Bad Daughters of the world unite! Age Space – online resource for carers

We have invited Age Space to tell us about the online service that they offer for all carers of elderly relatives. Grace and I know from experience that it can be a lonely job looking after an elderly loved one. It is also one that comes with no time to prepare, or books to tell you what to do. I wish I had known about Age Space when I was caring for my elderly mother. Please pass on this article to anyone you know that may be caring for a relative.

Age Space Norfolk is the one-stop online resource and guide for anyone with concerns about, or caring for an ageing parent or relative, neighbour or friend.

Age Space - one-stop online resource and guide for anyone with concerns about, or caring for an ageing parent or relative, neighbour or friend.

People are living longer which is something to celebrate, however the reality is that the system is struggling to cope. Often families are dispersed across the country and simply don’t know where to turn when faced with organising care for an elderly parent or relative.

Age Space takes you on a care journey – Where to start, making living at home easier, recognising when extra care is needed at home to making emotional and practical decisions regarding care homes. It’s covers a wide range of subjects such as – healthy diets, travel, recognising signs of dementia, legal and financial worries, a calendar of local activities for keeping parents active, a directory of services and a forum for people to share their experiences and advice

Whether you’re facing an immediate crisis, or are just beginning to worry, at its heart Age Space is a friendly online conversation space where anyone can ask a question or find the answer to something of concern.

Sandwich generation

Age Space founder, Annabel James invites the Bad Daughters of the world to unite…

Age UK recently shone the spotlight on what is happening to many women across the country, telling the stories of four particular women who have had to make difficult decisions about working and caring for loved ones, putting their own lives and interests on hold.

There are 1.25 million sandwich carers in the UK. These are people caring for an older relative as well as bringing up a family and not surprisingly 68% are women.

It is 100 years since (some) women in the UK got the vote.  Fast forward a century to our enlightened times and I wonder if it’s time to dust down the bonnet, corset and placards for a modern day movement I’m calling The Bad Daughters Club.

The last straw was a report that the best insurance older people could have wasn’t a policy or money, but a good daughter.  The survey concluded that daughters of ageing parents provide as much care as they can manage, while (most) sons do as little as they can get away with.  If they have sisters or wives, men are likely to leave it to them.

Annabel James, founder of Age Space

I would not presume to equate the female lot in 2019 with that of the Suffragette movement despite the current #metoo, #timesup etc. But the irony is not lost either that after all that struggle women still need to challenge the status quo – and themselves.

Membership of The Bad Daughters Club is open to all women, probably in middle years. There are only three criteria; the first is juggling any combination of children and family, job, home, life, ageing parents and relatives.  Premium membership for a full house of commitments.

The second criteria is guilt – at not being always perfect, constantly present or performing as ‘Superwoman’. 

The third is a feeling of under-achieving – not doing enough, well enough, often enough.  The more guilt and under-achievement, the bigger the membership discount.

There are lots of members of the club, most of whom don’t recognise their eligibility to join yet. You will know who you are. According to Carers UK, women in their 50s have a one-in-two chance of caring for a parent; there are more than 2.45 million women over 45 “sandwiched” between children and parents.  A Care Quality Commission study concluded that care decisions for parents was up there with divorce, death and moving house as a stressful event.

We all know good and great sons, husbands and dads.  Being a good daughter is much harder thanks to all that juggling, guilt and under-achieving, mixed with a dose of others expectations. The Bad Daughters Club is a recognition that even though we’ve got the vote in some respects we’re still back in the dark ages – partly by our own actions.

The Bad Daughters Club won’t be running courses to improve juggling, or sessions to find your inner superwoman; we will be laughing at the irony of actually having it all; celebrating that whilst we’re bad daughters, we’re great people who happen to be women; and we’ll be supporting bad daughters everywhere to do what they do best – doing it all.

To find out more about this brilliant website, Age Space, click HERE.