The ‘Sandwich Generation:’ Home Instead providing resources for caregivers caring for aging parents

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 8:12 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Home Instead, a Lubbock home health care service, is looking to provide resources and a sense of community for the ‘Sandwich Generation” of caregivers pressed between caring for aging parents and raising children of their own.

They’ll be hosting a luncheon on Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at their office near 10th Street and Slide.

Lubbock daughter and mother of two, Kristen Wilson, is in this generation. She’s raising her children while working full-time and caring for her aging parents - running their errands, taking them to appointments, and taking them dinner.

“You feel sometimes that OK, today is that I’m going to be a good parent or be a good daughter or son?” Wilson said.

But Wilson is not facing this challenge alone. Stephanie Dodson, the Lubbock franchise owner of Home Instead, says the ‘Sandwich Generation’ is growing.

“We are seeing more, simply because of the baby boom that’s aging out. And then you also see a lot of people who wait a little bit longer to have children these days. And so, they may be a little bit older as their children start to grow up, causing them to be put in that place in between,” Dodson said.

Dodson says some are calling this the ‘Panini Generation’ now, comparing the weight of responsibilities to being pressed between two hot plates.

“They’re feeling the pressure from their bosses, from their coworkers, and then they’re also feeling their obligation to their family, their parents, and their kids. And it’s very difficult for them to do both of those things at one time,” she said.

Pew Research reports more than 1 in 10 U. S. parents with kids younger than 18 are also caring for an aging adult.

“You can feel like you’re the only person walking through this journey. But there’s so many other people and families that are going through this too,” Wilson said.

If you know someone in this generation, Dodson suggests offering to take their kids out for ice cream or spend some time with their parents so they can clear the to-do list.

“Just little things that don’t seem like a lot can really go a far distance for someone who’s in that situation,” Dodson said.

Home Instead is hosting this luncheon Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at its office near 10th Street and Slide to give these caregivers a chance to talk with others in the same boat.

“We encourage anyone who’s in that position to really reach out to others who are like them, have conversations, look at different resources. It’s important for a caregiver or family caregiver to take time for themselves,” she said. “Whether it’s just a walk by themselves or just some time to meditate or journal. Because it can be very, very stressful, whether you’re raising children or you’re taking care of aging adults and then when you put those together, it’s quite difficult.”

Dodson asks caregivers who plan to attend to call the office at 806-281-4663, so they can prepare enough food.