Are you part of what people call the “sandwich generation”? Do you give money to your grown children or your parents? Do you feel pulled in different directions when you take care of your family? The sandwich generation is people who must care for their adult family. This can be a hard job. But it can also be worth it.
The Pew Research Center did a survey to see how adults who still have living parents and adult children are doing. The results are interesting! Adults feel pulled in different directions. But their family lives tend to make them happier. Nearly half of this generation is more likely to say their family life is good.
Amy Pruitt takes care of her mom and lives in a home with her adult son. Pruitt is 48 years old and lives in Kansas. She said, “It’s hard sometimes, trying to juggle everything. But I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. And I think my son and my mom appreciate it.” Her favorite thing to do is sit outside on her porch and drink coffee in the mornings. She also enjoys playing pool at the local pool hall on the weekends.
Econonomist.com covered data from the World Happiness Report. Findings show that adults in their 40s often see a decline in sad moods. “I feel great,” Pruitt said. “The older I get, the more I realize how valuable family is.” This could be because people who take care of adult family members are around others more often.
Loneliness is a big problem for adults as they age. Adults can become lonely as they get older because their friends may have died, or they may have moved away. They might not get out and about as much as they used to. This can lead to their feeling isolated and depressed. Signs of loneliness are often subtle, and they may be difficult to spot in yourself. If you’re lonely, you may have trouble sleeping or find that you’re sleeping a lot or you might withdraw from activities you used to enjoy.
Adults can find ways to socialize and find support as they get older. Lance Montoy, 47, of Andover, Kansas, said, “I work to be around people.” Montoy lives alone with his small dog, Genie. He has a warm smile and uses it to greet customers at Walmart.
Adults can find support by joining online groups and even dating apps such as Bumble. If you find yourself in the sandwich generation, know that you are not alone. There are services to help you through this time in your life. And who knows, you might even enjoy it!