Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s had better get used to this complex reality, because their generations are moving from being the Sandwich Generation to becoming the Boxed Generation. The term “sandwich generation” was first used in 1981 by social worker Dorothy Miller to describe the multi-faceted stress that people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s faced as they served as caregivers to both their aging parents as well as their children.
As Baby Boomers and then Gen Xer’s move into their 50’s, 60’s, and beyond, they and their spouses, friends, siblings, and cousins are increasingly likely to face more serious health challenges. It’s not just the pressure from the generations above and below — now you’re surrounded on all sides. We coined the term “Boxed Generation” to graphically depict the position many of us find ourselves in as we try to offer support to all of the people in our lives who need us.
We know the Sandwich Generation will be replaced by the Boxed Generation for the straightforward reason that our population is living longer and many health problems that used to be deadly have become chronic diseases.
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