“Sandwiched” between aging parents and adult children is known as the sandwich generation. And caring for both your children and your parents simultaneously can take its toll – emotionally and financially.
Interestingly, this rising group of “sandwichers” account for nearly 47% of adults in their 40s and 50s.
Expert Carol Abaya takes it a bit further and defines three roles which make up the sandwich generation:
- The Traditional Sandwich Generation —Adults typically in their 40s or early 50s sandwiched between their elderly parents and their typically adult children who both need financial or other assistance.
- The Club Sandwich Generation —Older adults in their 50 or 60s who are wedged between aging parents, their adult children and possibly grandchildren. This term can also refer to younger adults in their 30s or 40s who have younger children, elderly parents and aging grandparents.
- The Open Faced Sandwich Generation —Anyone who’s non-professionally involved in elder care, which is an estimated 25% of individuals at some point in their lives.
All in all, those part of the sandwich generation have reported the following:
- Burnout, depression, and isolation
- Guilt and frustration when finding the time to be a good spouse, parent, and child
- Trouble managing work, hobbies, relationships and time for themselves
- Loss of control when it comes to being pulled in multiple directions
It’s not easy, I should know. I’m currently part of the traditional sandwich generation.
You can hear more on my take of being part of this generation in my interview with Cameron Cowan here!
The Sandwich of Middle Age with Carolyn Clarke