Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z—these are all generations you're likely familiar with. But there's another generation that is starting to become more and more common. It’s called the “sandwich generation,” a term coined in 1981 by a social worker named Dorothy Miller. It refers to an adult caregiver who is "sandwiched" between taking care of both their younger children and their aging parent. This term has become so mainstream over the past 30 years that it is now referenced in the Merriam Webster and Oxford dictionaries.

With rising life expectancies, as well as women waiting later in life to have children, the number of those included in the sandwich generation is only expected to increase. Meaning more and more adult children will have to take on the role of parent and caregiver, leaving many to feel overwhelmed both personally, emotionally and financially.

The Financial Burden of the Sandwich Generation

According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults between the age of 40 and 59 have at least one parent that is 65 or older, as well as a young child they are raising. Approximately 15 percent of those adults are providing financial support for both their parent and child. And 75 percent say they feel a responsibility to provide financial help to their aging parent when needed. As a result, more families are feeling a financial strain, only adding to the many stressors caregivers face.

How Senior Living is Helping the Sandwich Generation

As the population ages, so have the number of senior living options available to help both seniors and their families. Assisted living communities ensure seniors have access to the assistance they need with daily activities such as dining, bathing or prescription management, while helping them stay active, social and independent.

Having access to this level of service can put both caregivers and their aging parents at ease. That's why it's important that those in the sandwich generation consider their options when it comes to senior living, and make a decision that is right for the whole family.

How Western Home Communities Can Help

At Western Home Communities, we offer a wide range of living options to ensure aging seniors have access to the services and care they need to live active, healthy, and happy lives. From spacious independent living apartments, to supportive assisted living and memory care, we work with seniors and their families to find the option that's right for them. Contact us today to learn more about our community options and to schedule a tour.