How Widespread is the Situation?
This is the first of a series of discussions regarding the nanny and her role in the "sandwich generation family."
"Sandwich Generation" refers to parents who are responsible for their own parents, or elderly relatives, in addition to their own children. Definition at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_generation
Do not confuse the "sandwich generation family" with the concept of an "extended family." In a sandwich generation family, the parents (who employ the nanny) are financially responsible for the care and upkeep of dependent children and for the care and upkeep of their elderly parents.
In contrast, in the extended family, the elderly relatives are a vital part of the family unit, essential to the care of the children and the house.
The challenges of the sandwich generation family are increasingly examined in the media as this type of living arrangement seems to become more common. The focus in the media is predominantly on those who are providing the financial resources --- the young parents --- and the elderly parents requiring care.
Media discussions about the sandwich generation living arrangements assume that the young parents are the primary caregivers. But the parents/caregivers may not be able to afford to stop working, especially during an economic recession. And, as longevity has increased, the expense of nursing facilities has outpaced return, if any, of investments.
Based on anecdotes from nannies and an awareness of how some parents respond to problems, many nannies are asked to assume at least some of the responsibilities of care for the elderly parent that lives in the home where the nanny works. We are not sure of the extent of this living arrangement and what percentage of nannies are involved.
As we examine some of the problems and challenges faced by nannies working for sandwich generation families, we want to hear from you about your experiences.
Do you work as a nanny or au pair in a home where the grandparent lives and needs care too?
Tuesday: St. Patrick's Day Activities
Wednesday: Sandwich Generation Discussion Continues About Emotional Attachment.