We've all heard of the sandwich generation--the one where we're on the hook for caring for our aged parents and our young children. What with many of us living longer and the needs of our adult children changing, there are two variations on the sandwich motif.
One is the club sandwich: We're taking care of our aging parents and still supporting our adult children.
The other is the grand-sandwich: We're taking care of our aging parents and helping out with our grandchildren.
Either way, the generation in the middle (it may be our adult children rather than us) has a load of emotional stress and time-consuming responsibilities say nothing of dealing with a financial squeeze.
A Washington Post story posts some of the details for those of us caught in the middle or worried about our adult children who are stuck there:
Point one: The financial burdens associated with being responsible for multiple generations are rising, but the main culprit may not be elderly parents but adult children.
With more post-college youths coming home to live with parents or doing so throughout school, there are now estimates that nearly 30% of 25-to-34 years olds live with their parents. Essentially this leaves parents taking care of many of their children's financial burdens in addition to tending to other responsibilities they may bring about.
Point two: The emotional stress of caring for elderly parents runs deep.
Those amid the sandwich generation are handed double duty by also wanting or needing to help take care of their aging parents—a role many consider far more their responsibility than taking care of adult children. Whether their parents live at home, in a facility or within their home, the stress can become overwhelming. The burdens of medical costs, helping with daily activities, overseeing supervision, legal considerations and other concerns can take a physical and emotional toll on top of ongoing financial concerns.