Home is where the parents are

Monday 9 June 2008

Home is where the parents are

  • Two out of five children visit dad at least once a week
  • Parents should live within 10 miles of offspring to secure regular visits

Family unity is alive and well in the UK with more than 4 in 10 (41%) of Brits visiting their parents at least once a week, research by Saga's Telephone Service* has revealed. The heartwarming statistics coincide with Father's Day, on which many will be planning trips up and down the country to thank devoted dads. Parents in their mid to late forties and seventies are the most frequently visited with an average of 71 visits per year, suggesting trips become more regular when new children and grandchildren arrive in the family.

Over a quarter (27%) of dutiful daughters pop by every couple of days compared to only a fifth (19%) of sons. "Feeling like you should" is not the main reason for visits to the parental roost, in fact the top reason for the trips are simply to make sure parents are happy. The wisdom of mum and dad is still sought with over one in ten (13%) using visits to receive advice and expertise from them.

What drives people to visit parents that do not live in the household:

1. Make sure they are happy (56%)

2. They are getting older so I want to spend as much time as possible with them (55%)

3. I enjoy being with them (45%)

4. I feel I should see them (38%)

5. To help them with tasks e.g. DIY and shopping (31%)

How close you live to your children plays a big role in how often they visit. Those who live down the road (within ten miles) see their parents on average every three days (108 times a year). Living slightly further, but still less than an hours drive away (11 – 50 miles), dramatically cuts yearly visits by two thirds, with trips occurring only every nine days (38 times a year). Almost half of people (45%) cite living too far away from immediate family as the main reason they don't see them as much as they would wish. A quarter (24%) also highlighting how high costs of traveling is an impediment.

Average number of visits in a year by each child based on distance lived apart:

* Under 10 miles = 108 visits

* 11 – 50 miles = 38 visits

* 51 – 100 miles = 29 visits

* 101 – 200 miles = 11 visits

* More than 200 miles = 6 visits

* They live abroad = 4 visits

Keeping in contact with loved ones has never been so easy, with ever increasing methods available. Picking up the phone still tops the list as the most frequent way to communicate with family although modern messaging systems are gaining popularity fast with only 6% now using letters to keep in touch compared to 5% who use social networking websites.

Most frequent ways to communicate with immediate family:

1. Telephone (80%)

2. Face to face (49%)

3. Text messages (43%)

4. Email (38%)

5. Instant messaging (17%)

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga Group Ltd, said: "With so many statistics indicating a breakdown in family bonds, it's great to see that many continue to hold on to the importance of close family ties. Interestingly, the research shows that although people visit parents to make sure they are well and healthy, socialising and spending time with them for fun is also a priority, proving how difference in age is no barrier to sharing experiences and having a good time".

For more information on the Saga Telephone Service please call 0800 559 3229.


Editors notes:

*Research conducted by BMRB Omnibus Surveys. 1000 GB adults between the ages of 16-64 between 6 th and 9 th March 2008.

Product information:

The Saga Telephone Service offers the following tariffs to keep in contact with family:

Anytime Tariff - 7.95 per month. Inclusive calls to local and national numbers** up to 1 hour, daytime, evening and weekend. Calls lasting more than 1 hour will be charged at 2.9p daytime and 1p evening & weekend.

Hourtime Tariff – 4p flat for calls lasting 1 hour evening and weekends. After 1 hour, calls charged at 1p per minute. All daytime calls charged at 2.9p.

** Local and national numbers are those beginning 01 and 02, and do not include numbers beginning 084 and 087. A set-up fee of 2p is applied at the beginning of every non-local and non-national call. A BT line is required and you will continue to pay line rental to BT. All prices are pence per minute unless stated otherwise. All prices include VAT and are correct as at 01/06/2008.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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