Are You in the Sandwich Generation?
1 in every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is in the sandwich generation, are you one of them? The sandwich generation refers to those adults who are “sandwiched” between taking care of a parent while also taking care of a child.
Back in 1981, a social worker named Dorothy Miller invented the phrase “sandwich generation” to describe women who were the primary caregiver of their aging parents and young children.
Sandwich Generation Challenges
Caregivers in general face difficulties managing family, work, life and finances. Sandwich generation caregivers often face more struggles and difficulties as more responsibilities arise. They may find themselves in a financial rut or may have to leave their job to handle their caregiving responsibilities.
Some adults in the sandwich generation face financial struggles regularly, as they are responsible for supporting themselves, their children, and helping out their aging parents.
Due to all these challenges, caregivers may begin to develop a burnout or have strong feelings of depression. Taking care of an aging parent or sick child separately is hard, but trying to handle both at the same time can be overwhelming.
Looking at the Statistics
– There are 43 million unpaid caregivers in America.
– 1 in 8 Americans between ages 40 to 60 are in the sandwich generation.
– 48% of adults are providing financial support to their grown children, while 27% are their primary support.
– 25% of adults are providing financial support to their parents.
– Approximately 10 million Americans are caring for aging parents long distance.
– 1 in 4 employees take a leave of absence to care for loved ones.
Another Type of Sandwich
There is another types of sandwich in this demographic. The Club Sandwich. Those in the club sandwich generation are those in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who are the primary caregiver of their young children, their aging parents and their grandparents. These folks are the ultimate caregivers.
The Impact on Businesses
As caregivers spend time, money, and energy caring for and supporting their loved ones, their work productivity is affected greatly. We often see that when caregiving responsibilities become urgent or stressful, caregiver’s presenteeism at work begins to decline, as well as their focus and motivation.
Looking at a broad spectrum, employers are facing estimated costs of $17 billion to $33 billion annually attributed to caregiving, according to the MetLife Study. These estimated losses are due to absenteeism, employees shifting from full-time to part-time roles, the replacement of employees who left, and general workday interruptions.
Fortunately, employers are starting to recognize the impact of offering caregiving benefits in the workplace. More employers are introducing caregiver support platforms like Cariloop that help support employees and their families throughout the caregiving journey.
By Chelsie Mackey
If you are caring for a loved one and need some help figuring out the next step, a Cariloop Healthcare Coach would love to walk you and your family through whatever you may be dealing with. Become a member or call 1-844-790-5667 to get started.
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