Are you part of the sandwich generation?
BEVERLEY works full-time. She does her grandchildren’s school run every morning and spends one evening a week and every Saturday with her 85-year-old mother, who lives alone and is increasingly frail.
Beverley is part of the sandwich generation – people who care for ageing parents while supporting their children and grandchildren.
The sandwich generation are finding that rather than slowing down as they approach retirement they are taking on more responsibilities.
In Wokingham Borough alone, there are almost 14,000 people (that’s 9% of our population) that identify themselves as having a caring role.
These numbers are only set to increase. Carers UK estimates there will be nine million carers in the UK by 2037.
The number of centenarians in the UK has quadrupled in the past 30 years, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
In the past decade alone, the number of people reaching the age of 100 has increased by 71%.
The number of people over 90 has nearly trebled over the past 30 years.
The rise means there are increasing numbers of very old people being cared for by their children – themselves at an age at which they might have expected to be cared for, rather than to care for others.
Juggling work and caring responsibilities isn’t easy, so try not to add to the pressure by feeling bad about what you’re doing.
Although caring for a loved one can be rewarding, it is tough too.
Too often carers do not receive the recognition and support that they need and deserve. We need to do more to help identify, support and recognise their vital roles.
We at Healthwatch have produced a toolkit for GPs to support carers. It is imperative that carers look after their own health needs. If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to properly take care of others. Plain and simple.
The Carers Toolkit looks at the help and support you may be entitled to; for example GPs can flag you so you get priority medical appointments, Eldercare support could include arranging local authority or private care or claiming benefits such as Attendance Allowance.
Employers can help with tax-efficient childcare vouchers and, if you need to take time off work to look after a relative, flexible working arrangements.
There are also apps that you can download to help manage communication about loved ones appointments.
Remember you are only one person and there are 24 hours in one day.
Make a list of all the things you think need to get done and prioritise them. What can you cut out? How can you minimize your load?
Get in touch with Healthwatch if interested in finding out more about the help and support available.
How to contact us :
Phone 0118 418 1 418
Website www.healthwatchwokingham.co.uk E-Mail email@example.com