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The Sandwich generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.
According to the Pew Research Center, just over 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to between 7 to 10 million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance. US Census Bureau statistics indicate that the number of older Americans aged 65 or older will double by the year 2030, to over 70 million.
Carol Abaya categorized the different scenarios involved in being a part of the sandwich generation.
- Traditional: those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children.
- Club Sandwich: those in their 50s or 60s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren, or those in their 30s and 40s, with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
- Open Faced: anyone else involved in elder care.
Merriam-Webster officially added the term to its dictionary in July 2006.
The term "sandwich generation" was coined by Dorothy A Miller in 1981.
- Abaya, Carol. The Sandwich Generation. The Sandwich Generation.
- Miller, D. (1981). "The 'Sandwich' Generation: Adult Children of the Aging." Social Work 26:419–423.
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