In 1981, Dorothy A. Miller coined the term,“sandwich generation,”to signify people caring for aging parents while supporting their own children.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the number of Americans 65+ will double by the year 2030 to more than 70 million. This puts nearly 10 million American adults squarely in the category of sandwich generation – those caring for elderly parents who also have their own worries coupled with that of their children.
The Pew Research Center has more evidence that this sandwich generation should be re-examined in 2013 (32 years after its coinage) stating that 1 of every 8 Americans between 40 years and 60 years of age are raising a child and caring for a parent. The numbers suggest that parents caring for parents are experiencing more than the customary levels of daily pressure.
Today’s caregiver is more resilient and has more resources to tap than 32 years ago when the term “sandwich generation” was first coined. People who manage this day-to-day routine typically ignore the research, data and studies and get through the daily challenges as best they can.
When Retiree Health Choices launched its company, the sandwich generation provided fodder for their products and services such as the website EasyMedicareChoices.com. The company’s mission is to make Medicare decisions more consumer friendly.
When you’re managing a situation – whether it’s health care issues for a parent or a broken leg from gymnastics for a pre-teen, a caregiver isn’t going to appreciate plowing through Medicare catalogs and websites to understand which plan to purchase for their parents.
When EasyMedicareChoices.com launches, the site will help simplify the plan selection and purchase process for caregivers and their parents eligible for Medicare.
For the daily challenges that may arise when caring for aging parents, there are many community-based and online resources more plentiful than 32 years ago…here are some:
• Books are available and affordable on the topics of eldercare and caregiving.
• Local libraries are good places to go for these reference materials.
• Chapters of national organizations offer caregiving counsel and help locally e.g. Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and more. The support groups for caregivers provide needed resources.
• Providers sometimes have resources available via nurse practitioners for community services.
• Public health departments and social service agencies in communities are always helpful to caregivers.
Please share the resources you tap as a caregiver, and we’ll add them to our list.