Skip to content

Residents from Southwestern PA Offer Personal Testimony and Describe Sandwich Generation Challenges that Are Increasing for Middle Class Families Throughout State, Nation / Regional Experts Detail the Difficulties of Caring for Aging Parents, Making a Decent Wage and Squeezing Every Penny to Ensure a Secure Retirement / Casey Chairs Senate Aging Committee Hearing At Allegheny County Courthouse

Pittsburgh, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) chaired a hearing of the U.S. Senate Aging Committee that examined the challenges of the region’s so-called “sandwich generation” who are caring for older parents, raising children and preparing for retirement. Residents from Southwestern Pennsylvania described the increasing challenges that these new realities are placing on their families. Experts from throughout the region detailed the difficulties that more and more families face as they care for aging parents, try to make a decent wage in today’s economy and trying to squeeze every penny to ensure a secure retirement.

“Helping more Americans secure their retirement while caring for their parents and raising their children is a significant challenge that will require government, the private sector, educational institutions and non-profits to work together,” Senator Casey said. “Thousands of residents in Western Pennsylvania and throughout the country are working harder than ever to make a decent living, squeeze every dollar they can to prepare for a retirement and meet their obligations to their family. Today’s hearing, in particular the personal testimony from Western Pennsylvanians, will play an important role in the policies that Congress and the Administration should examine in the coming months.”

"Sandwich Generation Squeeze: Confronting the Middle Class Struggle to Raise Kids, Care for Aging Parents, and Scrape Together Enough for Retirement in Today's Economy.”

Key Statistics

Nearly half (47%) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child. Roughly 1 in 7 (15%) middle-aged adults are currently providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child. [Pew, 1/30/13]

Child care is the highest household expense faced by dual income households, averaging $14,872 a year for 2 children. [Census]

From the start of the recession in 2007 to its end in 2009, there has been a 10.5% jump in multigenerational households, with grandparents, parents, and grandchildren all under the same roof. [AARP, 4/13]

The average out of pocket expenses associated with caring for an aging parent is $5,531 per year. [MSN Money, 8/20/12]

Among working women, 25% have taken an extended break from work of 6 months or longer to care for family members. [Census, 10/17/12]