In my research over the last few months, some older men & women do not even recognise that they are grandparent carer’s! – a grandparent that cares regularly for their grandchild so the parent can work, or one who is a kinship carer- the child lives with the grandparent.
It will be no surprise therefore, that they certainly won’t recognise themselves as “the sandwich generation” those men & women who care for grandchildren and their own elderly parents too!
I have just read the Institute for Public Policy Research’s (IPPR) publication on
The sandwich generation: Older women balancing work and care
“The contribution that older women make to their families and to the economy needs
to be more widely recognised. Older women provide vital support to families, enabling
many people to (re-)enter the workforce and supporting growth in the workplace and
in consumption. There is therefore a great need to provide better support to older
women, both at home and in the workplace. The following recommendations set out
some strategies that could better support older women who work and/or care, and
specifically the grandparents who often find themselves wedged in the middle of the
(This excerpt is from the published Article you can download it from their website, click on the link below.)
…and their Conclusion
“This report has demonstrated the fact that older women make valuable contributions
both in work and in caring for younger and older generations – yet older women as a
group remain invisible to policymakers. Enabling older women to work for longer and
alongside caring responsibilities could make an enormous positive difference not only
to their lives, but to their families and society more widely.”
This week I had a chat via the web with Karen Woodall (The Family Separation Clinic) among other things we were discussing the ever changing roles of women, what feminism has done to us over the years- as we are the generation that grew up with it, we feel well qualified to discuss.
In particular the legacy that we have left to our younger women, and how some women now wield this power to emasculate men and more importantly deprive them of being a father to their children.
I cannot speak on behalf of, or even as eloquently as Karen (click on the link at the foot of this post to visit her site.)
What I will say is this- and I repeat my request from my International Women’s day post – take a step forward, try and build a new relationship with those that are estranged from you and your child/children, in particular the father’s.
All you are doing is contributing to an even heavier workload and the stress, of the men & women that have gone before you and worked hard to fight for your right to be recognised, while in return, what is it that you give?
If you have any thoughts on this please comment, if you are part of the sandwich generation we particularly want to know how we can help contact us.