Care and elderly relatives

Posted on: 13 May 2013 by 50connect editorial

Care.com research finds over 45s unwilling to discuss elder care needs

Elder care issues ignored by over 45sNew research from Care.com reveals that most over 45-year-olds (86%) haven’t thought about a care plan for their older relatives and over a third (36%) say they think their parents won’t need care. However, with life expectancy now at an all-time high and with the increase in age-related health conditions, the need for care could be inevitable for many. Past reports have shown that around three quarters of over 75-year-olds suffer from a limiting longstanding illness[i] and the same number will develop a social care need, which can include anything from help getting up in the morning to round-the-clock support in a residential home. 

When asked why they hadn’t broached the subject with parents, a third (36%) of over 45-year-olds admitted they are sensitive about their older relative’s feelings, and a fifth (20%) admitted that they didn’t know how to start the conversation.

Sigrid Daniel, Managing Director of Care.com in the UK comments, “Care can be challenging and demanding. Special care is something we all hope our family won’t need, but the reality is different. That’s why it’s so important to discuss the issue with older relatives before they’re at the stage when care is required.  At Care.com, we appreciate the sensitivities around discussing care and have support, guidance and material that can help. We talk about strategies that help a parent who refuses care, and we also feature guidance on starting the conversation.”

While Brits aren’t always addressing care with their elderly parents, it can have an impact on their normal lives. The research highlighted that one in ten families had chosen to stay and care for their elderly parents above going on a holiday, mini-break or weekend away.

Sigrid continues, “Proactive planning and on-going dialogue are critical to ensuring that families find care solutions that meet the needs of their loved ones, and also fit into their lifestyle. There are many care options available and addressing these early can have a real benefit.”

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