issues for sandwich generation

Feeling the squeeze

Call us squeezed, call us sandwiched, call us what you like but there’s no escaping us – a generation of 40 and 50+ (women mainly) struggling under the competing demands of children and elderly parents.

People are living longer. Once 70 was called a ‘good innings’ but now it’s more like 90 or even 100; bringing with it all the baggage of old age – loneliness, ill-health, dementia, disability.

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A tour of London’s lovely lidos

I first moved to London nearly 20 years ago; it felt like a magical place with something new to experience every week. The best things about my first few summers in the city were the intense heat (compared to the north east) and an access to outdoor swimming pools that you just don’t get everywhere in the UK.

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Mary Quant at the V&A

What I learnt about Mary Quant at the V&A

Born during Mary Quant’s heyday, I grew up very much aware of this genuine fashion icon’s strong identity. From colourblock geometric minidresses to caps and boots and boyish femininity – and that amazing trademark bob – Mary Quant WAS, the 1960s.

So it was with much excitement, and the recent acquisition of a V&A membership, that I headed to the museum a few days after the launch of its landmark Mary Quant show.

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Number 50 - why do some people call over 50 old?

When over 50 really means over 80

You don’t suddenly become old on your 50th birthday so why do so many organisations insist on offering us funeral plans, retirement homes and gentle exercise?

I’ve been inspired to write this after receiving an invitation, via a local forum, to join a gentle tai chi class … for the over 50s. I’m glad someone is concerned for the well-being of my joints. It’s just that I managed a 12k run today and am not sure it’s necessary.

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Older people have mental health problems too

Last week, during a routine trip to the GP, my mum was refused the sleeping pills she’s come to rely to get a night’s rest. ‘Good’, I secretly thought. Maybe someone might suggest other ways of addressing the insomnia – and the anxiety and depression – that blight her nights and days. Because older people get depressed too, and although rarely offered, talking therapies could make a world of difference. Continue reading →