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Family financial help for UK retirees lags behind Europe

12th June 2013

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

A new study which has not yet been released into the public domain but has been seen by The Telegraph indicates that affluent families in Britain are much less willing to offer comprehensive financial help to their elderly relatives than their peers in other European countries such as France and Italy.

Whilst there is more to providing care for people with limited mobility than investing in stairlifts and other such goods, there can be no denying that the more tangible aspects of care are important, and can facilitate easier and more comfortable later years than would otherwise be possible, as the Telegraph article suggests.

A recent survey carried out by the fund managing group BlackRock explored the attitudes of so-called 'mass affluent' households (which are qualified by having a combined annual income of over £150,000), to their parents, and reported that, in the words of the Telegraph, 'when Britons were asked whether providing support to elderly relatives was a priority, only a fifth said yes, compared with more than half of French people and two thirds of Italians'.

The author of the article – Emma Wall – acknowledges that cultural differences including a higher likelihood of extended families living together are partly responsible for these results, and reminds readers that 'in a continent where...the ratio of pensioners to those in work is rising, care for the elderly is a pressing issue'.

The standard of day-to-day life for people of retirement age is much better in Britain than is the case in many other nations around the world but, as this report indicates, more certainly still needs to be done until financial and compassionate assistance reaches the high levels that are possible and already seen elsewhere. Purchasing mobility products like accessible baths and showers do, of course, represent a major investment for many families, but the value of doing so cannot be disputed, given the improvements in wellbeing that they are likely to bring.

Image credit: Borya (flickr.com)