THE SANDWICH GENERATION
Question: My mother, 76, lives alone and wants me to call her every day.
I work in a high-pressure environment and then have to cook dinner for my husband and two children. My mother is healthy and independent, so I don't understand why I have to call her every single night. By the time we finish dinner, I'm in no mood to chitchat.
Answer: Telephone calls with aging parents serve various functions. In cases (not yours) where a parent is frail and/or has health problems, a daily call is "oversight" — to make sure she is ok.
How often a sandwich generationer speaks to a parent is completely individual. Aside from oversight, regular (not necessarily daily) calls show love and caring and share events of the day. For many sandwich generationers, calls provide peace of mind.