Friday, November 06, 2009

Latest on the Sandwich

The ranks of multi-generational caregivers, adults simultaneously supporting their children and aging parents or other family members, are bulging. Communispace recently release a new study, The Sandwich Situation, that addresses this growing phenomena.

The study's many insights include:
  • The sandwich is a situation, not a generation. Caregivers can be in their 20’s or in their 60’s, and the challenges they face span incomes and geographies. The sandwich is not a sandwich.
  • The “squeeze” is notexerted or experienced equally. People are not stressed because they’re caring for kids and parents, it’s because they’re caring for parents and in-laws, period.
  • The “burden” carries intrinsic rewards. Despite the stresses, caring for elderly relatives has many intrinsic rewards—moral clarity, a sense of purpose, teaching opportunities, moments of surprising joy, and a deep appreciation from those receiving the care.
  • There is a huge unmet need for products and services that help care for aging parents now and in the future. While there are myriad offerings to help consumers plan for their own retirement and the care and education of their children, there are relatively few resources.
  • to prepare for the inevitable responsibility of caring for the aging population. Brands—even those not associated with serving the aged—can do much, much more to capitalize on the support and comfort they already provide, and to provide it in new ways.

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