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The Sandwich Generation

The Sandwich Generation, those caught between their aging parents and young children, includes some 20 million Americans.

In this emotionally charged account of family caregiving, filmmaker Julie Winokur and her husband, photojournalist Ed Kashi, expose their personal lives with unflinching candor. Winokur and Kashi uprooted their two children and their business in order to move 3,000 miles cross-country to care for Winokur’s father, Herbie.

At 83, Herbie suffers from dementia and can no longer live alone. Winokur and Kashi are faced with difficult choices and overwhelming responsibility as they charge head on through their Sandwich years. It is a story of love, family dynamics and the immeasurable sacrifice of those who are caught in the middle.

Click here to watch The Sandwich Generation: Part I on MediaStorm

Click here to watch The Sandwich Generation: Part II (Living With Herbie) on AARP’s website

Click here to watch The Sandwich Generation: Part II (Living With Herbie) on MSNBC’s website

Click here to watch a feature on Good Morning America

Running Time: 28 Minutes
Release Date: 2008

10 Things You Should Know About Caregiving & Dementia

  • More than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year.
  • Approximately 80% of home care services are provided by family members.2
  • At least 20% of family caregivers suffer from depression, twice the rate of the general population.3
  • Caregiving for a parent substantially increases women’s risks of living in poverty and receiving public asssistance later in life.3
  • Among working caregivers caring for a family or friend aged 65+, two-thirds rearrange their work schedule,  decrease their hours or take an unpaid leave in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities.3-4 This increases among those caring for someone with dementia.3-5
  • Every 71 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s, a progressive disease with an average duration of 8 years. That’s 1 in 8 of the 78 million baby boomers.8
  • Informal caregivers personally lose about $660,000 over a life time including Social Security, pension benefits and forgone wages.3
  • American businesses lose as much as $34 billion each year due to caregiver leave.6
  • The value of the services family caregivers provide for “free” is estimated to be $306 billion a year. 
  • That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).7 Family caregiving has been shown to postpone institutionalization of persons with moderate dementia by nearly a year.  With the average annual cost of nursing home care amounting to $75,000 per person, any delay equates to a real savings for all involved.3

SOURCES

1) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1998 and National Family Caregivers Association, 2000. 
2) US General Accounting Office, 1994. 
3) Family Caregiver Alliance (see caregiver.org). 
4) National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), 1998.
5) Alzheimer’s Association and National Alliance for Caregiving, 2004. 
6) Metlife Mature Market Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving, 2006. 
7) Arn, Peter S., Dept. of Veterans Affairs, NIH, 2006.
8) Alzheimer’s Association, Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, 2008.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CAREGIVING

AARP
www.aarp.org
A nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over, AARP is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as we age. Unique benefits, special products and services are offered to the members as well as information and advocacy assistance.

A Place for Mom
www.aplaceformom.com
This site helps you find problem-solving eldercare products, assistance and services.

Alzheimer’s Association
www.alz.org
The leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research.  The group’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
www.alzfdn.org
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America was founded by a consortium of organizations to fill the gap that existed on a national level to assure quality of care and excellence in service to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and to their caregivers and families. Their mission is ”to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families—through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.”

Assisted Senior Living
www.assistedseniorliving.net
Designed to provide comprehensive and unbiased information to seniors and caregivers searching for senior living options and senior care, Assisted Senior living has gathered information from state and federal sources, then combined it with public information to provide a complete resource for seniors and caregivers.

CaringBridge
www.caringbridge.org
A 501c3 nonprofit web service, CaringBridge offers 24/7, personal, private connections for family and friends to communicate during critical times.  Easing the burden of keeping others informed, CB provides patients and caregivers with a source of strength and support derived from messages of encouragement posted to personalized websites.

The Community Caregivers
www.agingcare.com
Dedicated to enhancing the lives of caregivers by creating an expansive community of support, easy access to resources, product information and unique, original content to assist in making informed choices for the elderly without being influenced by outside entities with specific agendas.

ElderCarelink
www.eldercarelink.com
Quickly connects you with local senior care services and providers that match the specific needs of your aging family member - and you.  Their nationwide network of carefully screened providers includes assisted living facilities, home care services, adult daycare, nursing homes, and medical assistance devices.”

Family Caregiver Alliance
www.caregiver.org
Offering information, education, services, research and advocacy, FCA provides a public voice for those families caring for aging, ill and disabled loved ones.

National Alliance for Caregiving
www.caregiving.org
Dedicated to providing support to family caregivers and the professionals who help them and to increasing public awareness of issues facing family caregivers.

National Family Caregiver Support Program
www.aoa.gov
This program was developed by the Administration on Aging (AoA) of the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2000, to support the needs of hundreds of family caregivers in discussions held across the country.

National Family Caregivers Association
www.nfcacares.org
Educates, supports, empowers and speaks up for the more than 50 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability or the frailties of old age. NFCA reaches across the boundaries of diagnoses, relationships and life stages to help transform family caregivers’ lives by removing barriers to health and well being.

National Respite Network and Resource Center
www.archrespite.org
In an effort to strengthen families and support caregivers, this site assists in finding respite services for caregivers of children, adults and the elderly.

Well Spouse Association
www.wellspouse.org
The WSA is a volunteer based organization that focuses on providing emotional support to husbands, wives and partners caring for spouses with long term and/or chronic illnesses or disabilities.

Awards

Press

  • Featured in the November 2008 edition of National Geographic Magazine in a 4-page Photo Journal by Ed Kashi
  • msnbc.com interviews Julie Winokur about caregiving and features The Sandwich Generation
  • The New York Times reporter Jane Gross features The Sandwich Generation on her blog The New Old Age
  • Caring.com interviews Julie Winokur about The Sandwich Generation
  • The Sandwich Generation featured on Good Morning America
  • Julie Winokur appeared on Taking Care with Joan Lunden to discuss The Sandwich Generation
  • XM Radio host Lisa Belkin interviews Ed Kashi about The Sandwich Generation on her show Life’s Work
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Sandwich Generation

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