New research by MoneySuperMarket has revealed the financial impact of Covid-19 on middle-aged consumers with responsibilities for adult children and elderly parents.

The financial role played by the ‘sandwich generation’ is well-known, with 50% of this group supporting their adult children (43%), or both their adult children and elderly relatives (7%).

In pre-pandemic times, the sandwich generation would spend an average £170 per month supporting their adult children or elderly parents. However, under lockdown this figure has more than doubled to £360 – a rise of £190 per month.  With restrictions having been in place since March, many sandwich generation adults have spent an estimated additional £1,615 caring for their adult children and elderly relatives.

Sandwich generation adults in the South East are supporting their children or elderly relatives the most (£266), followed by those in the North West (£208) and the West Midlands (£177).

Over one in 10 (13%) sandwich generation parents have adult children who have lost their jobs and 8% reported that their children had moved home. 1 in 5 (19%) noted their children and parents had their finances adversely impacted by the coronavirus in other ways.

As a result of the pandemic, 34% of the sandwich generation is providing additional support to their adult children and their elderly parents. Over two-thirds (71%) have not asked for the money to be paid back, despite over a third (36%) having to dip into their savings to support the loans. A quarter (25%) report it has had a negative impact on their finances.

Sally Francis-Miles, Money Spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said “The sandwich generation has long been a crucial source of support for many young adults and elderly people. As a result of the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, our research shows that they’re being leaned upon more than ever before, with costs more than doubling in 2020.”

“If you’re a parent that’s spending more to support your adult relatives, you may be happy to do so. However, it’s always sensible to make sure that your generosity isn’t burning a major hole in your own pocket.”