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Families avoid discussing future care needs of older parents

2nd October 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The head of a charity has urged people to begin thinking about how older parents will be cared for in the future, and to stop burying their heads in the sand.

The chief executive of Carers Trust has encouraged people to discuss the issue now, following the results of a poll that has shown that more than a third aged over 55 would be too worried about upsetting their parents or unsure about how to broach the subject in the first place.

Among 25 to 34-year-olds, just 19 per cent had spoken to their parents about care in later life, with almost half of those declaring that they were not yet worried about these factors. 28 per cent were unsure of what arrangements they would be expected to make, with 35 per cent expecting their parents would either be supported at home or put into a residential home.

‘Research suggests an 'ostrich approach' when it comes to later-life care of loved ones’

As well as this, many questioned also demonstrated a naivety about care, with one in ten assuming that the government would cover the cost of their parents’ needs. People should be considering what will happen should their parents’ health deteriorate, discussing whether it would be possible for them to live independently with home adaptations such as a stairlift, or whether it would be necessary to find permanent care.

Gail Scott-Spicer, chief executive of Carers Trust, said to BT: "Given the expected rise in the UK's elderly population and the fact there are already over 12 million over 65-year-olds in the country, we simply can't afford to not have these conversations."

However, 28 per cent of the respondents suggested that they would be willing to give up their jobs, arrange flexible working, or have their parents move in with them in order to provide care. It is thought that three out of five people will be a carer at some point in their lives, and this usually occurs when having to look after older parents.

Image Credit: Ted Sakshaug (flickr.com)