What IS the sandwich generation? In a nutshell, it’s taking care of both elder care and childcare or supporting a grown child at the same time. You’re “sandwiched” in the middle of both circumstances.
Family members, predominantly female family members, have provided the majority of care to their aging loved ones. Today, there’s a generation of middle-aged adults known as the Sandwich Generation, who are caught in the middle of child rearing or support and providing care to aging parents for these reasons:
1. Delayed parenting – a new norm in society is couples starting families in their middle to late 30s instead of earlier in life.
2. Increased life span: people are living longer as a result of better healthcare and technology.
The sandwich generation can be further defined:
•Traditional: those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children.
•Club sandwich: those in their 50s or 60s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren or those in their 30s and 40s with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
•Open faced sandwich: anyone else involved in elder care.
•Interesting fact: Most of the sandwich generation were baby boomers until 2005. As of 2014, boomers became grandparents and started transitioning into the aging population while their children took their places and moved into the sandwich generation.