Have you heard of the “Sandwich Generation”? You might be one of them. These are the middle-aged adults ‘sandwiched’ between their aging parents and growing children. Sandwichers provide essential care and financial support to both their growing children and their aging parents. With the economic resources of established workers and the resilience of relative youth, middle-aged adults are often in the best position to help seniors and children in need.
As a leading provider of home care in Oklahoma City, we know that many family caregivers are part of this rapidly growing sandwich generation. If you provide care for your children and aging parents or relatives, know that you are not alone. Here are three things you might not know about the changing face of the Sandwich Generation.
- A Baby Boomer Sandwich? Although the “Sandwich Generation” has become synonymous with Baby Boomers, the demographic profile of the Sandwich has changed dramatically in recent years. There are now more members of Generation X – people born in the late 60s and 70s – in the caregiving sandwich than Baby Boomers, who are rapidly aging out.
- Not Your Typical Children – Although some sandwiched caregivers have young children under age 18, many of the ‘kids’ being supported by the Sandwich Generation are not minors at all, but full-grown adults. While support for aging parents has remained steady, the burden of helping jobless young adults stay afloat is rapidly becoming the biggest challenge facing today’s Sandwichers.Normally, these grown kids would be out in the world making a living. Most would like to be, but the Great Recession has scarred the landscape of young adulthood. Unemployment among twenty-somethings is at an all-time high. Of those with jobs, wages are too low to launch an independent household.
- Staying on the Sunny Side – If being a sandwiched caregiver sounds stressful, that’s because it can be. However, you might be surprised to learn that the folks of the Sandwich Generation have not lost their smiles after all. Surveys show that, despite the many challenges, sandwiched caregivers are, on average, just as happy as other adults.
While it is important for all caregivers to maintain their personal health and wellness, it is even more important for Sandwichers. While it is difficult to put your needs before the needs of those under your care, doing so ensures the overall quality of care you provide. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends, family members and reliable home care agencies can provide hourly home care so you can take the break you need to rest, relax and recuperate.
For more information about the Sandwich Generation or to find out more about your options for respite care, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a premier provider of in-home senior care serving Oklahoma City and Edmond. Call 405-285-4191 – we’re available 24/7 to answer your questions.