Member of the sandwich generation recalls her “black hole of need”

Kevin Magna

April 13, 2011

In 1999, Carrie Baker's mother suffered a debilitating stroke that left her in desperate need of care and Baker was more than happy to give it to her, according to The Rome News-Tribune. At the same time, Baker was busy raising a newborn and a 2-year-old, as well as trying to earn her doctorate. 

"It felt like a black hole of need," she told the news source . "If I jumped in, I could disappear."

One of the biggest sources of stress for Baker was the distance. Her mother had to drive to her mother's house several times a week to check on her health and assist her throughout the day. To deal with the emotional turmoil of the experience, Baker started seeing a therapist and regularly exercised.

She recommends that caregivers who are facing a similar situation should try to build a network of trusted family and friends who can help one with caregiving responsibilities. It may also be wise to invest in an elderly alert system. This device can be installed in a senior's home and enables older users to immediately send a personal emergency response message if they require assistance. states that there are approximately 20 million Americans who are caring for aging parents while also trying to raise children.