Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Challenges for the Newest Sandwich Generation

The interesting thing about the sandwich generation is that your position changes over time. Boomers at one time were  the "filling" and now are one of the slices of the bread. What about the family caregivers for the boomers? They're now the filling. And they face their challenges.  This Washington Post article, published before the sweep of the Corona virus changed the conversation, predicts greater challenges for them. The ‘sandwich generation’ quandary was hard on baby boomers. It’s going to be harder on their kids acknowledges how individuals age into their placement within the sandwich generation:

The boundaries of this cohort are blurry and perpetually shifting; when the term was first coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981, she referred specifically to 30- or 40-something women — baby boomers or members of the Silent Generation — who were caregivers for both children and aging parents. Now, 40- and 50-something Gen Xers make up the heart of the sandwich generation (which includes men and women), but the baton will pass again soon: The oldest millennials turn 40 next year, notes Kim Parker, director of social trends research with the Pew Research Center. 
And because millennials have waited longer to have children than prior generations, they are even more likely than their predecessors to find themselves balancing care for even younger children and aging parents....
Since some X'ers waited to have kids, their situation gives the Millennials a preview of sorts and discusses the "sandwich pressures" which occur to the caregivers.  We have always had this multi-generational caregiving relationship, but now it seems to be taking on a different emphasis:
There has always been the cycle of growing children and aging grandparents, and the stresses that can result from caring for either or both. But as more parents trend toward starting their families later, the widening distance between the generations — child, parent, grandparent — is changing the nature of the dynamic among all three.
The recommendations for the caregivers strike a similar tone for those given to those of us self-isolating, including making time for yourself, connecting with your friends, communicating with your family and remembering that "showing up for the people you love is always the right thing to do."

Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Grant Deadlines/Awards, Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink


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