The NEW Sandwich Generation

I am struck by the shifting demographics of the so-called “Sandwich Generation.” Sure the term has been somewhat overplayed, but the new reality is this: more adults in their 40’s and 50’s are faced with caring for young families, while at the same time caring for often very elderly and frail parents.

As more women delay having children into their 30’s, and older adults live longer into their 80’s and 90’s two distinct trends are converging, putting even more strain on those in the middle.

This group is made up primarily of Gen Xers who were born during a period of declining birth rates, so they have fewer siblings to share the parental burdens. As an Aging Life Care Manager, I often consult with adult children in this position, providing them with solutions and strategies for complex care issues. Decreasing stress and caregiver burden is one of my primary goals in working with this demographic.

Merrill Lynch recently published an excellent article on the challenges facing these families. Click here to read it.

by Joan Garbow, LCSW, CCM