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Balancing Acts: Unveiling the Realities of the UK’s Sandwich Generation

by Dr Kirsten Protherough, GP, Home Visit Healthcare

Unveiling the Realities of the UK’s Sandwich Generation: Navigating the Intersection of Career, Family, and Caregiving

As the dawn of International Women’s Day approaches, it’s a poignant moment to delve into the complex dynamics of the “Sandwich Generation” – a reality that resonates deeply with many modern businesswomen. Dr. Kirsten Protherough, a seasoned GP and the founder of Home Visit Healthcare, offers insights into the pressures faced by today’s women and provides pragmatic tips for managing the intricate dance of career, family, and caregiving responsibilities.

Feeling the Squeeze of the Sandwich Generation?

Balancing the demands of caring for children while attending to increasingly dependent parents can feel like a Herculean task, particularly for women who have postponed childbearing until later in life. For many businesswomen, the challenges become palpable when navigating the complexities of family life alongside an entrepreneurial career. Have we, as a generation, been led to believe we can effortlessly “have it all”?

Alleviating the Unprecedented Pressure of Dependent Parents: Top Tips

Many individuals in the Sandwich generation, typically aged 40 and above, find themselves juggling full-time jobs, childcare duties, and eldercare responsibilities, often leaving them feeling frazzled. Dr. Protherough offers some practical advice to ease this burden:

  1. Know Your Work Rights: Stay informed about your rights as an informal carer. Recent changes to the Care Act entitle informal carers to one week of unpaid carer’s leave annually.
  1. Engage with the Third Sector: Take advantage of online resources from organizations such as Age UK, Dementia UK, and Carers UK, which offer valuable information and support services for free.
  1. Utilize Online Shopping: Make use of online shopping to assist your relatives in receiving necessary products conveniently at their doorstep. Engage distant relatives who are eager to offer support but live far away.
  1. Take Care of Legals: Arrange lasting power of attorney for health and welfare before your loved one loses their capacity to provide you with this essential support.
  1. Prioritize Your Well-being: Rid yourself of guilt and prioritize your own well-being by attending screening appointments, maintain any vaccinations required, and maintain social connections.
  1. Share the Load: Organise rotas and create WhatsApp groups within your family to share caregiving responsibilities for elderly relatives.

Taking Control and Aging Positively: What’s Within Our Control

Experiencing a decline in a parent’s health while raising a young child can profoundly shape our perspective on aging. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of prioritising our own well-being to effectively care for our loved ones. Sir Chris Whitty’s message from his annual report, Health in an ageing society, highlights the significance of maintaining good health as we age. Simple actions like regular exercise, mental stimulation, a balanced diet, moderation of alcohol intake, and quitting smoking remain effective strategies for promoting physical and mental well-being.

Celebrating Successes and Prioritising Health

For businesswomen juggling multiple responsibilities, it’s essential to celebrate successes, prioritise health, and persevere. By embracing these principles, we can navigate the complexities of the Sandwich generation with resilience.

To learn more about Home Visit Healthcare’s positive ageing assessments and comprehensive reviews for older adults.


Call us on: 0330 133 9093


The post Balancing Acts: Unveiling the Realities of the UK’s Sandwich Generation appeared first on Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

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