‘Sandwich generation’ on the rise says carers’ group

One third of Irish women aged between 50 and 69 are ‘sandwich carers’ looking after both older parents and dependent children simultaneously.

Launching its Carers of the Year Awards for 2015 in Dublin, the Carers Association said it has seen a significant increase in the number of ‘sandwich generation’ carers being nominated over the past four years.

According to a Trinity College Dublin study, one third of Irish women aged 50-69 provide care for both older parents and dependent children simultaneously. Known as the ‘sandwich generation’, this is a sector of carers set to rise with Ireland’s ageing population.

The report has found that the ‘sandwich generation’ are providing a range of financial and non-financial support to elderly parents, dependent and non-dependent children and grandchildren.

Some 58% of this cohort of women give help to their parents and 83% give help to their children.

One third look after grandchildren, while almost half of this group are providing this range of care and support while also in employment.

Speaking at the launch, Catherine Cox of the Carers Association said the awards were a chance to honour people who provide care with love and affection to friends and family.

“Family carers provide high levels of care in the home to their loved ones, including older people, those terminally ill and with disabilities. This care is provided with love and we want to recognise and celebrate family carers and young carers across Ireland with these awards,” she said.

Ms Cox urged the public to nominate people they think are worthy of an award.

“So many people are committed to providing the best care for their loves ones, often over many years. We are calling on the public to nominate these dedicated carers for the Carers of the Year Awards. There are so many worthy recipients but they cannot be considered unless they are nominated so I urge people to get a nomination form and nominate today,” she said.

Broadcasters and patrons of the Carers Association, Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan, were joined at the launch by Madeleine Morrissey from Wexford who was Ireland’s Carer of the Year 2014 and also a ‘sandwich generation’ carer.

Also in attendance were teenagers Sam Norris from Finglas and Jamie Mooney from Shankhill — both previous recipients of the Young Carer of the Year Award.

Nominations forms are available from the Carers Association Resource Centres nationwide or call the Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24. Nominations can also be made online at www.carersireland.com.

Closing date for entries is Friday, September 11, 2015.

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