'Sandwich generation' a hard act to swallow

Last updated 05:00 17/07/2014

Relevant offers


Instruments highlight shed's diversity How to know if you are ready for a big life change Holding on to childhood: the grown-up appeal of comics, games and dress-ups Megan Nicol Reed: Learning to face your fears The worst life hacks ever recommended The Facts of Life: How life in New Zealand has changed in 50 years This gay man wrote a heartfelt letter to his parents who refused to attend his wedding Hiring au pairs: What really happens when families call on some foreign aid Woman faces online abuse for not having children Gay drama teacher schools homophobic mum

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


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