Cumulative Demands – Eldercare – PSP NET

Cumulative Demands – Eldercare

Learn about:


Cumulative demands, eldercare, and sandwich generation

Challenges of Sandwich Generation PSP Families


  • Balancing multiple caregiving demands can be particularly challenging in PSP families as one parent often feels childcare and household responsibilities are unequal.
  •  Adding eldercare results in cumulative demands placed on both the PSP and SSO.  Often, however, the majority of eldercare responsibilities are assumed by the SSO.
  • It is common sandwich generation for members to miss work due to eldercare demands. This responsibility will often fall on non-PSP SSOs or family members.
  • In families where the police officer works more than 40 hours a week, the SSO take on more eldercare duties.

Impact of eldercare responsibilities on PSP families

Additional responsibilities of caring for an elderly parent can add to the demands of the primary caregiving spouse if the PSP is absent due to the nature of their work. Family caregivers are at an increased risk of physical and mental health problems due to the demanding and stressful nature of providing care for an elderly loved one. Caregivers are at an increased risk of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. Family caregivers experience a variety of stressors, including physical stressors (i.e., fatigue), emotional stressors (i.e., guilt, isolation), and relationship changes. The stress associated with balancing many competing demands of the sandwich generation can negatively impact individual well-being.

Competing demands can result in an individual feeling caught between emotional needs of children, spouses, and older adults, all of whom may need more attention at one time or another. Women tend to fall into caregiving roles more frequently than men, and thus are more likely to carry the associated strains – time demands, worry, loss of social interaction and scaling back on paid employment. Stress experienced by the sandwich generation has been associated with higher negative affect, lower positive affect, and lower life satisfaction. It can also result in increased work stress, negative work attitudes, and absenteeism from work.

Eldercare coping strategies


Links to identity topics