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IOE Research highlights the burden of caring for The Sandwich Generation on women in 50s

November, 2014 IOE

A study from the Institute of Education, University of London, found that 55-year-old women take on a ‘disproportionate’ share of caring responsibilities for younger and older relatives.

IOE researchers used data from the National Child Development Study, which follows the lives of more than 17,000 Britons born in a single week in 1958. They analysed findings from more than 9,100 cohort members who took part in the NCDS age 55 survey

Seventeen per cent were ‘sandwiched,’ looking after the younger and older generation.

Almost half of those surveyed had at least one child living at home. The average age of children still at home was 21.

Those who spent ten or more hours a week caring for grandchildren, parents or both – not including time spent looking after children at home – were ‘considerably less likely’ to report their health was ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ (40 per cent) compared with those who provided less than ten hours (51 per cent).

They were also less likely to say ‘that they often felt full of energy, that their lives were full of opportunity, or that the future looked good.’

IoE researchers said: ‘Our research shows that spending more than ten hours a week caring for parents or grandchildren is associated with poorer health and self-rated quality of life.

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