Why are Strokes on the Rise? Latest Detection & Treatment
With Stanford & Stroke Comeback Center
Wednesday, June 26th 6pm-7pm EDT. Click HERE & Register Today!
Open Mobile Menu
Why are Strokes on the Rise? Latest Detection & Treatment
With Stanford & Stroke Comeback Center
Wednesday, June 26th 6pm-7pm EDT. Click HERE & Register Today!
Open Mobile Menu
sandwich caregiver

Sandwich Generation—Resources for Sandwich Caregivers

The sandwich generation (or multi-generational caregivers) is already a significant portion of America, and it’s getting larger daily. A sandwich caregiver—sometimes called the sandwich generation—is a middle-aged parent supporting their children simultaneously as an elderly adult(s). 

For adults with caregiving duties for their own children and at least one parent, this situation comes with additional stress and burnout that must be managed carefully.

A recent Pew Research poll found that one in ten American parents had the additional responsibility of caring for one or both parents simultaneously with their younger children or adult children. 

Fortunately, awareness about the increase of sandwich generation caregivers and the challenges of parents who care for their parents is also growing. Even the White House has directly addressed the issue

Part of the situation results from timing—people choose to have children later in life, which shifts the period in which these problems can arise. As a result, parents may suddenly find themselves in a trying situation where they must juggle competing priorities daily.

As part of Kensington Senior Living’s core promise to care for our senior residents as if they were our own family, we’ve compiled a summary of some of the challenges the Sandwich caregivers can face and solutions that fit.

Let’s take a look. 

Understanding the demographics of the sandwich generation

The demographics of the sandwich generation account for an astounding 47 percent of adults in their 40s and 50s who are raising a juvenile or supporting a grown child, but still have a parent who is 65 or older. 

Furthermore, one in seven of these adults financially assist their children and a parent. Carol Abaya, a recognized expert on the sandwich generation, suggests that there are three categories of this demographic:

  • Traditional Sandwich Generation—Adults (40-50 years old) ‘sandwiched’ between elderly parents and adult children who need financial and other types of assistance. 
  • Club Sandwich Generation—Older adults (50-60 years old) wedged between adult children, aging parents, and possibly grandchildren. 
  • Open-Faced Sandwich Generation—A mix of non-professionals involved in some type of elder care; an estimated 25% of every American citizen at some point in their lives. 

Note: There is a subcategory of younger adults (30-40 years old) with elderly parents, aging grandparents, and younger children. These folks are usually grouped into the Club Sandwich Generation. Each of these groups has its own particular set of challenges and responsibilities. 

Sandwich caregivers juggle competing needs

Next, let’s look at some competing needs that a Sandwich Caregiver will likely have to face. 

Family caregivers and time for self-care

Sandwich caregivers often find themselves putting their own needs aside to take care of the needs of their family members. They struggle to find time to cook healthy meals for themselves or exercise. Some will skip their own doctor appointments or other important dates.

While sacrificing your self-care has some short-term benefits, the long-term effects can be detrimental to yourself and others. 

Caring for yourself is just as essential for everyone’s emotional and physical well-being.  

The delicate work and life balance for family caregivers

Many sandwich caregivers also have full-time jobs. This extra responsibility sometimes makes the balancing act of their lives even more complex. 

Financial strains of a sandwich caregiver 

As many as a third of sandwich generation caregivers may make financial sacrifices to satisfy their caregiving responsibilities. 

These sacrifices may include:

  • Reducing work hours
  • Decreasing expenses
  • Leaving employment entirely for the full-time care of family members 

It’s up to each caregiver to decide if taking more time off is actually beneficial to their own situation. This also includes considering their financial responsibilities to their immediate family and their retirement savings. 

Tips for the challenges of sandwich generation caregivers 

Some useful tips for how to manage these challenges and help maintain that balance of family responsibilities include the following. 

Family and Medical Leave Act

Some employers can set up flexible work schedules for their employees or offer child care or senior care benefits. Some can even take time out for Family / Medical Leave as part of the FMLA act

Move adult children out 

If they still live with you, then financially dependent adult children must eventually become self-sufficient by living independently with their own incomes and responsibilities. 

Move your parents in 

Housing expenses can be significantly reduced if the elderly person(s) you care for can move into your home. 

Move your parents into a senior living community

Start the conversation with the family about seeking a community setting. At Kensington Senior Living, we have a dedicated team that’s here to support families at every stage of their caregiving journey. 

Our on-staff Director of Family Services, Susie, is always here to lend a helping hand.

Medical alert systems

Various medical alert programs and technologies can help monitor your loved ones 24 hours a day. 

Set boundaries for everyone’s benefit

Maintaining as much self-sufficiency as possible is a good goal. Set boundaries with each party and agree to what assistance and support you can offer each. This structure will also help budget for expenses.

Keep communication lines open

Being able to address problems as they arise will help keep any difficulties from becoming worse. So talk to everyone, listen to what they say, and work together. 

Our Kensington Senior Living communities offer monthly caregiver support groups open to the public, and for those with family members in our community.

Most important—be kind to yourself and ask for help

An essential part of being a successful sandwich caregiver is treating yourself with as much consideration as those you care for. Eating right and taking care of your own health will allow you to enjoy your life and share in the joys of your family. 

Our team is here to help families and loved ones at any stage of their caregiver journey. Our monthly family support groups are open to those who need guidance and support.

Many organizations and people like friends and other family members are willing to help you with your daily tasks and responsibilities. Don’t be afraid or too timid to ask for assistance when needed or even before it’s necessary. 

Kensington Senior Living for care resources

At some point, most caregivers—whether part of the sandwich generation or not—will consider senior living as the best solution for everyone. 

All of the Kensington Senior Communities are high-quality, high-end senior living communities located in sought-after semi-urban and urban environments. 

With ongoing life enrichment activities and an everchanging calendar of events, there’s something for every resident. 

Each community is uniquely designed to create an enjoyable, comfortable experience for residents of many different care levels. 

All our communities offer a full spectrum of clinical services delivered by top-class professionals and carefully vetted partners. Each one sitting on beautiful grounds and gardens for your loved one to take in.  

Reach out to one of our dedicated representatives, and discover if any of Kensington Senior Living communities can help with your caregiving needs.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.