TILDA finds Sandwich Generation Women are Supporting Elderly Parents, Children and Grandchildren
One third of women aged 50-69 in Ireland today are in the ‘sandwich generation’ with the majority providing care to both elderly parents and dependent children, according to a new report from TILDA. The report provides insight into the important contribution of this group of women to supporting two generations – their living parents and younger dependent children – and finds that this has an impact on their physical and mental health.
The sandwich generation are providing a range of financial and non-financial support to elderly parents, dependent and non-dependent children and grandchildren. In fact, 58% of sandwich generation women give help to their parents and 83% give help to their children. One third look after grandchildren. Almost half of this group are providing this range of care and support while also in employment.
The research suggests that the impact of providing intergenerational support on women’s health varies by the type of support given. Providing financial support to children is associated with improved self-rated health among the sandwich generation women, but providing financial support to parents is associated with increased depression among this group. Providing practical household support for children is also associated with increased depression.