The Sandwich Generation: Working and Caring for Family Members
Talking to employers about options to maintain employment and caregiving roles.
More than 1 in 8 Americans are both raising a child and caring for a parent. They are known as the sandwich generation. Seven to 10 million adults are also caring for an aging parent who lives far away.
For the sandwich generation, being proactive about the impact of caregiving on their job may help prevent job loss or performance issues. Working caregivers may find it helpful to talk to a supervisor about their job commitment and options to remain productive.
Some caregivers may need to change an employment situation to fit in their caregiving role. Caregivers may consider talking to a supervisor about work options allowing the caregiver to maintain both their employment and caregiving roles. These options could include the following:
- Having more flexible hours
- Reducing working hours
- Working from home
- Taking a leave of absence
- Downgrading to a less demanding job
It’s no surprise that caregiving can take a toll on a person’s health. People giving care to both young and older family members report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and lower quality of life. Research has shown that 17% of these caregivers rate their health as “fair” or “poor” compared with 10% of non-caregivers.
Among the 44 million unpaid caregivers to older adults in the United States, 75% are employed. The average employed caregiver works about 35 hours a week. For these employed caregivers, working with their supervisor to learn about available work options can help them take better care of themselves.
Learn more useful tips for working caregivers.
The work of the Healthy Brain Research Network of the Prevention Research Centers, part of CDC’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program, focuses on promoting cognitive health and addressing the needs of older Americans living with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.
Learn more about the Prevention Research Centers, Healthy Brain Research Network and the healthy aging program and CDC’ s caregiving activities.