The Sandwich Generation your thoughts please.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by rhallacroz, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. rhallacroz

    rhallacroz Registered User

    Sep 24, 2007
    106
    merseyside
    Hi All
    Just wondering what you thought about an idea I had. I am part of the Sandwich Generation ie. Cope with ageing parents and young children a career husband and also trying to maintain my own career as a Midwife. Not easy. Over the last 12 months things have become increasingly worse and I have had to access Social Services. Day care,Care packages etc etc. The list is endless. Looking back on my experience I would like to be able to help others in the same position and was thinking of setting up a website giving info of local organisations, care homes etc etc etc, Obviously I can only source my local town and area. Maybe in time this could be rolled out to all areas.
    I would be really interested to know what you all think. Good or Bad open to anything really.
    Thanks for taking the time.
    Angelax
     
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    I think it's an absolutely brilliant idea ....... (when I first saw that title I thought you meant that generation like me who used to live in bedsits with nothing but a toastie-sandwich machine to guarantee a hot meal!!!!!!!!:eek::rolleyes:)

    Seriously, I have nothing but total admiration for people who care 24/7 be it for a partner or parent .... but recognise their stresses are often very different to mine ....... (as a 'sandwich person') .....

    Events these last few days had me thinking of a need for a local 'Working Carers' group - i.e. not the coffee mornings and 'drop-in' centres that working people can obviously not attend ...... (or 24/7 carers who have no-one to give them space to do so .....) The sheer scale of 'co-ordinating' care is unbelievable at times ...... they have 'co-ordinators' for weddings - why not care package co-ordinators?

    That rather sounds like a 'marketing opportunity'?????? In a not-for profit environment I think it is hugely workable idea and much needed ...

    Absolutely agree - sharing ideas and experiences and resources at a local level is most valuable - and then if that learning can disperse more widely - fantastic!!!!!!!! Another website might achieve it .... but how about a group running on a Saturday morning or a Tuesday evening say....???? That's what professionals generally can't provide ........because their working hours are often much as the rest of us?

    Thank you - inspiration and ideas to take some of my recent concerns forward in a very more positive and focussed way!

    Love, Karen, x
     
  3. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Hi rhallacroz and Karen
    Anything that promotes this interest group. We are 'sandwich eaters' in our household! On visiting days!! Trying to keep a family, husband, full-time teaching career and be main carer to a dad (dementia sufferer), presently in hosp- is an unbelievable burden and certainly brings pressures. I am trying to get my head around having to vet and visit nursing homes for Dad outside working hours, without having two young children in tow and wthhout getting behind with school work(planning etc) I don't have child care during the holidays. I dont think I'm the only person with these practical issues to get round.
    So your idea sounds great
    take care
    hendy
     
  4. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Hi there, Angela

    I read that article in the press too, calling us the "Sandwich Generation" and then I thought, well we are all that aren't we? If we have parents/similar and/or children/similar. We are all destined to be sandwiched between them. Or sandwiched somewhere or other.

    Diversion: Karen, you were lucky to have a "toastie-sandwich machine to guarantee a hot meal". All I had was a landlady who cut her toe-nails as she served me her horrible breakfast! So I survived on cheese and biscuits!!!! You lucky girl, Karen!

    A "Care Co-ordinator" is what we were told was OURS, from day one, years ago now. She never knew the meaning of 'care' nor of 'co-ordinator'.

    I'm not convinced yet. Those 'locally available resources' are already available on various websites. But doesn't mean they are good locally available resources.

    For simple reason that until such time as the available-resources are shared equally around this island of ours, then no matter how many 'local groups' emerge, we will not achieve the step forward that we are all asking for and needing. But that is not to say that local groups are not required; they are. But we live in a mobile society, so unless and until resources are availabe to all, regardless of where they live, then we will have achieved only a small chink in the eggshell.

    Katie
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Just my personal opinion but what I think is so valuable about Angela's idea is that we all know we live in a 'post-code lottery' ..... so where for example, AS or Age Concern or Crossroads (to mention a few) ....... provide some services in some areas - before we even start on NHS services ....... I have spent hours of time wading through National websites ....... then following up local leads ... only then to be directed from pillar to post .....

    In the working world many of us now live in - with a lack of local networking (the days of borrowing a cup of sugar over the garden fence long gone because everyone is out there trying to earn a cup of sugar:eek:) and often missing an extended family - if we are lucky to have one at all - geographically extended at best - the need for access to immediate local hands-on, practical support is more pronounced than ever.

