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What to Know About ‘Sandwich Generation’ Caregiving in the New Year

 

“Sandwich Generation” adults are those who provide caregiving services and financial support to their aging parents and children. The group is getting larger every year due to aging trends and other factors. Unfortunately, the demands of their dual responsibilities are substantial.

Many Sandwich Generation adults suffer from depression, financial hardship, and declining health. It does not, however, have to be that way. Proper planning can lessen the impact of family obligations, and the beginning of a new year is an advantageous time to make important health care, financial, and legal decisions.

Typically, Sandwich Generation adults are between the ages of 40 and 59 years old. They may have at least one parent over the age of 65, one child under the age of 18, or a young adult child receiving financial support. Research tells us that roughly 13 million Americans currently fit into this category.

In years past, Baby Boomers composed the bulk of Sandwich Caregivers. The balance has shifted, however, to Generation X. As more and more Boomers retire and become grandparents, Gen X-ers are increasingly caught in between.

Multiple studies show that the financial burdens of child rearing and supporting college-age children can be intensely burdensome. We know that the added pressure of contributing to an elder parent’s well-being can be incredibly overwhelming!

What is not as easily understood, however, are the associated emotional demands. Even among those whose elder parents are able to shoulder their financial affairs, a large majority of sandwich adults say their parents still rely on them for emotional support. In that regard, the older the adult parent, the more emotional support they require.

Young children, understandably, require vast emotional resources, but adult children also require emotional support. According to these same reports, nearly half of all adult children receiving financial support from sandwich parents require regular emotional input.

A proactive financial and legal plan, combined with emotional coping strategies, is the best way to deal with being sandwiched. After all, bringing a family closer together by good planning is a much better option than being overwhelmed by circumstances. Do not wait to contact our law practice to ask your questions and get the help you need to support you now and in the future.