The Sandwich Generation
The sandwich generation refers to the younger baby boomers who are currently caring for their adult children and their elderly parents (Wassel & Cutler, 2016). The main social issues being faced by the members of the sandwich generation include;
- Financial constraints due to the heavy burden of caring to both children and parents
- Increased workload since they have to address the needs of the aging parents as well as their children.
- Health risks because of the pressures they face from increased responsibilities and due to their aging bodies.
Social scientists from different disciplines may have varying perceptions regarding the challenges being faced by members of the sandwich generation. For instance, a psychologist may look at how their mental health may deteriorate due to the increased pressure from both parents and children. A gerontologist may examine if the pressures undergone by members of this generation increases the speed at which they age. Similarly, an anthropologist may consider the cultural factors that dictate the magnitude of the burden handled by the sandwich generation.
Some of the major controversies regarding this issue include the dilemma to either enroll parents in a special home or to keep attending to them physically. Some people may continue to struggle by tending to their older parents and supporting theory children because of preserving their social reputation. Additionally, controversies exist as to whether members of the sandwich generation should receive additional support from the government apart from the traditional social benefits. The solution to this problem lies in rigorous planning. People should plan the size of their families and the time of having kids so as to avoid bearing huge burdens during the age of 50 or 60.
Wassel, J. I., & Cutler, N. E. (2016). Yet Another Boomer Challenge for Financial Professionals: The “Senior” Sandwich Generation. Journal Of Financial Service Professionals, 70(1), 61-73.
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