    Given 'parenting' seems to come later in life ... (don't shoot me for the wide generalisation!!!) as early onset dementia, especially, is becoming more widely acknowledged there are surely going to be more and more people in the 'Sandwich Club' (aside from caring for other illnesses amongst the family)......

    The latest launch of the AS site gives a valuable postcode search for services available - but that is only those which are provided by local AS groups ........ and of course relate directly to the dementia sufferer and carers who are available to attend / access support during 'normal working hours' ('normal working hours' being a relative term!!!!! :rolleyes: Midwifery being just one example!!!)

    I may be wrong but I guess what Angela is getting at ... and certainly something I would have appreciated myself a couple of years ago ... was ideas for local links on suppport services which would help the whole family - from childminders prepared to offer 'out of hours' care without having to have 'the children in tow' when I needed to be somewhere else at tea-time or for a hospital visit that coincided with school holidays ..... ....... to a local solicitor ... or where to find an accredited handyman service I could trust to visit mum's to do jobs/repairs without me taking yet more time off work ........ .... all without 'jumping through hoops' for several days to get anywhere .......

    Absolutely with Angela - it seems a shame to have gone though such a learning curve over the last few years and not share it with others ..... and with you too, Katie, that the 'good' should be shared at a wider level to encourage other areas to promote the same and/or identify gaps ......'holistic care for carers' may yet be another pipe dream ........ but some of us dream on ..... and people like Angela having the ideas must be hugely applauded for trying to realise those dreams and alleviate some of the pressures so many of us have already gone through ......... perhaps challenging and information sharing at a local level is the first realistic step to gaining support nationwide - if not more globally?

    Love, Karen, x
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #6 Margarita, Mar 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
    Well if your right Karen I am all for that .

    A site that I could get click on to, to find a good trusting person
    that would sit with my mother in my area , while I went out on a Saturday night, or any night

    Then also a place where people can leave comment about them . something along the line like Gum tree web site .

    I found a good Man with a Van , with cheap rates on they , when my daughter was moving flat last year, but you can't put in a post code and it just pop up , sometime rates in other post code are cheaper and they willing to travel down at no extra cost to you .

    but it be so much better just putting a post code in as then you can compare prices .

    we could find you a good trust worthy handy man Karen for your mother is some like that was set up .


    In my area SS do offer day center on Saturdays

    also I find all Carer group meeting start at 10 45, while that time not good for me , because they pick up mum from any time between 10 - 11 am .


    I also find it unfair that just because I don't live in a post code area I can not go to they group , if its the type of group I would like to go to .
     
  7. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    #7 hendy, Mar 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
    Hi Angela
    I think I might now have some grey matter going on the blink. What is Sandwich Eaters a euphemism for? I used it in its literal sense? i.e. we're so busy sometimes we have to eat sandwiches for tea etc etc???!!! I can understand the idea that we have children later(I was 36 with my youngest) and parents might get ill earlier( Dad fairly young with vas dem.)But I'm still not sure where the Sandwich idea comes in??
    regards
    hendy
     
  8. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Dear Karen

    I agree ----- almost ----- with every single thing you say, and if my previous comments on this thread were seen as negative, then I can only apologise. Not meant to be so, just merely intended to stimulate debate.

    Locally available resources = great, terrific, brilliant. Published and accessible far and wide = great also. And I was not trying to diss any of those suggestions.

    Not all of us live close to the person we are caring about and for. Not caring for day in day out, of course, and not hands-on 24/7. But 24/7 in a slightly different way, which may also be even harder to handle. Yes, many of us out there have to cope with him/her being X miles away, plus the additional scrabbling around to try to find out who/what/where/when. Which only makes it all the more difficult to handle. So from that point of view, Angela's ideas are laudable and welcome.

    But the main reason I feel that unless and until the postcode lottery is sorted once and for all, and the 'pot of gold' is shared out sufficiently equally to improve the lot of those we care about, and of ourselves, regardless of where we or they happen to be living at that point in time when he/she/they is requiring help/assistance/support ... dementia-related or not ... then .... is that we may all be whistling (polite version!) in the wind.

    Please don't get me wrong, I do applaud Angela's ideas.

