The Stress of Sandwich Caregiving
In this blog entry, I want to shine a light on Sandwich Caregivers - people providing unpaid care to an adult while also caring for children living in their home. If you’re not one of the 11 million people caring for both an adult and a child, chances are you know someone who is and your support and understanding could make a huge difference.
Average 41 years of age
Typically reside with or within 20 minutes of the adult they provide care for
Has provided care to the adult for, on average, for 3.2 years
Just over half (52%) are also employed while providing care
Provide about 22 hours of care each week between caring for adults and children
Spend, on average, about $7,000 of their own money per year on caregiving
Sandwich caregivers are often in their prime career phase - where those around them are building careers and socking away money for retirement. Needless to say, scaling back on career aspirations or time spent at work in response to caregiving responsibilities during this period can cause significant short and long term effects.
According to the data, Sandwich Caregiving affects different ethnic and socioeconomic groups differently and the implications of the disparity are far reaching.
For more information and a full report on Sandwich Caregiving, click here:
When I’m talking with the families of my clients, I go right to basics: the Activities of Daily Living and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. If you’re not familiar with them yet, I want you to understand how valuable they are in helping to frame and color decision making throughout the aging process. Though some of the verbiage varies by source, the overall categories remain constant.
The charts below indicate what ADLs and IADLs the recipients of care most often need.
Source: National Alliance for Caregiving
I think we all understand the concept of Sandwich Caregiving on some basic level, but I think that we never truly understand what someone is going through until we've walked a mile in their shoes. Consider the following:
Put yourself in the shoes of a working Sandwich Caregiver, knowing that your parent has trouble getting dressed and getting around - both of which they must do throughout the day while you’re at work. You haven't been able to reach them and you're worried about whether they’re okay - especially since they aren’t so good at answering the phone anymore - but between working until 5 (you can't dash out early again), picking the kids up from after school care, shuttling them to activities and preparing dinner you’re not sure how you’re going to do that too. No wonder 40% of Sandwich Caregivers report feeling a high level of stress!
I know from experience that when you're Sandwich Caregiving it feels nearly impossible to get help. Seamless Senior Transitions has proven local resources that can help put you in control of the situation and make everyone involved more comfortable. For more information on caregiving and local resources that can be of support, please don't hesitate to reach out to Seamless Senior Transitions!