The Crushing Weight of ‘Sandwich Caregiving’

March 30, 2021

U
dame magazine

When Sade Dozan discovered she was pregnant, her parents moved closer, with the intention of helping with child care. Dozan says she knew they wouldn’t be able to afford it without a blend of partially paid child care and Dozan’s parents helping for half the week. But in 2018, when Dozan’s daughter was six months old, Dozan’s mother had a heart attack with the baby in her arms. “I went from having someone that was my champion and ready to provide care to me being the sole provider of that care,” says Dozan, now 31. “I went from being a parent to a sandwich-generation caregiver overnight.”

While there is variance depending on circumstances and familial construct—some individuals described having a child in their mid-20s and stepping in to care for a parent, sibling, or grandparent—sandwich-generation caregivers are predominantly Generation X, with the typical profile of a sandwich caregiver, according to Caring Across Generations, being 41 years old on average and born between 1965 and 1980. This group was sitting at the intersection of multiple crises before the coronavirus pandemic, and now, lack of institutional support for child care, workplace flexibility, and health insurance have exacerbated profound needs and deficits in how familial structures are supported. And at the center, there’s a larger question about who is tending to the emotional and economic support of sandwich caregivers themselves.

Read more in Dame.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

“Since the pandemic, individuals are coping with so many different forms of stress that might be activating a compassionate part of them that they...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.