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The Family Squeeze

The Family Squeeze: Surviving the Sandwich Generation

Suzanne Kingsmill
Benjamin Schlesinger
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 224
  • Book Info
    The Family Squeeze
    Book Description:

    The Sandwich Generation refers to the growing numbers of middle-aged people who must care for both children and elderly parents while trying to manage the stress of full-time jobs. 'Everything they say is practical and useful.' - Globe and Mail

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2774-1
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. CHAPTER ONE The Sandwich Generation
    (pp. 3-12)

    ‘Hi Mum, I’m home!’ I stopped in my tracks. Without fail for a dozen years, every school day at 3:30, I had heard that line from each of our three kids. But I hadn’t heard that particular voice saying those particular words for at least two years, because that particular son didn’t live with us anymore.

    David, at twenty-one, lived and worked on the other side of town; only our two youngest – Danielle, seventeen, and Peter, fourteen – were still at school and living at home. I dumped the newspapers and magazines I was lugging to the recycling bin...

  5. CHAPTER TWO Velcro™ Kids — The First Slice of the Sandwich
    (pp. 13-34)

    I pulled up in front of the house in my little rusty mini, let myself into the kitchen, and sighed with relief. It had taken a lot longer than I had thought to buy groceries for Mum and Dad, and I hoped Mum would soon get over the cold she’d picked up somewhere so that she could start shopping again. Dad still couldn’t get out easily because of his walker. I grabbed some milk from the fridge and went into the living room, and jumped a mile. I hadn’t expected anyone to be home, but there was David, all six...

  6. CHAPTER THREE The Second Slice of the Sandwich
    (pp. 35-61)

    The phone rang just as I was leaving for work, and I had to race back in to get it before whoever it was disconnected.

    ‘Oh, Rebecca, I’m so glad I got you before you left for work.’ My mother’s voice was a whisper. ‘Would you mind picking up a heavy parcel at the post office for us?’

    ‘Mum, can it wait? I promised David I’d meet him after work and go over his job résumé with him. He’s got some interviews coming up and I offered to help. Is it that heavy?’

    ‘Not after work, Rebecca. I was hoping...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Life in the Middle
    (pp. 62-88)

    The alarm clock went off much too early. Reluctantly, I hauled myself out of bed and did the rounds, waking everyone up before going downstairs to put on the kettle and get breakfast started.

    As I was getting out the eggs, Peter came galloping into the kitchen, gulped down some juice, and said, ‘Gotta go, Mum, last basketball practice before tomorrow’s first round finals. You’ll be there, won’t you? And can you bring some pop?’

    ‘What basketball finals?’ I asked in exasperation. ‘Peter, you never told me about any finals.’

    ‘Oops, sorry, Mum. They start tomorrow, Friday, over lunch. Will...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE Sharing the Caring with Family
    (pp. 89-116)

    ‘We can’t go tomorrow night,’ I said, struggling to keep the frustration out of my voice. I was cooking burgers on the hibachi for dinner, and Bryan was lounging in a chair in a rare moment of peace.

    He looked up at me as if I’d stepped in something unmentionable.

    ‘What do you mean we can’t go? We’ve saved and planned for this for a month. A movie, quiet dinner for two. Our lunch last week wasn’t exactly relaxing, you know.’

    What an understatement, I thought. I’d been late from Peter’s game and had had to gobble lunch in order...

  9. CHAPTER SIX Formal Help Is on the Way
    (pp. 117-141)

    When I went to check on Dad a couple of days later and bring him some groceries, the gardener I had hired was angrily tossing his tools into his battered old van and muttering to himself. I could see Dad’s pint-sized lawn was only half-cut, and I wondered what had happened now.

    The gardener glared at me when I asked him why he was leaving. ‘You just ask that old guy in there, lady. I’ll not have anything more to do with him. I couldn’t do anything right. Who does he think I am, anyway? I’ll refund his damn money...

  10. CHAPTER SEVEN Planning for the Future
    (pp. 142-164)

    I’d had to stay later at work than I had anticipated, to organize a lunchtime seminar on caregiving for the young and the elderly, and I didn’t make it home until six. I was hoping to arrive to the smell of dinner cooking, but when I let myself into the kitchen there was nothing except a note saying they had all gone to pick up Mum from rehab and were then going to catch the end of Peter’s baseball game before coming home for dinner. I sighed and took some burgers out of the freezer, then dumped some potatoes in...

  11. APPENDIX A: Resources
    (pp. 165-170)
  12. APPENDIX B: Statistics
    (pp. 171-172)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 173-180)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 181-196)
  15. Index
    (pp. 197-199)