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  • Series: New Horizons in Management series x
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Ronald J. Burke

This chapter reviews a wide range of literature on the “sandwich generation.” Women and men in the sandwich generation are caregivers to their young and older children as well as to one or both parents while managing their own household and work responsibilities. Sandwiched individuals report high levels of stress – physical, emotional and financial. Most sandwiched people are in their 50s and 60s. The sandwich generation is projected to grow dramatically over the next 30 years. Employed caregivers need to make work-related adjustments to undertake care. One response is to work fewer hours. Women undertake more caregiving than do men. The sandwich generation is a worldwide phenomenon with wide country differences in the levels and types of support available to caregivers. The caregiving relationship is complex, involving gender of caregiver, parents and parents-in-law, ethnic differences, resident versus non-resident caregivers, and changes in the relationship over time, sometimes involving Alzheimer’s and dementia. But there are benefits to caregivers as well, including improved relationships, using skills and developing new skills, and generously giving to another. Organizations need to address increases in caregiving among their employees and develop policies and initiatives that support these valued employees. Examples of such initiatives are described. There is also a need at the country level to integrate employees, communities, employers, businesses and levels of government to deal with this increasing trend. Key words: definition of sandwich generation, strains and benefits of caregiving, organizational challenges, supportive organization and government interventions.

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Shelley I. White-Means

An aging population having more chronic health conditions and a lower fertility rate will increase challenges to informal caregivers, perhaps more so in the sandwich generation, as older and younger generations will put pressure on caregivers. The author, using research data, compares sandwiched with non-sandwiched caregivers, in a large U.S. database, on personal demographics, caregiving time, types of care provided, labor force participation and accommodation, perceived burden, quality of life, and employment burden. She reports both similarities and differences between these two groups. Being sandwiched, however, is associated with more financial strain, but similar levels of burden, physical strains, and emotional stresses. It may be that, in both groups, caring for others is seen as a “labor of love.” Organizational support lessened some of these consequences. Societies face challenges as the need for caregivers increases while the supply diminishes. Key words: caregiver challenges, sandwiched versus non-sandwiched caregivers, future societal caregiving challenges.

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Nancy Mandell and Ann H. Kim

The lengthening of the life course and the rise in the number of older immigrant adults in Canada have given rise to different patterns of intergenerational relations within older family units. Defined as ‘ties between individuals or groups of different ages’, intergenerational family relationships include all the ways in which family members both give and receive financial, instrumental and emotional care and support for one another. The emergence of complex emotional relations, diverse family structures, interdependent family roles and unanticipated extensions of caregiving into old age represent issues generated in response to global structural patterns. Along with greater complexity, diversity and interdependence among family members, we are witnessing the rise of intergenerational ambivalence. Key words: intergenerational relations, ageing families, intergenerational ambivalence, older immigrants, financial, instrumental and emotional care and support for older adults.

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Sheila M. LoboPrabhu and Victor A. Molinari

There are 5.3 million persons in the United States who have Alzheimer’s disease. In 2014, friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at $217.7 billion. Caregivers can be classified into formal and informal caregivers. In this chapter, the demographics of caregiving, impact of caregiving on the caregiver, care of the caregiver, and ethical aspects of caregiving are discussed. Social supports for the caregiver are essential to caregiver health and well-being. The chapter ends with a discussion of caregiver training and support designed to enhance the quality of caregiving, as well as to provide emotional support to caregivers in their noble, yet arduous, task of providing long-term care to persons with dementia. Key words: Alzheimer’s, dementia, caregiving, caregiver, support.

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Claire E. Greaves, Stacey L. Parker, Hannes Zacher and Nerina L. Jimmieson

Owing to an aging population, as well as delays to childbirth, a growing number of employees are providing informal care to both children and frail family members. There are a number of ways employees leverage their resources to manage their competing work and family caregiving responsibilities, and to protect their well-being. To better understand how resources are utilized in this context, the authors present a taxonomy of resource effects that categorizes different ways resources can combine to protect employee well-being. Moreover, in this chapter they describe potential explanatory mechanisms of different resource effects and offer boundary conditions for resource interactions. This chapter consolidates and reviews empirical studies that have examined different resource combinations in the work and caregiving literature, and identifies a number of resource effects, including resource buffering, resource gain and loss, resource spirals, and two types of resource interactions—boosting and compensation. Limitations and directions for future research are identified, to develop the field further. Key words: caregiving, eldercare, childcare, resources, work–family conflict, work–family enrichment, well-being.

