Nov. 17, 2021

Taking Care Of Our Parents (And Our Kids)

Half of adults in their 30s and 40s say they handle some of their parents’ caregiving, even if it’s mostly logistical or financial. When you’re also taking care of your kids, it’s a lot. We talk “sandwich generation” stress and how to get more help.

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If you’re part of the “sandwich generation”– taking care of your parents and your children at the same time– you’ve got a lot of company. The demographic trends of later parenting and increasing life expectancies mean this double-caretaking will become a reality for a lot more of us. And it seems that this responsibility is falling more often on women: two-thirds of people doing the double caretaking are female. 

In this episode, we discuss how caring for parents can be particularly fraught, whether you’re giving them daily insulin shots, or just trying to make sense of their finances every April. 

We also discuss the importance of prioritizing our own mental and physical health, even (especially) when there seems to be little time to do so. 

Finally, we talk about operating from a place of maximum vulnerability. Realize that you really are doing more than any one person can handle. Get specific about the help you need, and be honest when you’re hitting your limits. 

Here are links to some of the writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Dorothy A. Miller: The 'sandwich' generation: adult children of the aging

Jessica Grose for NYT: ‘It’s Pretty Brutal’: The Sandwich Generation Pays a Price

Katica Roy for Fast Company: I’m a breadwinner mom and this is why helping women in the sandwich generation is good for the U.S. economy

Michelle Konstantinovsky for One Medical: The Sandwich Generation: Managing Stress While Caring For Others

Alia E. Dastagir for the Chicago Sun Times: ‘Sandwich generation’ stress: Adults caring for aging parents face stress, frustration

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