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Care Partners Fall into the "Sandwich Generation"


Many people in the Ozarks are caring for their aging parents, while still raising kids at home. These people are sandwiched between generations. KSMU's Emily Nash has more on what is called the Sandwich Generation.

More and more people are struggling to be a good kid and a good parent.

They are called the Sandwich Generation.

They are the generation of people raising kids at home, while caring for their aging parents.

Judee Steward works at Cox Senior Advantage in Springfield.

"So you are kind of squished in between you've got elder people on one side, and children on the other side, and sometimes it almost feels like a huge sandwich because you got other things in between. So you are going to have your spouse in there you know? So its really a triple decker sometimes. Instead of just a regular sandwich."

And soon, more people will be finding themselves in this generation.

The early baby boomers are just beginning to reach the age where they'll need extra care.

She says most of the elderly population in Springfield already use care givers.

"There's only 5 percent of the elderly population living in nursing homes. So you can see that a lot of them are living in their homes."

Steward says caring for elderly parents and young kids can bring extra stress.

"Its kind of an emotional and physical tug of war. Especially if you have parents that live away, and you have children that live at home, its trying to find that balance. They have to be strong not only for their partner, or the person that they are caring for, but they also have to find time to get things done, to be that person for their, for their other members of their family.'

Steward says its important that both the care giver and the care receiver appreciate each other.

"The person that's giving the care needs to say thank you for letting me care for you, and the person that is receiving the care needs to say thank you for caring for me. You know? There just needs to be a lot more thank you's and appreciation.'

She says there is no easy answer to elderly care, and every situation is different.

She says getting support and recognizing local resources will significantly help someone who feels sandwiched.

Cox Health is hosting "Care Partners-Take Five" on Wednesday March 19th at 1pm in Cox Walnut Lawn on National and Walnut Lawn.

The class will focus on taking the stress out of care giving. For more information call 269-3616.