What happens when “sandwich generation” caregivers need help themselves?
A recent article in the Toronto Sun tackles this question, as one of many facing the “sandwich generation,” defined as adults who are caring for their own children as well as a parent over the age of 65. A survey by Home Instead, Inc. on the topic provides background for the article.
Results of the survey featured in the article reveal the impact the pressures of balancing work/life/caregiving are having on family caregivers:
- Nearly half (45%) of panini generation caregivers have cut expenses or shifted budgets in order to meet responsibilities as a caregiver for parent(s) and/or in-law(s).
- Almost one in four of all respondents (23%) have quit a job that made it too hard to be a caregiver.
- Roughly half (48%) of those who work say their employer has warned them that their caregiving responsibilities are jeopardizing their employment.
- Many non-working caregivers left the workforce (60%), declined job offers (59%), and felt the quality of their life has suffered because of the time they invest in being a good caregiver (58%).
Canadians Feeling Effects of Sandwich Generation
According to the Toronto Sun article, Statistics Canada reveals that one in four Canadians provide care to someone else. With the national dependency ratio (the number of dependents aged zero to 14 and over the age of 65) hitting a 20-year high in 2021, family caregivers are facing mounting pressures to multi-task.
One of the biggest stressors for these caregivers is that they don’t know where to turn for help. The article references Home Instead research in stating that “according to a recent survey from Home Instead, Inc., (home care specialists) the majority of those in the ‘panini generation don’t know where to turn to or how to ask for help when it comes to relief from their caregiving duties.’”
Debbie Franchuk, a registered nurse and co-owner and director of Home Instead in Calgary, AB, Canada, sees this pull between duties firsthand. In the Toronto Sun article, she offered insight on the pressures facing the “sandwich generation.”
“Caring for an aging parent offers many rewarding and meaningful moments, though it does not come without its challenges,” said Franchuk “For those sandwiched between generations who are raising children, while also caring for an elder loved one and juggling work, this increased responsibility can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming.”
Click here for more comprehensive resources for those caught in the “sandwich generation.”