'Sandwich generation' carers say choosing care is one of life's most stressful experiences

Published: 6 October 2014 Page last updated: 3 November 2022

We commissioned a survey of people who use the Mumsnet and Gransnet websites, which showed that around 8 out of 10 users identify choosing care as a major source of stress. These findings come as we introduce ratings that will give clearer guidance for those choosing social care services.

Our survey of users of the two websites found that choosing care for a parent or other older relative can be more stressful than divorce, separation, choosing a school, getting married or buying a house. 84 per cent of those who took part describe choosing care for a parent or other older relative as 'very stressful' or 'quite stressful', ranking it higher than many of life's most stressful events.

The sandwich generation

Carers UK has estimated that 2.4 million carers are part of the 'sandwich generation' – those with dual care responsibilities as they juggle care for older relatives and young children.

Ratings for adult social care services

Our ratings system – which we've already introduced across NHS acute hospital trusts – will apply to care homes and other adult social care services from later this month.

  • Our inspections of care services will be carried out by expert teams, which include members of the public (called experts by experience).
  • Our inspections teams will check whether care services are safe, caring, effective, responsive to people's needs and well-led.
  • We will give each service a rating on a four-point scale: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.

76 per cent of people who took part in the survey said they would have more confidence in a service that they knew had been rated Good or Outstanding. 86 per cent said that having an independent body that they could share concerns with would give them more confidence in care.

Our findings in detail

For a more detailed look at what the survey revealed, you can read a summary of what we found.

Sandwich generation survey summary report


Find out more

PDF iconSandwich generation survey summary report

Read a press release about our findings.

Join the conversation

Share your views about care and the issues affecting the sandwich generation. You can find us on Twitter using @carequalitycomm.