The Sandwich Generation – Are You a Part of it?

Information for this post on the sandwich generation is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.

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What’s the sandwich generation?  The sandwich generation is a group of people who are caring for their aging parents at the same time that they are caring for their college age or adult children.   These people are “sandwiched” between caring for two different generations of family. Marty and I are right on the cusp of the sandwich generation.  My parents are in their seventies.  My grandmother is in her nineties.  My son is 15 and my daughter is 20.  Each different generation requires a different amount of care and attention from my husband and I.

the sandwich generation

Base image from morguefile.com

The Sandwich Generation

We don’t begrudge our families the attention and help they need. They’re family after all and that’s what family does.  Caring for other people does take a lot of time and that can make an already full schedule even more hectic.  If you add into that mix the fact that my husband is disabled and occasionally needs help from me, you can see why this generation is called the sandwich generation.  We are very lucky that my parents (in their seventies) are still fairly active.  My father is not at the point where he needs help from us.  My mother needs help sometimes with the heavier housework.  When my father cannot help out, my daughter (age 20) helps with some tasks.  My son helps my father out with home repairs occasionally as well.  Recently my daughter and mother have started cleaning out the china cabinets and washing and dusting my mother’s collection of Depression glass.

My Grandmother is in a nursing home in Connecticut right now after several falls.  My parents travel from Vermont to Connecticut twice a month to help take care of things that she needs there. They are also working on going through her personal items that she no longer needs.  Just watching them go through this process is like a glimpse into what my future will be like in a few more years.  I am sure that once my daughter graduates, she will need help starting off on her own.  She probably won’t stay close by. Like most young adults, she will move where the jobs are.  How will I manage at that point when my Grandmother, parents, husband, and children all need help. Planning for care giving needs is something that I need to start thinking about.

I need to consider how we will manage my parent’s housework & yard work when they get older.  They live in a huge old Victorian home and may need help with the upkeep or modifications made to make the stairs safe for them.  What happens when they cannot stay in their own home alone? I am the only local family that they have.  How will I juggle caring for my kids and my parents? I’m sure that I will need to hire some sort of caregiver to help out with the responsibilities at least sometimes. This article on what it can cost to be a caregiver really opened my eyes to the potential expenses. I’m not sure that it’s something we are ready for yet but I know we need to start preparing.  Have you started thinking about the costs of care giving and how you’ll handle this?

Information for this post on the sandwich generation is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.



Comments

  1. This is a hard situation to be in. We want to take care of so many people and then we forget to take care of ourselves. It is good to have a resource to answer all the questions that come up!

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