Juggling Caregiving

Balancing Caring for an Elderly Parent and Raising Your Own Kids is Juggling Caregiving

Caring for love ones is very rewarding yet a demanding responsibility. Sometimes you are caught up in a stressful life of having an aging parent to care while raising or supporting your own children. If you are in this position then you belong to a sandwich generation.

What is sandwich generation?

The “Sandwich generation” is referring to a generation of people who are caught in the middle of the two care dependents. It means that if you are a middle age adult, and is raising a child or supporting a grown-up child and at the same time caring/supporting an elderly parents, then you are part of the sandwich generation.

According to a new nationwide Pew Research Center survey conducted on December 2012, 71% of the sandwich generation are between 40 to 59 years old and 19% are younger than 40. In the same survey, it is also reported that there are more well-off individuals in the sandwich generation than the low-income individuals. The research says that 43% have an income of 100,000 dollars or more are part of sandwich generation and only 25% have income between 30,000 to 100,000.

Life as Part of the Sandwiched Generation

To be part of the sandwiched generation, life can be stressful. To care an elderly and to raise a child, is a challenging task. You may think, it is not blissful to be part of this generation. Surprisingly, the  nationwide Pew Research Center survey reported that adults in the sandwich generation are just as happy with their lives overall as are of other adults. Some 31% say they are very happy with their lives, and an additional 52% say they are pretty happy. Happiness rates are nearly the same among adults who are not part of the sandwich generation: 28% are very happy, and 51% are pretty happy.

Yes, caregiving can be very stressful, but the sandwiched generation found their way to be happy amidst the challenging responsibility according to the result of the survey. Respondents felt pressed for time and rushed through the daily caregiving yet managed to hang on to their lives.

Juggling Caregiving

The juggling caregiving mentioned in this survey means financial and emotional support to elders. Respondents are with a parent age 65 or older who need assistance handling their affairs or caring for themselves. Among them 31% say they provide most of this help, and an additional 48% say they provide at least some of the help.

Among all adult respondents with a living parent age 65 or older, 35% say that their parent or parents frequently rely on them for emotional support, and 33% say their parents sometimes rely on them for emotional support.
So, on the survey, it was concluded that the older the parents, the more they rely on their children for emotional support rather than financial support.

However, compared to the financial support the parent provided to a grown-up child, it shows that respondents are providing more financial support to a growing child than they are to an aging parent. Among all adult respondents, 30% say they have given some type of financial support to a grown child in the past year. Among those who have a grown child, more than six-in-ten (63%) have done this.

How this survey affect you?

If you are part of the sandwiched generation, it means that the financial burdens fall to you as the middle-aged American. As the aging generation needs financial and emotional support and the young generation struggles to achieve financial independence, you will be caught in the middle. The rise of financial responsibility between them will affect you as part of the sandwich generation. Therefore, planning and preparation are necessary.

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