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Almost half of all 'sandwich carers' stressed out

November 30, 2012

"Sandwich" generation parents are emotionally and financially stressed by the pressures of caring for ageing relatives and concurrently raising children.

"Sandwich" generation parents are emotionally and financially stressed by the pressures of caring for ageing relatives and concurrently raising children.

Four in ten (42 percent) sandwich carers were "struggling" to cope as family finances, careers and relationships suffered, according to new research released by Carers UK.

The majority of sandwich carers had stated that they had experienced a loss of earnings and almost all (95 percent) stated that the pressure affected their ability to work.

This meant that more than half (52 percent) said that the cost of caring for older relatives was placing pressure on finances, while childcare claimed 50 percent of costs.

There are an estimated 2.4 million sandwich carers in the UK and Carers UK is calling for care services and workplaces to rapidly become flexible to the needs of the ever-changing shape of the family.

The pressure of simultaneously shouldering responsibility for young and old is also putting huge strains on family life - with two-thirds of sandwich carers reporting damage to their marriages or personal relationships.

Across the UK there are an estimated 2.4 million ‘sandwich carers’ - as around a fifth of 45 to 60-year-olds are actively supporting parents while their children are still at home.  To tackle this growing challenge, Carers UK is calling for care services and workplaces to adapt urgently to the changing shape of family life.

"An ageing population means that caring for older or disabled loved ones is inevitable for all our families. Care services and workplaces must catch up with this reality of family life," said Helena Herklots, chief executive of the organisation.

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