Meet the Team – Giselle Biagtan: A Care Specialist who helps the Sandwich Generation

Meet the Team – Giselle Biagtan: A Care Specialist who helps the Sandwich Generation

An Adult Care Specialist focused on helping employees in the Sandwich Generation

Giselle Biagtan, a Care Specialist on the Adult Care team, has noticed a dramatic increase in the number of employees in the Sandwich Generation—those who are caring for aging loved ones while also raising children. She’s also seen firsthand the emotional toll it can have on these caregivers. We talked to Giselle about her role as a Care Specialist, and she explains how she provides 1:1 personalized support and care navigation to help Sandwich Generation employees with senior care, child care, and their own emotional well-being. 

Can you tell us a bit about your background? 

I have a bachelor’s degree in social work from Western Connecticut State University. During college, I interned at a long-term care facility and that was instrumental in my decision to work in the caregiving profession. I know it was the right decision because I have been working as a Care Specialist, helping employees with senior care issues, for over 25 years now. 

What type of issues are sandwich generation employees facing? 

Most employees in the Sandwich Generation struggle to maintain a sense of balance between caring for aging loved ones, raising their children, and managing work responsibilities. Many are also stressed about finances—and almost all struggle to find personal time for themselves. They often feel isolated and overwhelmed and, without support, it can quickly lead to caregiver burnout. 

How do you help employees in the sandwich generation?

In my role as an Adult Care Specialist, I help employees find care resources for aging loved ones—whether it’s community programs, transportation services, home care, assisted living, or long-term care. But often in my conversations with employees, other underlying care needs arise. Employees may tell me they are struggling to keep up with parenting, caregiving, and work responsibilities and very often I hear the stress in their voices.

This is when I remind them that they are not alone. I review other Care benefits available to them—and offer to connect them to Care Specialists who can help with related care needs. For example, I can connect employees to Care Specialists on our Parenting and Education team who help employees find child care, tutors, schools, extracurricular and enrichment activities, or resources for children with disabilities. Depending on the benefits they are eligible to receive, I can also connect them with Care Specialists who can help with everyday household needs, or more complex financial and legal matters that can come with caregiving. Most importantly, I always encourage employees to find time to take care of themselves. That’s when I also gently remind them of emotional health resources available to them through their employer or in their community. 

Is there a Sandwich Generation case example that is most memorable to you?

When employees take advantage of all the support available to them, it really makes a difference. One case that really stands out is when an employee I was working with used all of the resources I referred her to—and it made a real impact on her life. 

The employee initially called seeking resources for her mother whose health was failing. She was also working remotely from home and raising two school-aged children. In addition to providing her with senior care resources that met her mother’s immediate care needs, I connected her to a Care Specialist on our Parenting team who then helped her find part-time child care and tutors for her children. 

But what is most memorable to me is her reaction when I asked her “How are you coping? Is there anything we can do for you?” Like so many caregivers in the sandwich generation, this employee was so focused on her caregiving responsibilities that she had neglected her own needs–and so I also referred her to mental health counseling provided by her company to help her cope with stress. 

When I called to follow-up with this employee, she told me she had used all of the benefits I referred her to and she was extremely grateful for the help. I could hear the relief in her voice. She told me “Before contacting Care Specialists, I felt completely overwhelmed—and thanks to the support, I now have hope.” 

What do you love most about your job?

Hearing that kind of feedback from members is the most rewarding part of my job. Knowing that I can provide some relief and hope to families reinforces that I’m doing the right thing by being a Care Specialist. When I reflect on my career, I am reminded of the song “Lean On Me” because as I tell families everyday “I am here for you every step of your care journey. You can lean on me because as a Care Specialist, that is what I do.”