According to the Pew Research Center, more than 1 in 10 U.S. Parents are also caregivers for an adult parent. (Pew Research Center). In their analysis, the Pew Research Center labels this person a “multigenerational caregiver,” we refer to these folks as the sandwich generation, no matter what you call them, folks sandwiched between family generations that both need care are on the rise.
The sandwich generation is not a specific generation like the millennials or generation x, but a phenomenon that can affect anyone whose parents and children need support at the same time. Members of the sandwich generation are parents age 18 or older who care for their minor-age kids, while simultaneously providing support and unpaid adult care to an elderly parent. Adult caregiving can include an array of activities that can change from day to day. Often caregivers will help with daily living activities like dressing, eating, and transportation. In addition, members of the sandwich generation are also often burdened with the financial stress of taking care of their elderly parents which could mean placing them in an assisted living home or arranging in-home care. In addition to caring for their elderly parents, sandwichers are unique in the sense they still have minor children at home who demand their support emotionally, physically, and financially.
The sandwich generation phenomenon is a new concept. So new, the term sandwich generation was just coined just within the last 10 years. The reason why more are identifying with the sandwich generation is that people have children later in life, and therefore they have older parents when their children are born.
Between caring for both parents and children coupled with a global pandemic, sandwichers are at risk for MAJOR BURNOUT. There is only so much time in the day, and with many people to care for, members of the sandwich generation need to remember to prioritize their well-being, mental and physical health.
At Sunways Senior Living, we are advocates for the sandwich generation. We are a free service here to help caregivers with resources. Click here to learn more about how we can help.