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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love heart sweets 'for ever'

Caring for a loved one when you’re 80+

Yesterday a neighbour of my mum’s called in to ask about care homes. Her 90-year-old husband has advanced dementia. They’ve been managing at home for a while but he’s in hospital and residential care is the inevitable next step.

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cotton reels illustrating my sewing hobby

My year of living clotheslessly

You get to a stage in life when you have to question the sustainability of your clothes-buying choices. So hearing a radio interview with someone who’d stopped buying clothes for a year, I decided to give it a go myself.

I made a few exceptions – I was allowed to buy from charity shops and I was allowed to make my own. If absolutely desperate, I was permitted to purchase new underwear – I couldn’t be expected to buy that second-hand. But in the main, the idea was to go through the bags of ageing stuff I keep in a drawer under my bed, recycling items that hadn’t seen the light of day for a while.

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little old lady mouse and her cat at home

Are older people the key to unlocking the housing crisis?

The last time I looked there was still a housing crisis in the UK – we’re not building anywhere near the 300,000 homes a year required to meet the needs of a growing population.

The housing shortage includes family homes of three or more bedrooms, yet if my mum’s friends and neighbours are typical, a significant number of the over-80s are living alone in this type of accommodation.

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