July is the “Sandwich Generation recognition” month- What does this mean?
The Pew Research Center describes the sandwich generation as middle aged adults which are “sandwiched” between their aging parents and their children. Romeo Vitelli, PhD. describes this phenomenon in Psychology Today by which the older generation is living longer, leaving their adult children to care for them into older age. The children of these middle aged adults are also more apt to be living at home with mom and dad due to the current economic climate.
It can be overwhelming looking after one’s own children and parents at the same time while balancing your own needs. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to practice good self care, whether that means participating in an activity you enjoy or asking friends or family for assistance. If you notice a friend or a loved one might be feeling the strain of intergenerational caregiving, offer a helping hand and some encouragement. Philip’s Lifeline has some great tips on avoiding caregiver role strain- you can find their article here.