A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or are financially supporting an adult child (age 18 or older). Many in this group are providing some type of support to their aging parents, whether it is financial support or help with managing bills, household chores or personal care. And the majority of these sandwich generation adults are also employed outside of the home.
These individuals often prioritize their care giving responsibilities above everything else, and that can have negative consequences in other areas of their life, including:
Their own physical and emotional health: Family caregivers often neglect their own health and healthcare, including not eating a healthy diet, not exercising regularly and not seeing the doctor for their own health issues as needed. They are at higher risk for stress, depression and other health problems.
Their relationships with others: Many in the sandwich generation focus so much on caring for their elderly parents and their children that they have little time or energy left for their other roles as spouse or partner, friend and employee.
Their financial well-being: Many adults in the sandwich generation are providing some level of financial assistance to both their elderly parents and their adult children while also incurring the expenses of raising younger children. This often means that they neglect saving for their own retirement and may even struggle to pay bills and meet their own living expenses.