Recession, coronavirus and shifting demographics are intensifying the pressures on the ‘sandwich generation’ – those supporting both children and parents.

Wednesday, 03 February 2021

A new article from BBC Worklife features a story from a working carer at a financial services organisation which is also a member of Employers for Carers. The article focuses on sandwich carers and includes comments from Katherine Wilson, Head of Employment at Carers UK. Below is a short extract from the article, however you can read the full version here.

Jo Austin would love to have a PA. At home in Central England, the financial services worker, who’s in her late 40s, wakes up very early to drive her husband to the supermarket where he works. They don’t want to risk him catching coronavirus on public transport because of the disabilities of their son and his girlfriend, both in their early 20s.

When Austin returns from the supermarket, she’ll log several hours of remote work. At some point her mother, who lives a few miles away and is in her early 80s, will call. They might talk about the online food shopping order she’s placing for her mum, or when her next medical appointment is. There might also be admin calls to make, for instance to her mother’s utilities companies. Every other day, Austin will go and visit her.

She takes a break from work at lunchtime to collect her husband from his job. At this point her son and his girlfriend might need some help filling in forms or doing other tasks associated with their supported employment programme. By the time she’s squeezed a full day of paid work in between all her unpaid work, Austin will be lucky to have an hour to sit in front of the TV to relax. “It’s a lot of juggling, it’s blooming hard work, it’s exhausting,” she admits.

There’s another word for it, too. Like so many people in her phase of life, Austin is sandwiched.

If you would like to continue reading this article, click here