The UK’s largest friendly society, Liverpool Victoria, says that elderly parents will receive £21 billion in unpaid care and assistance from their adult children this year.
The report highlights the serious financial and physical burden faced by midlife families, caught between the mounting costs of supporting their parents and grandparents, as well as their children and grandchildren.
Based on a survey of over 2,000 UK adults, the LV= Cost of a Parent report finds that adult children give up more than 33 hours each month, almost equivalent to an extra full-time working week, at an unpaid annual cost of £3,336
- The overall cost of caring for a parent is £113,149. This is the amount of unpaid care adult children invest in their elderly parents over a ten year period.
- One in eight British adults have elderly parents or in-laws who require care or assistance.
- Grown up children spend on average more than eight hours a week visiting and running errands for their parents, with a fifth spending more than 16 hours a week caring for their parents.
- On average, adult children invest 432 hours each year in caring for their elderly parents.
- Many people put supporting their parents before financial support for their own children.
- As well as caring for their elderly parents, adult children with their own children under the age of 18 face increasing costs in raising their own family.
- Mike Rogers, Group Chief Executive of LV= says “ Caring for elderly relatives is a huge commitment and an increasing number of families are being pulled in both directions by the pressure to support generations, both above and below. We can expect the overall burden of paid and unpaid care to spiral over coming decades as life expectancy rises and the baby boomer generation ages. “
The LV= Cost of a Parent report reveals that a residential care home providing nursing care can cost £74,000 or £81 per day over the average 30 month duration of an elderly persons stay in a care home
Regionally across the UK, the research shows that care in Greater London is the most expensive, at £778 per week for care homes providing nursing care and £558 per week for other residential care homes.
The Northern Home Counties (Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire) come next, at £749 and £478 per week respectively, and the Southern Home Counties (Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire) at £692 and £454 per week respectively. Care home costs in Wales are the cheapest, with a nursing care home costing £488 per week, and a residential care home at weekly cost of £357.
Long term care: News update: 25 September 2007