People who visited elderly relatives over Christmas and New Year say that they were faced with a double-whammy of worry.
Independent research carried out for Saga Homecare showed that 54% of families thought their elderly relatives needed more home help. In addition, 29% of respondents said they’d noticed a deterioration in the physical or mental health of older family members since they last saw them before the Christmas break.
"Our research showed that 29%** of people visiting their elderly relatives over the Christmas period noticed a deterioration in their condition, and more than half (54%**) felt that their loved-ones could do with a little extra help around the home," said John Ivers, Chief Executive, Saga Homecare.
"However, while 29% was the national average, the figure was significantly higher in Wales where 49% of families surveyed said they noticed a deterioration in their relative’s health, and 60% of families said they believed elderly relatives needed more home help."
Families are far more likely to notice changes in the health of elderly relatives at Christmas. In a recent survey of more than 11,000 over-50s for Saga Homecare, families admitted that they spent more than twice as much time with elderly relatives over the Christmas period than usual*. This increased contact leads many families to realise that their loved one may need more help in and around the home.
"Whether this is a decrease in their mobility or mental state, or in their ability to carry out general day to day tasks, it is certainly a wake up call for many families. Whilst it may not be practical to spend more time with elderly relatives this year, getting them a little help around the home could be the answer to ensuring loved-ones can remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible."
Saga Homecare is the UK ’s largest provider of domiciliary care with 18,000 carers providing some 2million hours of care each month.
Information about Saga Homecare can be requested on 0800 046 8568
*Research carried out by Populus who interviewed 10,889 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 11th November and 17th November 2011. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk.
**Research carried out amongst 1007 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4 th – 5 th January 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).