Sandwich Generation - Caring For Parents and Children

Our friends at Helping Hands offer advice on how to walk the line when caring for both generations


If you are an adult caring for both your parents and children, you'll be a part of what's known as the 'sandwich generation'. The term refers to adults - often in their 40s and 50s - who are supporting their elderly parents as well as raising young children, or financially supporting a child aged 18 or over.

Being a part of the sandwich generation can be tremendously difficult. Juggling the care of your parents and the stability of your children, as well as other commitments such as work or hobbies, can be an awful lot for just one person to handle without becoming overwhelmed. 

If you're reading this as a member of the sandwich generation and you sometimes find it difficult to keep all your plates spinning at once, we've partnered with home care experts Helping Hands to offer a few words of support and advice to help you manage all your responsibilities and still have some time to yourself.

Reducing the Pressure

It's completely natural to want to do everything you can for your loved ones. After all, these are the people who raised you into the person you are today, and the children you are raising yourself; but despite it all, you are only human. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to juggle everything - it's okay to take a step back and accept your limits.

Find Your Support Network

When you're spinning so many plates at one time and a couple of these plates start to falter, it's important to have a strong support network around you who can help you get back on your feet. Even if there's no physical support that your friends and family can help you with, sometimes you just need to unload and gain some emotional support. If you don't feel comfortable with talking to your friends and family, it might bring comfort to reach out to somebody in a similar situation to you. There are lots of support networks accessible online or via Carers UK.

Put Wellbeing Centre Stage

Self-care is vital to your wellbeing and taking care of your loved ones can take its toll on you both mentally and physically - especially with the contrast in needs between young children and elderly parents. It's important that you allow yourself some time to rest and recuperate in order to continue doing the best you can. 

Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Supporting one person alone can be stressful enough, let alone two generations of the people you love the most. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it - there are lots of people who can help to alleviate some of the pressure of caring for your loved ones by taking on some of these responsibilities. Your local Helping Hands care team are here to support adults from the age of 18 and over, so if you need someone to accompany your parents to the shops whilst you're doing the school run, we're here to help you in any way we can.