As the Queen is 90 years of age, it appears discussions about our ageing population are on the increase.  As a society, we are living longer and this brings new challenges.  In particular, so-called “grown-up” children (aged 45-65 years) may find that their time is partly being taken up looking after elderly parents.

Research highlighted in the Sunday Times on the 27th of March has shown all the hidden tasks families have to do for elderly relatives, the “big 3” are:

  • Shopping,
  • Driving to health appointments
  • Dealing with financial matters.

The research focused on the pressure facing “grown-up children” and found that over half of Britons (53%) aged 45-54 years old believed that their health was suffering due to worrying about an ageing parent but they often do not talk about it.  Other concerns include a lack of free time for themselves, an ability to plan for their future and strained relationships with their siblings and partner.

Specific websites exist for certain sections of the population.  The high profile is “Netmums” for mums with young children but now “age space” is about to be launched, focussing on the “grown-up children” offering a range of services, advice and a forum.

Commenting on the findings, Independent Living Owner, Mark Booker, said, “These findings do not surprise me.  Having founded our care company over 5 years I thought most of our work would be personal care for people who are seriously ill but I was amazed to find that companionship and tasks such as taking someone to an outpatients appointment at the hospital were in most demand. Many “grown-up children” may have jobs and grandchildren and they simply cannot be there all the time.  A further issue is that “grown-up children” may have their retirement plans such as holidays but due to a parent’s ill health, may find them put on hold.  Increasingly care companies like Independent Living are offering services to help in this area”.