Press release

Two thirds of children choosing a care home find it overall a positive experience

Tuesday 11 August 2009

  • Getting adequate help for loved-one is main reason for entering long term care
  • One in ten have tried to look after a family member themselves, but couldn’t cope

Far from not wanting to look after their relatives themselves, research from Saga* shows that two thirds (68%) of family members opt to use long term care purely because they realise it provides the best possible care for them in later life. Despite the anxiety that goes with making such a decision, two thirds of those asked said that they found the overall process of choosing a home to be a positive experience.

Work commitments prevented one in 10 people from looking after a family member, as they worried that there would be no-one at home to look after them if there was a problem. Others simply couldn’t accommodate their parents, either because their house was too small or not adequately adapted to their parents needs. One in ten (9%) children have taken on the role of looking after their parents, but found the responsibility more than they could cope with.

Interestingly, despite the soaring cost of long term care, of the 5% that do look after their parents themselves only one in ten said that cost was the reason for this. Two thirds felt it their responsibility to look after their parents and a quarter were worried about the treatment they would receive in a home. Another 25% said they would feel too guilty for sending their parents to a home.

Funding care can be complex and costly, the average cost for nursing care currently stands at £35,000 per annum, which is why it is worrying that further Saga research** shows that a third of parents have not made any plans for how to pay for their care in the future and a quarter have not discussed plans with their family.

The emotional consequences of moving your parents into care, even if it is the best option for them, can be difficult. Although almost three quarters (69%) felt a sense of reassurance that their parents were now being properly looked after, a fifth (21%) felt guilt at the decision, with women being twice as likely to feel this than men (29% women vs 15% men).

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive Saga Group, comments: “Older people are fiercely independent and the vast majority (76%) hope to spend their final years living at home. Sometimes specialist care is needed, and care homes are often best equipped to provide this. As the average monthly cost of a care home exceeds most peoples’ monthly mortgage payments it is particularly important that people seek professional advice about how to fund their care.”


Editors notes:

*Analysis carried out by Populus Research on an online poll of 11,809 British adults aged 50+ between 5th to 12th June 2009.

** Research carried out by Opinium on behalf of Saga amongst 2209 adults in July 2008

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