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Austin Women Deal With Being In The Sandwich Generation

Updated: Monday, September 23 2013, 02:04 PM CDT

One in seven people in this country are now part of the growing Sandwich Generation.

These are folks in their 40s or 50s who find themselves squeezed between caring for an aging parent and their own children.

Every day you'll find someone in Ann White's family at her house. At 82 she's facing mild dementia and her children want to make sure her needs are met. Ann has plenty of caregivers to choose from.

Her daughter, Juanita Stephens, says she grateful she and her siblings can pool their resources.  She still has a teenager at home so she's sandwiched between mom and daughter duties.

"We all take turns doing what we need to do. Each of us kind of plays a different role. One of my sisters is here every day.  One of the nieces helps take her to the doctor. One of them does her paperwork. She's getting ready to get some repairs done to the house so we all kind of pool together for that," Stephens says.

The White family also relies on Austin groups for the elderly for a daily respite from those responsibilities. People in elder care agencies, Austin Groups for the Elderly, often see firsthand the trials and tribulations of the Sandwich Generation.

Ann comes here most weekdays for the adult day care program. It not only gives her caregivers a break,  it engages her in activities and socialization critical to her well-being.   While Ann enjoys her time, she's the first to tell you her children are still the center of her universe.    

Like so many women of her generation, Ann White spent most of her life raising kids -- seven of her own and close to 200 foster children. 

Now that the tables are turned -- that love is flowing right back to her.

By Judy Maggio

Austin Women Deal With Being In The Sandwich Generation


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