Friday, 16 September 2016

The Sandwich Generation And Why Eyecare Is Important

I am a certain age - mid 40's with a child in university and parents who are not getting any younger. My father has had two heart attacks and although his health is well controlled at the moment, I dread the phone ringing in case he has another one. It's a constant worry to me. My mother-in-law lost her husband last year so we go around there daily to check on her. She is in excellent health but at nearly 80 we do wonder what is around the corner. My son is in his second year at uni and always seems to come back home with a minor ailment. I'm giving him the talk about eating fruit and veg and getting exercise every day but I do wonder if he listens, a typical teenager. Now, I don't want this post sounding all doom and gloom as it's not, we have a good life but these are some of the things that we have to think about.

I am part of the ‘Sandwich Generation’, a term invented in 1981 by social worker Dorothy Miller, which describes those who are “sandwiched” between looking after young children and aging parents, as their primary caregiver. 

This group is also growing as with the advancement of health care, the elderly are living longer than ever and women are having children later in life. 


As a primary carer it is especially important to look after your health. I know I go for regular dental and optical checks, as well as visiting my 'Well Woman' clinic. I dread to think what will happen to my elderly parents or son if something happens to me - it doesn't bear thinking about. 

These checks are so important too. Many people in the 40-60 age range feel that they are too young for glasses and also too young for eye disease, instead shrugging off the need for regular optical checks, yet this is precisely the age in which reading glasses become much needed and eye disease increases. I've been short sighted all my life and my last eye check flagged up the need for simple reading glasses. 



Recently, the 
Association of British Dispensing Opticians commissioned media agency, the Relations Group, to interview 2,000 members of the ‘Sandwich Generation’, asking them about how they look after their own health, that of their parents and their children.

They found that one in four people aged 40-60 spend more time looking after the health of others than their own, which isn't surprising. 

Of those that look after others, 17 per cent admit that their own health suffers due to the demands of this, 20 per cent feel pressured by their growing responsibility and almost three-quarters place their child's health above their own. Well, you do, don't you?

The research found that looking after their eyes was a key area that was sacrificed due to lack of time, with some people not having been to the optician for a staggering 9 years or more.

Dispensing Optician and ABDO Board member Jo Holmes says, “Regular eye tests are readily available to everyone in the UK near their home. Many optical practices are open at weekends and have late night opening. A sight test is a vital health check and can detect early signs of eye disease before permanent damage occurs. Don’t just look after others: look after your own eyes too.” 



Do you look after anyone? Do you take regular eye checks?

*PR collaboration
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15 comments

  1. regular eye tests are SO important. I have a brain condition which effects my eyes, I don't wear glasses though but I do have to have eye check ups regularly and I can not stress enough how important it is!

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    1. Thanks for commenting Sarah, you are right they are so important.

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  2. This post has just reminded me that my eye test is now due, so I'd better book myself in.

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  3. I look after my daughters at the mo and that's it. I always put their health before mine. How ironic is this though...I'm going into town today for an eye appointment lol x

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    1. I think as parents we always put our kids first but we should ensure we are in good health too as then we can care for them.

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  4. I'm intrigued to hear the term "sandwich generation" as I've never heard of that before! I just got glasses, which made me quite sad :(

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    1. I've worn glasses since I was a child and before it was trendy!

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  5. My mother was in this position for a longtime a few years back as we were both starting Uni and her mother lived to 100 but needed a lot of car for at least 10yrs. Looking after your own health and eye care at this time is so so important

    Laura x

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    1. Awe I can't imagine how your mum coped, it must have been so hard for her.

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  6. I always have regular eye tests, well done for encouraging others to do the same :)

    AntCouture.com

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  7. I'm a big advocate for regular eye tests! Your sight is such an important thing and once it's gone it's gone!

    Becca

    Www.queenbeebecca.com

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    1. Exactly Rebecca. Opticians can pick up a lot of other conditions too, just by looking in your eyes.

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  8. I'm really lucky in that my mum was 18 when she had me and turns 50 on New year's day. She does need an eye test due to glaucoma in the family though and this has reminded me to give her a little kick up the bum - thanks!

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    1. I am glad I've given you a reminder Jo, it's especially important if conditions like glaucoma are in the family.

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  9. Make sure you exfoliate regularly as it really does help x

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