The Sandwich Generation

The sandwich generation is a clique of middle-aged adults (40 to 50 years) who are family caregivers. They have at least one parent at the age of 65 years and above as well as young children. The generation has to care for both their aged parents and children besides looking after themselves. Therefore, the group finds it difficult to balance daily life for the satisfaction of the family needs. With overwhelming demands and divided attention, the sandwich generation demonstrates depression, burnout, and stress (Burke, 2017). The stresses encompassing middle-aged adults impact their health in various aspects. Moreover, this population has multiple responsibilities with increased financial demand, which makes the majority undertake several jobs to generate enough income for the families. They strain their physical capacity while neglecting the obligation to address their needs. The sandwich generation has limited time to relax; their sleeping patterns are always interrupted. They could also suffer physical health problems such as back pains, muscle aches, including mechanical injuries.

Cognitive functions are affected by extensive stress and are attributed to behavior change. Pressing issues surrounding middle-aged adults outweigh their mental capacity, which results in mild cognitive impairment. They start to experience difficulties in remembering, concentrating, and learning. They could also demonstrate challenges in decision-making in their routine activities. Extreme stresses severely impact the emotional balance among the sandwich population (Burke, 2017). Emotions are triggered by ineffective coping mechanisms, which raise stress levels. Sadness occurs when they fail to meet their expectations. These adults exhibit mood variations, feelings of depression, and moments of sorrow. They experience burnouts in their daily practices and may disregard the coping strategies. They also demonstrate psychological issues that affect their relationship with family members and colleagues.


Burke, R. J. (2017). The sandwich generation: Individual, family, organizational and societal challenges and opportunities. In R. J. Burke and L. M. Calvano (Eds.), The sandwich generation. Edward Elgar Publishing.

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PsychologyWriting. "The Sandwich Generation." February 5, 2022.