It Isn’t Easy Being a Sandwich

The sandwich generation: the middle aged bunch, predominantly baby boomers these days, who have to care for both their children and their parents on a daily basis.

It doesn’t sound easy… and it isn’t. Juggling the needs of two sets of people is straining and exhausting, and spreads a person thin. It could also lead to lesser quality care for both the parents and the children, as the estimated 20 million Sandwichers in the United States don’t have the time or resources to juggle both as well as they would wish.

A Harris Interactive poll found that Sandwichers themselves feel deficient and a bit guilty about their responsibilities. Results found that 53% of those polled felt that they had to choose between caring for their own children and caring for their parents atleast once a week, while 20% felt this difficult choice occurred on a daily basis. 40% felt deficient, believing that their parents did a better job juggling the generational responsibility than they did.

Of course, Sandwichers have a different lifestyle than their parents did. Double income households are more common these days, and technology has ensured that a person can never really take a break or vacation. But some companies are trying to utilize that same technology to make it easier for Sandwichers to KIT with their parents from a distance. One example is Presto, a printer and mailbox service that permits Sandwichers with email access to send messages and reminders to aging parents without.

The market is only beginning to open, but Sandwich Generation Americans should keep an eye out for ways that technology can help them, instead of hindering them.

01. August 2008 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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