Sandwich Generation

What is the sandwich generation?

Adults who care for their kids and parents simultaneously

As people continue living longer and having kids later in life, more and more middle-aged adults are becoming part of the sandwich generation. These caregivers are "sandwiched between" their children and their elderly parents, and must provide care for both at the same time.

Unlike other generation-denoting labels, like Gen Z and baby boomer, sandwich generation does not apply to people born during a specific period of time. Instead, it applies to any adult who is raising a child and caring for an aging parent simultaneously. All these adults, regardless of when they were born, are members of the sandwich generation.

However, discussion of the sandwich generation phenomenon increased in the early 2020s, as many cash- and time-strapped millennials and Gen Xers began caring for both their children and their boomer parents. In the US, at least, several significant events (e.g., the Great Recession and Covid-19 pandemic) and cultural changes (e.g., decreasing birth rates and young adults' propensity to remain at home) exacerbated the pressures felt by the early 2020s' sandwich generation, driving discussion about the phenomenon.


I think we're probably the most-stressed sandwich generation there's been
You mean the most-stressed so far. Wait until it's our kids' turn
One Gen Xer's feelings about being part of the sandwich generation
One Gen Xer's feelings about being part of the sandwich generation

Related Slang


Updated October 24, 2023

Sandwich generation definition by

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