Research Paper: Canadian Sandwich Generation

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It has been stated that more than 2 million Canadians are "sandwiched" between caring for their children and their parents at the same time (Bouw, 2013) This role is not only physically tiring but it goes on to tire the person for the family and the economy. According to statistics, 28% of the 8.1 million caregivers in Canada are known as the sandwich generation. Most of the people in the sandwich generation are women between ages 35 and 44.

A social problem is a problem that relates to society's perception of people's personal lives. A social problem exists when there is a condition prevalent in the society that is causing problem for the masses. Low income and poverty is making a significant impact on the sandwich generation and their retirement. This is a social problem because this issue has wide-ranging socioeconomic implications for this group of people. This problem is not only affecting the people and the families but it has gone to affect business and the economy as well. For instance, because of family pressures these people are not regular at their job. It is difficult for corporations and companies to retain workers who may have to make a choice between their job and caring for their loved one. Furthermore, their income is low from the lost hours, which ultimately increases their reliance on the federal programs as well.

A caregiver is defined as individual who provides care and assistance to a family member in their home or the care recipient's home who has a physical or mental disability (Duxburry & Higgins et.al, 2009) Keeping this mind, a caregiver can either be the person who is related to elderly. In addition, many people even go on to hire people who provide care to the family members.

Statistics reveal that the majority of the employed Canadians have care giving responsibilities. One in four (27.8%) Canadians have responsibility for the care of elderly dependents (Bouw, 2013) This percentage is likely to increase as the baby boom population ages. It has also been stated that one if five Canadians have responsibility for both childcare and eldercare. In other words, these people have dual demands at home and demands at work as well. The employees who come in the sandwich group are likely to be older men and women who reside in smaller communities. These individuals are aged 45 or below. Out of the total number people of people were provide care to their loved ones, 57% stated that they were doing it out of love. The remaining 43% stated that they did not have a choice and they had to do it.

This problem is very important because it can only see to increase over time. As life expectancy is increasing because of better health care facilities, older people are living longer Even though they are living longer, they are no longer in the state to support themselves. They are dependent on their children who also have families of their own. Today, economic recession and inflation has increased money problems for even the most stable families. There are more expenses than savings and people are getting stressed out about it day by day.

According to Pew's definition and surveys, 71% of the sandwich generation is made up of the people in their 40s and their 50s (Wiles, 2013) This is the age when most of the people should be saving for their own retirement. People who are rich and affluent with a household income of more than 100,00 dollars can easily support for their children, parents and even go on to save for themselves. These still at home kids either get involved in some sort of volunteer activities or find another job for themselves. However, they do not earn or leave their parent's home, which again adds on to the financial troubles.

The above section is quite clear about how this is a social problem in Ontario today. There are many reasons why this is an issue to be concerned about in 2014. A major reason why low income and poverty is a problem for the sandwich generation is that young adults are finding it difficult to leave their nest. It has been revealed that the economic distress of today's time has made it very difficult for young persons to find decent jobs and make enough earnings to live separately from their parents.

This is a concern emotionally and financially. The sandwich generation feels burdened because of money and because they are not able to properly take part in any of their activities. They feel that they are rushed with their daily activities. Squeezing in work, home chores and additional caretaking of their parents burdens their daily schedule to quite a lot. Researchers also revealed that a very small percentage of the sandwich generation live comfortably. Comfort over here is desirables in terms of economic and financial satisfaction. Most of the sandwich families are therefore just working to make the ends meet.

Surveys show that Canadians who do not combine work and care giving spend more time leisure per week and have a decent balance between family and work. These people are also more likely to work for a supportive manager and enjoy flexibility when it comes to working locations and working hours. They also reported higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of job stress as well (Duxburry & Higgins et.al, 2009)

This is a growing problem for our generation because this reliance on care giving is likely to increase as the generation ages. Demographic projections suggest that the society still has to go through the full effects eldercare problems. The baby boom generation is moving their middle age and their parents are moving towards old age. Ultimately, the younger generation is marrying late and waiting longer to have kids as well. The result will be that the dependency ratio of the country can decrease as the working class also decreases. In 2000, the Statistics Canada projected that the percent of workforce associated with eldercare will increase from one in five to one in four (Statistics Canada, 2000)

With better medical care and improved healthcare facilities, people are staying longer. Even though the life expectancy has increased, the prevalence of diseases like cancer, hypertension, diabetes and stroke has also increased. Elder persons are plagued with chronic conditions that require continuous care and assistance. They need to be taken to doctors and hospitals and be cared for on a regular basis. Even though these persons are not dramatically ill, they are still not strong enough to support themselves. Consequently, the stress is placed upon the working class to increase their earnings and manage all the expenses with the salary that they have. The fastest growing segment of the population is of the elderly and that is a growing concern among the society.

Another reason why this is a problem in 2014 is because since this problem is expected to grow, financial strain will be placed on the sandwich generation. A general social survey carried out in Canada in 2002 revealed that about 50% of the employed caregivers of both genders go through various work-life balance issues (Duxburry & Higgins et.al, 2009) These issues ultimately go on to affect their physical and mental health issues and their productivity at work. These caregivers go through more scheduling conflicts and workplace compromises (Brink, 2004)

43% of the caregivers in the country reported coming to work late. These people have to take off time from work during the day to go care for their loved one. Fifty-four percent people were proving twenty of more hours of care giving per week. The care giving responsibilities are ultimately binding these people and reducing their productivity. In other words, these people have the potential and the capability to work more and earn more but they are bounded by their care giving responsibilities. These people have to quit work or retire early mainly because of the responsibility of caring for their parents. Furthermore, they also had to make changes to their work situation such as changing schedules or roles as well. The responsibilities of care giving therefore make a direct impact on the productivity of the employee. It places a strain on their emotional, personal and their professional life.

The relation to low income and poverty is also very important when it comes to the retirement of this working class as well. As mentioned before, many of these people alter their work schedules and their jobs to fit their role as a caregiver. Furthermore, they even quit their job before time so they can perform the tasks of a caregiver more efficiently. This leaves them to rely more on the social income security program. By doing that, they have then contributed for a shorter period to any private or public pension plan. The result would be that these persons are then less financially prepared for their own retirement (Keefe & Medjuck, 1997) Being less prepared for your own… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Canadian Sandwich Generation.  (2014, March 29).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/canadian-sandwich-generation/4801056

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"Canadian Sandwich Generation."  Essaytown.com.  March 29, 2014.  Accessed July 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/canadian-sandwich-generation/4801056.