More than 25% of American families are involved in elder/parent care at some level. Today, the baby boomers are the “heart” of the sandwich generation.
To understand the significance of the Sandwich Generation, one needs to realize that the Sandwich Generation is THE largest segment of our population.
Who are these sandwich generationers?
Traditional sandwich: those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children
Club sandwich: those in their 50s or 60s, sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. OR those in their 30s and 40s, with young children, aging parents and aging grandparents. (Term was coined by Carol Abaya)
Open Faced: anyone else involved in elder care. (Term coined by Carol Abaya)
Statistics further demonstrate the importance of understanding the sandwich generation scenario:
$34 billion a year are lost in employee productivity because of elder care responsibilities. More productivity is lost from elder/parent care responsibilities than from child care.
The cost to industry to replace experienced workers who leave their jobs to take care of a sick loved one is more than $7 billion a year.
Of full time employees who are caregivers, today 52% are men and 48% are women. This is a dramatic shift in the caregiver picture because of the high rate of divorce and family being geographically scattered.
77% of caregivers report they work less effectively.
More employees develop health problems from the stress of elder care than from child care.
While the sandwich generation is the largest segment of our population, those over 85 make up the fastest growing segment.
All of these statistics clearly show the undefinable challenges for adult children.