According to Statistics Canada, the "sandwich generation" now includes more than two million Canadians -- or 28 per cent of all caregivers in Canada -- with the majority being women between 35 and 44 years old. This number is only expected to rise as Canada's population ages and the older generation is no longer capable of caring for themselves. That leaves us with a generation stuck with caring for their late-leaving adult children and their ailing parents at the same time. How do they cope?
The term "Sandwich Generation" refers to adults in their 30s to 50s with children at home and responsibilities to care for aging parents. As a tax professional and a "Squashee" -- I have a daughter in Grade 7 and an elderly father living in my home -- I've got a unique perspective on the tax implications of this juggling act.
Having both parents at work is the norm, which means that childcare obligations must be balanced, often precariously, with workplace duties. At the same time, our population is aging and people often end up having to look after their elderly parents. Effectively, those in the workforce are stuck in the middle, caring for the generations before and after them -- the "Sandwich Generation".
Vicky asks: I've been taking care of my mom who is 74, in poor health and lives on her own. We've never had a very close relationship, and she criticizes everything I do. It doesn't matter if it's house cleaning, taking her to appointments, or getting her groceries -- it's like I can never do anything to her satisfaction.
When is it time for you parents to move to a retirement home? The decision to move from the home you've lived in for years to a new community where you may not know anyone is certainly difficult. The important thing is to feel that you are making progress and that helping your parents transition to a retirement community is a positive thing. It is.