'Sandwich generation' a hard act to swallow

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

Relevant offers

Life

Queenstown horse whisperer leads the way Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres offer online support for gay child Kim K opens up about Caitlyn's surgery Adult colouring books slide up the best seller list #AskJaquie: How do I deal with a dangerously provocative new agony aunt? The week's best celebrity Instagrams Lynda Hallinan: Hair today, limp locks tomorrow Video: Is it ok to ignore your mum or dad's friend request? Girl Scouts return US$100,000 gift to anti-transgender donor Identical triplets chase world record

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