'Sandwich generation' a hard act to swallow

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 05:00 17/07/2014

Relevant offers

Life

Photographer captures mum-daughter beauty Dutch families have adopted and cared for US World War II graves for 70 years Do women multitask better than men? The journey of a transgender child The Kiwis riding the K-Pop music wave Maggy's Catering feeds hungry kids Competitive kids' parties feel un-Kiwi Should you skip your school reunion? Millennials more likely to be selfish and cheap, study finds The problem with selfies and sex symbols

Changing trends are creating a "sandwich generation" - and it's an unpalatable one for many parents.

An ageing population coupled with women having children later in life is creating a "double caring" burden, in which a growing number of people are caring for their late-born children - and their elderly parents at the same time.

Our Futures, published yesterday, says family dynamics are changing because women are waiting longer to have children, and their parents are living longer.

Winnie Duggan, of Ngaio, is typical of the sandwich generation. She has a son still living at home, and is also in charge of looking after her parents, in their 80s, and her mother-in-law, 92.

The three elderly people need some sort of help with cleaning, finances or transport at least every second day, she says.

"You've got school sports, and teenagers' activities in the weekend, and trying to fit in both lots of parents - let alone your own life."

Duggan was 36 when daughter Sarah was born and 38 when she had son David, now 17. Sarah, 19, is at university.

A counsellor and celebrant, Duggan had to cut her work hours a year ago to make herself more available.

"I'm the main one on-call if someone has to go to the hospital."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it ever OK to complain about other people's kids?

Yes, children should be seen and not heard.

No, let kids be kids and let off steam.

It depends on the situation.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content