Our founder, Barry Siegel, recently wrote a book about the sandwich generation. With over 25 years of experience in estate planning and elder law, Barry was inspired to write Caught In The Middle, Juggling Your Elderly Parents’ Affairs While Raising Your Own Family by his family’s experience with his grandmother Betty, and seeing some of the very difficult challenges that his clients are experiencing. During this overwhelming and frustrating time, our firm’s goal is to help you navigate these challenges and overcome the obstacles that get in your way one step at a time.
What Is The Sandwich Generation?
The sandwich generation is a demographic of individuals responsible for caring for their aging parents while raising a family. That said, if you are trying to raise your family while caring for your parents who are getting older, you are most likely part of the sandwich generation. Most people describe this as very stressful because they are worried about feeding and taking care of their children while trying to make sure their elderly parents’ needs are met. Somewhere amid all this, you must also take care of your well-being and ensure your future is secure.
The Challenges That The Florida Sandwich Generation Faces
The Florida sandwich generation continues to experience unique challenges. Here are several of the challenges that the Florida sandwich generation faces:
- They often face financial, emotional and logistical challenges.
- The rising costs of elder care and daycare/ childcare are major financial burdens for the sandwich generation.
- The sandwich generation also faces significant emotional stress due to the demands of caregiving.
- They often have to find ways to balance the needs of their parents and children, which can be extremely difficult.
- They often juggle multiple jobs, care for their children and manage their health.
- Their own needs and well-being are usually put last. This can cause mental, emotional and physical hardships.
- Paying for their children’s and parents’ needs can be very expensive.
- If they are married, their spouse may also take a back seat to the everyday juggles of their parents and children.
Barry Siegel, Esq.
“Everybody who acts as a caretaker has to balance multiple roles, priorities and obligations across all areas of their lives. This can be especially difficult for people in the sandwich generation, who find themselves simultaneously caring for their aging parents and raising their own children. The pressure of trying to be a parent, a spouse, a caretaker, an employee and a friend can be exhausting. It’s no wonder that so many people in this position feel stressed, inadequate and overwhelmed. It’s a difficult position, but there are ways to manage these obligations and find balance.”
Author: Caught In The Middle, Juggling Your Elderly Parents’ Affairs While Raising Your Own Family
Why Is The Sandwich Generation Expanding?
The sandwich generation is an expanding and growing demographic. While most people think this problem may eventually disappear, there seems to be no ending. A few of the reasons for this include:
- Life expectancy is increasing:
Since life expectancy is increasing, people are living a lot longer. This means that elderly people live long lives and need their children and possibly even their grandchildren to help care for them.
- Young adults are taking longer to become financially independent:
With increasing inflation costs and high life expenses, young adults are taking longer to become financially independent. This means it is taking individuals a long time to financially get on their feet and buy their own homes, afford childcare, purchase groceries and more. As a result, they may still be financially dependent on their parents and living with them.
- There is a lack of affordable elder care options:
Elder care is expensive. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for individuals to find affordable nursing homes or assisted living facilities for their parents. This means that individuals must spend most of their days caring for their parents on their own, or dipping into their own retirement funds.
- The demands, duties and tasks keep people from advancing and growing in their own lives:
When caring for your elderly parents and raising a family you must accomplish an ever-growing list of demands, duties and tasks. As a result, people can become overwhelmed with no free time to focus on advancing and growing in their own lives. This can keep them from succeeding in their careers, education or family life.
- It is becoming normal for individuals to care for their parents and children:
With more and more people being required to care for their parents and children simultaneously, it is becoming a normal part of life. This makes it difficult to overcome the challenges and escape this never-ending cycle.
- There is a lack of support for caregivers:
Unfortunately, caregivers do not have much support. As a result, they become burned out, easily stressed, and mentally and physically exhausted. They do not have other options if they need a break or to do something else during a certain period. This can cause these individuals to feel like they need to care for their children and elderly parents, which they are usually right about.
Resources Available for the Sandwich Generation
If you are part of the sandwich generation, knowing you are not alone is important. Many other people around Florida and the entire country are experiencing the same issues. However, there are resources available to help the sandwich generation, such as government assistance programs, elder care services and support groups. The following are resources available that you may want to consider:
- AARP Family Caregiving
- Caregiver Action Network
- Community Resource Finder
- National Institute on Aging
- The National Alliance for Caregiving
And, Barry’s valuable book Caught In The Middle – Juggling Your Elderly Parents’ Affairs While Raising Your Own Family is a valuable resource if you are “caught in the middle.” The book is now available on Amazon.
Are You Caught In The Middle?
Call THE South Florida Elder Law Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group
If your elderly parent’s health declines and you need legal advice, please contact The Siegel Law Group at your earliest convenience. Our firm’s South Florida Elder Law Attorneys will help you with Elder Law Planning and ensure that finances, assets and other important decisions are established and implemented.
Call our office at 561-576-6206 for a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.