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Hannes Zacher, Cort W. Rudolph and Claudia Reinicke

In this chapter, we review, integrate, and discuss research on objective and perceived organizational support for employees with caregiving responsibilities, and associated experiences of work–family conflict, strain, and well-being among these employees. We focus on employees with childcare responsibilities, eldercare responsibilities, or both (the sandwich generation). Organizational support refers to instrumental, socioemotional, or informational help provided by an organization, which often surfaces in the form of specific policies, practices, and procedures. Organizational support may: directly affect employee experiences of work–family conflict, strain, and well-being; buffer the effects of caregiving demands on these experiences; or interact with caregiving demands, individual differences, and/or contextual characteristics in predicting experiences. We conclude by outlining directions for future research and implications for organizational practice. Key words: caregiving, childcare, eldercare, organizational support.

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Jennifer Reid Keene, Takashi Yamashita and Anastasia H. Prokos

This chapter addresses how workplace policies can and do support sandwiched family caregivers as they balance their work and caregiving obligations. The authors first examine the demographic trends predicting a growing demand for family caregivers and the likelihood that most caregivers will also be employed. They then discuss research on the effectiveness of workplace responses and policies intended to address employees’ family caregiving responsibilities, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, paid family leave, flexible work arrangements, dependent care help, and retirement planning. Throughout the discussion the authors emphasize the significance of gender, class, and workplace culture for supporting employed family caregivers. Finally, they address the benefits of family-friendly workplace policies for employers, workers, families, and society and offer suggestions for future research in this area that will help inform policy decision making. Key words: sandwiched workers, employed caregivers, workplace policies, family-friendly benefits.

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Ariane Ollier-Malaterre

This chapter reviews empirical research on the impact of culture and structure at the country level on: 1) employees’ needs regarding the work–life interface and their expectations of support in this area; 2) the breadth and nature of work–life policies provided by employers (e.g., flexible work arrangements, leaves); and 3) employees’ ability to use these policies, that is, how supervisors view the take-up of the policies and their employees’ work–life balance. The different layers of national context reviewed in this chapter comprise culture (e.g., individualism–collectivism, gender egalitarianism, power distance) and structure (e.g., public policies, industrial relations, the tax system, industrialization, economic growth/recession, gender equality, family structures). A research agenda follows in order to guide future cross-national research looking at employer-driven work–life policies and their use by employees. Key words: work–family, work–life, national context, cross-national, culture, structure.

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Aparna Mitra

With the “graying” of America, the composition of the U.S. population will change significantly in the next few decades. The proportion of elderly citizens will increase at a higher rate for the non-white population compared to whites. Significant disparities exist in the quality of health among the elderly population. One important issue that needs to be dealt with is caregiving to the elderly population. This study shows that health disparities between the African American and white elderly population may arise from a multitude of factors, such as exposure to constant poverty, income inequality, and deprivation of material goods. Additionally, psychological trauma resulting from discrimination, stress, and isolation, and behavioral patterns resulting from living in segregated neighborhoods are important contributors to the adverse health outcomes of African Americans.

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Siobhan Austen, Rhonda Sharp, Therese Jefferson and Rachel Ong

This chapter focuses on the experiences of mature age women in Australia’s aged care sector and how their retention in paid work is affected by both their unpaid care roles and the physical demands of aged care work. The chapter adopts a feminist economic theoretical frame, conceptualizing aged care workers as decision-makers who are influenced by social norms about the undertaking of paid and unpaid work and the relational ties with others. The chapter utilizes data collected from a large-scale survey of women employed in the Australian aged care sector, together with transcript data collected through an embedded programme of in-depth interviews with a selection of survey participants. The chapter’s findings highlight: the high level of intention to leave aged care work by mature age (45 and over) women aged care workers; the key role played by the physical demands of aged care work in influencing mature age women’s decisions to stay in or leave aged care work; and mixed evidence on the effect of informal care roles on the intentions of workers to leave the aged care sector. Key words: aged care, Australia, feminist economics, mixed methods.