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The Stresses Of The Sandwich Generation: More Middle-Aged Americans Are Taking Care Of Their Parents And Their Kids At The Same Time

It can be difficult and time-consuming to raise your children – and it can feel overwhelming and stressful to care for your sick, aging, and elderly parents. However, for the first time in America, an entire generation is face with dealing with both responsibilities at the same time. Some in the baby boomer generation are even dealing with three generations of care – looking after parents, children, and grandchildren, or looking after children, parents, and grandparents.

What are the unique stresses of those sandwiched between raising kids and caring for their parents?

•    Time constrictions. It can be difficult to give both your parents and your children sufficient attention, and many feel pulled in two different directions at once.
•    Money stress. Caring for children and parents simultaneously means twice as many expenses, including nursing home costs, college costs, activities costs, medical costs, and travel costs.
•    A lack of support. Since the Sandwich Generation is caught up caring for everyone else, they lack help and support from others. In the past, grandparents have lent a hand in raising kids, or adult children have assisted in the care of their grandparents. Now, parents are dealing with both issues alone.
•    A lack of focus.  Both children and the elderly need significant amounts of time and attention to ensure that they are safe, comfortable, and happy. In many cases, those looking after both their children and their parents are not able to sustain focus on either.

How should the Sandwich Generation handle the issues of elder abuse and elder neglect? While it can be difficult for those juggling multiple responsibilities to keep a vigilant eye on their elder parents’ treatment in adult care facilities, it is extremely important for them to be aware of nursing home abuse and neglect issues. Those with limited time and resources should know that choosing the right nursing home initially will go a long way in caring for their elder loved ones, and that knowing the most common signs of abuse and neglect is vital.