New figures from the Office for National Statistics on sandwich carers – those who care for both sick, disabled or older relatives and dependent children – show this group are more likely to report symptoms of mental ill-health, feel less satisfied with life, and struggle financially compared with the general population.
Commenting on the figures, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“The sandwich generation – those caring for children as well as sick, older or disabled relatives – is a growing group in our ageing population. Beyond dual caring responsibilities, there is increasing pressure on this group to juggle work with caring and, as a result, it is one of the most time-poor and stressed generations.
“Given these pressures it is no surprise that more than a quarter of sandwich carers report symptoms of mental ill-health, and that this increases with the amount of care provided. As well as impacting on carers’ health and wellbeing, the strain also takes its toll on their ability to work – more than two million people have given up work to care for older or disabled relatives.
“Carers UK’s research found that trying to find the right care for an older relative was harder and more stressful than finding good quality childcare. With the social care system under extreme pressure, additional stress is being placed on families who are trying to juggle children, work and older relatives.
“It is vital that the Government provides ambitious proposals for the funding and delivery of adult social care in the upcoming Green Paper – proposals that better support older and disabled people, giving the sandwich generation the ability to better manage work and caring responsibilities. It must ensure that they receive practical and financial support to care without putting their own lives on hold.”