    Pipe dreams are realisable. Just takes longer than any other dream. And lots of ..... but you know that already!!

    Love
    Katie

    PS to Hendy: you are the sandwich-filling, sandwiched between the two generations that are possibly part of your life. Both demanding you to care, deal, handle and cope. They are doing the eating - not you! You are the mortar between the bricks supporting them all. Between the slices of bread.
    Katie
     
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    i was wondering that also :D

    could it be because we have to sandwhich are life around every other people needs , as in services . rushing around they opening hours .
     
  10. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Angela

    I am right with you..feeling like a distinctly squeezed filling since my kids were born 6 years ago.

    Things have improved with the internet since then, with better sites, web access etc. but the basic problem of trying to make a phone call during the day with twins remains, getting care (free) to go to Mum's appointmens, getting cover etc.

    My experience of the care system was that it was virtually non-existent and I am sure that many find this. I was helping Mum out every 3-4 weekends (Lived 225 miles away) to ensure that she had the right shopping and at least ate as was my Brother who lived closer but said that he could only manage to pop in once a week.

    I used to drag my toddlers with me. It was scary. Looking at it in hindsight it was probably the last straw for me as I was at the time technically qualifying for home help myself but there was none available!:(

    Also for me, finding out how to access help would have helped.

    These days I have some balance. But it isn't easy at all. I was a late child and my kids were born late to me.

    Mameeskye
     
  11. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    An excellent example - I have a list of six phone calls I need to make - ideally tomorrow - on either my mother's behalf or to make routine check up appointments for my son ...... no chance!!!!! My job does not allow me the luxury of making private phone calls thru the day - even from my own mobile ..... my part time 'status' merely affords me the luxury of being able to co-ordinate every thing else in life besides paying the mortgage ....... oh, and sometime soon I will find time for the opticians' appointment for myself - else I will be looking for arm extensions on eBay!!!!!! :D

    It comes to something when you daren't ask for leave for anything for yourself ... because you have to keep it in reserve for all other caring responsibilities .......:(

    Sorry, I have apologised once already this weekend for being miserable and angry - perhaps I should add 'selfish' to that too...... :eek:

    But sometimes, life really is 'a list' .....

    Karen, x
     
  12. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #12 Margarita, Mar 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008

    Nothing changes ..... I remember those working days when my kids where younger ,
    balancing
    work hours all around my children , appointment while worrying that if I took any more time of for them when they where ill , I was going to get the Sack .
     
  13. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Karen and everyone on thread
    Thanks for your explanation!! I know exactly what it feels like to be the 'filling'. Sometimes its impossible to do any of these roles properly, i'm just bumbling along. I'm considering leaving full-time teaching and going on supply. So I can concentrate on the kids(eldest is off to high school in sept) and Dad who is going to be getting worse. So that's my career scuppered again. I am having to choose my priorities really carefully. What can I do? I'll never have this time again with my kids or with Dad.
    regards
    hendy
     
  14. rhallacroz

    rhallacroz Registered User

    Sep 24, 2007
    106
    merseyside
    Thanks for you responses

    Hi All
    Thanks for responding to my post. I really appreciate your comments. Just to clarify things I would like to be able to share my huge learning curve with others who are possibly begining the same journey as many of us have here. I realize that initially it will have to be about local facillities but there is no reason that if it works it could be rolled out nationally.
    I am also conscious of those poor individuals who are not fortunate like ourselves who are able to access the Internet and perhaps source our own needs. I would like to be able to offer an advocacy service for those people. So many people out there just dont know what they are entitled to do or how to even access help. This is such a sad situation.
    The list is endless. For instance how many people know about Direct Payments and the difference this way of paying for care can make.
    Wouldn't it be great if you could access an Elder Sitting Service. I use agencys to provide this service.But often I think I dont really need that level of care more companionship or a watchful sensible person just to make sure dad is safe or not at risk if mum wants to go out.
    I thought Katies idea of users being able to post their opinions of the service they had used excellent who knows it could be like Trip Advisor. It certainly would higher the standards, and why shouldn;t it. Only today I happened to witness 2 carers from a local agency shopping in Tesco in their uniforms which were filthy to say the least and then overheard them talking about one of their clients. SO unprofessional. Of course the site would have to be well policed so as not to encourage slander etc.
    Anyway one and all please keep posting I am so grateful for your comments like I said good and bad.
    Thanks
    Angela
     

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