As more baby boomers become senior 'sandwich generationers' the need to understand aging dynamics, financial burdens 'the squeeze' and family relationships will increase dramatically.
While middle-aged adults are exhausting more resources to their grown children, the survey finds that the public places more value on support for aging parents than on support for grown children. Among 75% of adults have a responsibility to provide financial assistance to an elderly parent who is in need. This statistic is in contrast to the conditions of their parent's days in their time.
Continuing with the Pew Research Survey...
One likely explanation for the increase in the prevalence of parents providing financial assistance to grown children is that of the 2008–2009 'Great Recession' resulting in the recent sluggish economy. In 2010, the share of young adults who were employed was at it's lowest point since 1948. Unfortunately, from 2007 to 2011, these same young adults who were employed full time experienced a greater drop in their average weekly earnings.
Presumably life in the sandwich generation is more that a bit stressful. Having an aging parent while still raising or supporting one’s own children presents certain challenges not faced by other caregivers. 'Sandwich generation' adults are somewhat more likely than other adults to say they are 'pressed for time' or 'feeling the squeeze'. While some aging parents need financial support, others may also need help with day-to-day living. Among all adults with at least one parent age 65+, 30% say their parent or parents need help to handle their affairs or care for themselves. Otherwise majority say that their parents can 'handle it' on their own.
There is Light at the End of the Tunnel
Today members of the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X are represented in the 'sandwich generation'. But the balance has shifted significantly. When the Pew Research Center explored this topic, Baby Boomers made up the majority of the sandwich generation. They were more than twice as likely as members of Generation X to have a parent age 65+ and be supporting a child.