‘Sandwich generation’ challenges big, and getting bigger

One in 10 Canadians aged 45 to 64 juggle tasks of taking care of children and elderly parents
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/19/2004

This much working Canadians know too well. It’s hard enough to find time after work to take care of the daily family obligations — getting the groceries, making dinner, helping the kids with homework, getting ready for the next day.

But things can get a lot harder. Add to the list looking after an elderly parent, tending to them when they’re sick or they no longer sleep through the night, running chores for them if they still live in their own homes. Just getting from one day to the next can seem unmanageable. Yet, though stressed out, the ones shouldering these duties are not necessarily dissatisfied.

They’re a relatively small group now, but these harried multi-taskers are growing in numbers, according to Statistics Canada. In a report on what’s called “the sandwich generation,” the stats agency found one in 10 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 64 currently juggles dual responsibilities of caring for young children as well as an elderly parent. Of this group, 83 per cent also have to hold down a job.