caregivers nicknamed the “Sandwich Generation”. This colorful name refers to caregivers who find themselves squeezed between caring for younger loved ones (usually children) and elderly parents or family members. This may be nothing new, but these caregivers are becoming a rising interest within American society. Who are the Sandwich Generation? They are the nearly 10 million boomers that are now raising kids, teenagers or young adults while providing financial support for an aging parent. Usually they are between the ages of 35 and 55. These are Americans who, on an average day, can be found trying to round up lunch boxes while scheduling a doctor’s appointment for mom on the cell phone. They have special needs and unique questions such as “what do I do when my parent, who is living with me, undermines my authority with my child” or “should mom or dad move in with me? Amazingly, they are doing it remarkably well. According on one survey, 70 percent of the Sandwich Generation are providing care simultaneously for parents and children – and believe they’re managing quite well and, surprisingly, with very little stress. Many Sandwich Generation caregivers rely on their siblings, neighbors, and friends or they can seek support from faith-based and community organizations, physicians and other healthcare agencies. And it’s a trend that’s not likely to stop any time soon. “You either are a caregiver, will be a caregiver or someone will be caring for you between now and whenever you die,” Donna Schempp, of the National Family Caregivers Alliance, said in a recent interview. Family caregivers who find themselves slammed between caring for their children and parents will want to take time to assess their situation. AGIS’ free Caregiving Kit can help caregivers start the conversations to meet caregiving challenges positively. image courtesy of jodynoland.com