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The Sandwich Generation is definitely in the news nowadays. With the recession, real estate problems, and unemployment woes, our "group" is apparently growing by leaps and bounds.
THE RECESSION IS ADDING TO THE SANDWICH GENERATION NUMBERS
According to the UK Telegraph, "many more women had fallen into the Sandwich Generation in the last few years as a result of rising life expectancy, an increasing number of women in work, and delays in the age at which mothers give birth." In addition "the recession was adding to the problem, as families turned to grandparents to look after youngsters as a way of saving money on child care while parents work."
MULTIGENERATIONAL CAREGIVING IS WORLDWIDE
It's definitely a world-wide concern, as you can tell from this AARP Global article,"Caregiving crisis affects Japan's Sandwich Generation." As we have seen here in the U.S., "In the past, multiple generations lived together and daughters-in-law were expected to take on caregiving responsibilities. But trends toward nuclear families, women working and fewer children per household have challenged traditional assumptions."
Of course, those of us who have been doing this for awhile already knew that babysitting our grandchildren is one of our favorite ways to save money. But even more important is the fact that we know our grandchildren are getting loving care and vital spiritual training that they might not get in a large daycare.
As far as helping with our elderly parents, when we are able to open our home to them, it again saves money, but can also give them a safe and peaceful environment at a time in their lives when changes are extra stressful.
THE SANDWICH GENERATION IS ONE OF THE PRACTICAL WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
I suspect that, while the economy continues to wallow in the recession, we will see more and more people looking towards this "old-fashioned" yet practical option of combining multi-generational forces. And even though it can be difficult, I hope they will also find it can be very rewarding as well – for all the generations. Enough so that, once the economy starts to perk up (I know – I'm being the eternal optimist here 🙂 ), they will continue to work together to help each other in this Sandwich Generation sort of way.
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