Tips to Help Members of the Sandwich Generation Balance Responsibilities

Tips to Help Members of the Sandwich Generation Balance Responsibilities
The sandwich generation is one of the many terms that define caregiving. As you can guess, the term has nothing to do with two pieces of bread spread with peanut butter and jelly. Rather, the sandwich generation refers to those who currently are raising children or supporting an adult child while also being fortunate enough to have a living parent 65 or older.

Sandwiched between generations

Middle-aged adults sandwiched between generations are primarily 40 to 59 years of age. According to the Pew Research Center, 36 percent are married, compared to 13 percent who are single. Not too long ago, I was a member of the sandwich generation. We had four children and one on the way when my mother was diagnosed with dementia. The prospect of my mother’s condition, coupled with raising the little kids who loved her, made the diagnosis even more daunting. We had little knowledge of what to expect or how we’d navigate raising kids while also keeping Mom healthy and happy.

The challenges

There are challenges to raising children while also caring for an aged parent. One of the primary challenges is financial. The cost of care for an aging parent is a concern, especially when the caregiver is also responsible for raising a growing family. We were fortunate. My father, who passed away a few years after Mom’s diagnosis
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