Last night on the news there was a report that in America the 40 our work week is all but obsolete. The new work week is 50+ hours per week. An article in USA today reports that women from mid-30's to mid-50's are the least likely to report being happy. Later marriages, later child-bearing, working more hours, and living longer are contributing to a situation were women in this age bracket are becoming part of a perfect storm. As many Americans are one crisis away from a bankruptcy, women in this age group are one crisis away from a break-down. When normal day to day functioning feels so out of control, a crisis inevitably would send her into a tail spin. Sandwich generation is a cute name for a very serious situation. We have 60 year olds taking care of a 92 year old parent and a 16 year old child. In fact, Minnesota has the largest percentage of non-professional caretakers in the nation, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. Without them, we would have even more seniors living unsuccessfully at home. If even 1% of the caretakers in Minnesota decided to stop caretaking, it would completely overwhelm our health care system.
Here are some statistics from the USA article I referenced above:
If you know of someone who is being 'sandwiched" by all their responsibilities, encourage them to reach out for help. The Senior Linkage Line is a great resource that can offer help finding respite for caretakers. 1-800-333-2483