The phrase "member of the sandwich generation" refers to a person who is taking care of children and elderly parents.

Is there a phrase (or word) for a person who is taking care of parents, children and grandchildren? Or grandparents, parents and children?

Example: Alice and Tom are members of the ___________ generation; they are taking responsibility for her grandmother, his mother and their three young children.

Edit in response to comment of dwjohnston:

I have not seen an article about this phenomenon, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I have seen this referred to several times in articles about the sandwich generation (SG) as an extension of the SG problem. As more people live into their 90s, this will become more common (although one hopes not of long duration for any one care-giver.)

  • The problem is, is this appears to be quite a specific thing you're applying a label to. Is this kind of arrangement common? If so - what are articles that are talking about it using?
    – dwjohnston
    Feb 24, 2016 at 22:09
  • Two years ago I was that sandwich! And sandwich was the way I described it.
    – WS2
    Feb 24, 2016 at 22:33
  • 2
    Overworked would come pretty close. A normal sandwich like I try to be already is.
    – Bookeater
    Feb 24, 2016 at 22:55

3 Answers 3


I've never heard of one, but I'd like to propose one - "the club sandwich generation"!

  • +1 I like it. Maybe the phenomenon is too new to have an official name. Let's see.
    – ab2
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:28
  • 2
    I was going to say "Dagwood sandwich", but "club sandwich" works too.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:29
  • +1 The concept came to mind, and I punched in a comment before scrolling down to your answer.
    – bib
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:57
  • 1
    We may be able to merge a couple of threads here. Consider this question as possible illumination of the type of sandwich described.
    – Rob_Ster
    Feb 24, 2016 at 22:39
  • @HotLicks -- I came here to write "Dagwood sandwich". Feb 24, 2016 at 23:11

We call it being served a Dagwood, because that is even bigger than a club sandwich. I'm a single father with two kids taking care of my father's estate while my mother has Alzheimers and one sister bounces in and out of psychosis.

The three generations could be parents and grandparents, but remember that there are people taking care of siblings as well as children and parents.


Both Clubs and Dagwoods also qualify as “Double-decker sandwiches,” and going with that term would even set the stage for using “Triple-deckers" if life expectancies continue to increase (although the definitions below from ‘Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary’ via ‘The Free Dictionary by Farlex’ seemingly make no distinction between the double and the triple-deckers).

dou′ble-deck′er n.
1. something with two decks, tiers, etc.
2. a sandwich of three slices of bread and two layers of filling.

tri′ple-deck′er n. a sandwich made of three slices of bread with two layers of filling; club sandwich.

Alice and Tom are members of the double/triple-decker generation; they are taking responsibility for her grandmother, his mother and their three young children.

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