The Sandwich Generation
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The Sandwich Generation

Caring for Oneself and Others at Home and at Work

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Lisa M. Calvano

Rising life expectancy has led to the growth of the ‘Sandwich Generation’ – men and women who are caregivers to their children of varying ages as well as for one or both parents whilst still managing their own household and work responsibilities. This book considers both the strains and benefits of this position.
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Chapter 2: Challenges faced by sandwiched caregivers

Shelley I. White-Means


An aging population having more chronic health conditions and a lower fertility rate will increase challenges to informal caregivers, perhaps more so in the sandwich generation, as older and younger generations will put pressure on caregivers. The author, using research data, compares sandwiched with non-sandwiched caregivers, in a large U.S. database, on personal demographics, caregiving time, types of care provided, labor force participation and accommodation, perceived burden, quality of life, and employment burden. She reports both similarities and differences between these two groups. Being sandwiched, however, is associated with more financial strain, but similar levels of burden, physical strains, and emotional stresses. It may be that, in both groups, caring for others is seen as a “labor of love.” Organizational support lessened some of these consequences. Societies face challenges as the need for caregivers increases while the supply diminishes. Key words: caregiver challenges, sandwiched versus non-sandwiched caregivers, future societal caregiving challenges.

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