Far from not wanting to look after their relatives themselves, research from Saga shows that two thirds of family members opt to use long term care purely because they realise it provides the best possible care for them in later life. Despite the anxiety that goes with making such a decision, two thirds of those asked said that they found the overall process of choosing a home to be a positive experience.
Work commitments prevented one in 10 people from looking after a family member, as they worried that there would be no one at home to look after them if there was a problem. Others simply couldn't accommodate their parents, either because their house was too small or not adequately adapted to their parents needs. One in ten have taken on the role of looking after their parents, but found the responsibility more than they could cope with.
Despite the soaring cost of long term care, of the 5% that do look after their parents themselves only one in ten said that cost was the reason for this. Two thirds felt it their responsibility to look after their parents and a quarter were worried about the treatment they would receive in a home. Another 25% said they would feel too guilty for sending their parents to a home.
Funding care can be complex and costly, the average cost for nursing care is £35,000 a year, which is why it is worrying that research shows that a third of parents have not made any plans for how to pay for their care in the future and a quarter have not discussed plans with their family.
Andrew Goodsell of Saga comments: “Sometimes specialist care is needed, and care homes are often best equipped to provide this. As the average monthly cost of a care home exceeds most peoples' monthly mortgage payments it is particularly important that people seek professional advice about how to fund their care."
Long term care insurance: News update: 25/08/2009