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"A Survival Course for The Sandwich Generation. Carol Abaya Learned the Hard Way What It's Like to Care for Elderly Parents. She Wants to Make It Easier for Others." - New York Times
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The words "sandwich generation" today are a new term in society's long history of the written language. As a direct result of my work, this term is now found in the latest editions of the Oxford English Dictionary and the Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. I also coined the words "club sandwich generation" and "open face sandwich generation." Some day, they may also find their way into these prestigious dictionaries. In the early 1990's very few had even heard of the term "sandwich generation." Most thought it was connected to a sandwich eaten by children who were "latch key" kids. So, I view myself as a pioneer in opening up discussion of the many challenges of elder/parent care. As I cared for my parents, I talked with caregivers around the world and started writing about the issues of aging. One of my primary focuses was the many emotional elements of both the elder's aging and the sandwich generation‘s "new role on the stage of life." Beginning in the early 1990's, I have crisscrossed the country, speaking before many groups of both professionals in the then early developing geriatric field and family caregivers. In essence, I was the one who popularized the term "the sandwich generation." As more baby boomers become both sandwich generationers and seniors, the need to understand aging dynamics and family relationships increases dramatically.

It's not easy to become elderly or a parent to your parent(s). After all, our society "says" adults should be able to take care of themselves. But, as more live well into their 80s and 90s and families are dispersed across the country, everyone is going to be involved somehow, some way, in elder care. If not today, then tomorrow.

Carol Abaya

This site is dedicated to providing in depth material to "Sandwich Generationers®," those sandwiched between aging parents and their own children, and covers a number of key areas, critical to elder care -- from aging in general to legal, medical and financial issues. Many TIPS oriented articles are offered at minimal cost at the Information Store. They are geared to help make the challanges of being a Sandwich Generationer® a little easier.

Carol Abaya Associates has also developed unique audience interactive programs that provide an unusual perspective of the emotions involved in aging, elder/parent care, and role reversal. They help develop techniques and build skills to achieve positive caregiving objectives, for both family and professional caregivers. More information about scheduling these lectures and seminars is available on the Lectures and Seminars page.

The Sandwich Generation

bullet Traditional: those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children.
bullet Club Sandwich: those in their 50s or 60s, sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. OR those in their 30s and 40s, with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
(Term coined by Carol Abaya)
bullet Open Faced: anyone else involved in elder care.
(Term coined by Carol Abaya)

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The Sandwich Generation® : My experience

More than 25% of American families are involved in some way with elder/parent care. So, if you are, know you are not alone. You now have a new role on the stage of life, for which you can never rehearse.

I became involved very suddenly in my parents daily care and life in 1991. My mother was 85 at the time and my father 90. The family was completely unprepared to deal with the many legal, financial and emotional issues. There was little information to guide me. Little to help me deal with my roller coaster emotions. Little to help me deal with sandwich generation role reversal scenarios. Or having to make decisions for my very independent parents.

Since then I've developed what many feel is a unique understanding of the diverse elements in our changing and aging society and the needs of sandwich generationers and the elderly.

The headlines in a New York Times article says it best: "A Survival Course for The Sandwich Generation®. Carol Abaya Learned the Hard Way What It's Like to Care for Elderly Parents. She Wants to Make It Easier for Others."

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This, in a nutshell, is my objective.

Consequently articles available in the Information Store cover a number of key areas, all important in elder care -- from aging in general to legal, medical and financial issues. Emotional issues are emphasized. After all, when all is said and done, emotions -- of the caregiver and the care recipient -- dominate all relationships and family dynamics.

The site is completely secure and is structured to provide:
bullet Special Features: In depth material, covering the gamut of subjects relevant to elder care from The Sandwich Generation® Magazine.
bullet Questions and Answers: Material from my weekly syndicated columns covering real life problems.
bullet Conversations With Carol: Scripts from a special pilot audio series.

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Carol Abaya:
Carol AbayaCarol Abaya, M.A., is nationally recognized as an expert on the sandwich generation, aging and elder/parent care issues. As a journalist, she has written about aging issues for more than 20 years. Her magazine, The Sandwich Generation® , was the first to talk about the challenges of elder/parent care. Her nationally syndicated weekly columns reached as many as 1,000,000 readers. 

Ms. Abaya has been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Retirement Report, and New Choices magazine. She has appeared on The Phil Donahue Show, NBC Nightly News, Ernie Anastas' Talk Show, CNN and FNN. Ms. Abaya regularly appears on radio programs across the country, discussing a wide range of topics about finances, emotional issues, and aging challenges.

She has been honored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau, New Choices Magazine, the New Jersey State Legislature and the Monmouth County Council on the Status of Women for her work with aging issues. She served on an AARP panel of experts, when AARP released a critical multi-cultural study on baby boomers and elder care. Ms. Abaya currently serves as a member of the Monmouth County Office on Aging Advisory Council.

Just do remember:
There is no one right way  or wrong way to "do" elder/parent care.
Every situation and relationship is different.
There is no magic wand to make a tough situation better.

As The Sandwich Generation® site is TIPS and sharing oriented, we would like to hear from you -- your concerns, your own experiences and TIPS that can help others. Just send us an Email at:

SandwchGen@aol.com

 
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