Sandwich Generation and Employee Absenteeism

Employees are faced with caring for their family, which includes their children, and burdened with supporting their parents while still having to work may interrupt the delicate balance of employment and family life. The cost in terms of the financial expense and the time spent away at work supporting both generations may take a powerful toll resulting in more health issues and employee absenteeism which affects both the employee and the employer.


You see the effects in the growth of the number of employee absences due to supporting both children and parents. While all employees miss work from time to time, the number of absences both planned and unplanned grow considerably when there is financial support provided. In addition, the added burden and stress affects the productivity of the person on the job as their mind is occupied by their concern over supporting both generations.

This leads to additional stress and absenteeism where the employee becomes concerned about their own position in the company due to the burdens that they face. Add to this the increase in sick days and you have a situation that might explode.


For those who may find themselves supporting their children while facing the burdens of being the family caregiver for their parents, there are a few tips that will help you get through this time in your life.

Organize: You will need to organize your time so that you can make the most out of each day. You may find that at least part of your day is taken up with matters that do not contribute towards helping your situation, so getting organized is a good place to start.

Prioritize: This means placing what is most important first and then following it with other responsibilities. If you are the primary financial support for your children or parents, then you will need to prioritize your work and look for ways to increase your income if it becomes insufficient to do the job. Or, helping your children or parents become more self-sufficient.

Identity: It is easy to lose your identity when faced with so many responsibilities, so be sure to address that each day. If work is your identity, then prioritize that so that you keep what is important to you at the top. You’ll find that establishing and maintaining your identity is vital to your success in supporting your family.

Stress: One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the stress associated with the support you are providing, especially if it appears that there is no end in sight. You will need to find ways to reduce the stress, from exercise to meditation to creating a plan that puts light at the end of the tunnel. Getting more rest is part of that plan and you should strive to reduce the stress as much as possible.

Assistance: Whenever you can get help, take it. No person should have to bear this burden alone, so accept help when you can to make things easier. This means assistance with the shopping, cleaning, and other areas so you can take a little of the burden off your shoulders. You should also ask your employer if there are company resources to help employees with these issues. More companies are starting to implement support services to help employees get back to work quickly.

When you look at employee absenteeism and its connection with the Sandwich Generation, looking for ways to reduce this burden helps both employer and employee.  Contact us if you would like more information on eldercare employee benefits.