Baby boomers caring for extended family

A segment of baby boomers is now taking on extended caregiving responsibilities, according to a study put out by retirement organization AARP.

Many of the so-called "sandwich generation," made up of individuals between ages 45 and 55, minister care to their children and their aging parents. But that's not all they do. The study finds that this group also assists grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, even friends' children.

The AARP report points out that 74 percent of the 2,300 individuals surveyed said they can handle family responsibilities without feeling overly stressed. But low-income individuals "feel more stressed about their responsibilities and are less able to to take time off from work to care for others," says Bill Novelli, AARP's executive director.

Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and African-Americans, especially those with low incomes, "feel heavily burdened," he adds.

The survey found that people born outside of the United States are more likely to provide care for others (43 percent) than those born in the US (20 percent).

Despite their own responsibilities, nearly 7 in 10 of those surveyed do not expect their children to take care of them in old age.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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