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UK elderly parents receive £39 billion in unpaid care a year

Adult children provide elderly parents with 36 hours of unpaid care each month, at a total annual UK cost of £39 billion.

The price of caring for an elderly parent stands at £132,500.

23.6 million adults with elderly parents say they are less prepared to help financially with professional care costs than they were 12 months ago.

A new report from insurance group LV= says that UK adult children will provide their elderly parents with the equivalent of £39 billion in unpaid care this year. The survey of 2,000 people reveals that adult children give up almost 36 hours each month, the equivalent to an extra full-time working week. This equates to over 468 unpaid hours in care every year helping their elderly parents with their care and general assistance.

The LV= research highlights that a residential care home providing nursing care can cost £88,140 over a 30 month period, the average duration of an elderly person's stay in a care home. This is £98 per day, yet on average UK adults underestimate the cost by 40%.

The overall cost of caring for a parent is £132,549. This figure is made up of the amount of unpaid care adult children invest in their elderly parents over a ten year period, as well as the cost of residential nursing care. One in five adults regularly provide care and assistance to their elderly parents or in-laws.

Mike Rogers of LV= says: "Our report has identified not only how much unpaid support adults give their elderly parents every year. The care that elderly relatives receive from their families is invaluable but there is clearly a growing concern that financial support for rising care home costs may simply be unavailable."

One in two with elderly parents say they are less financially equipped to meet any care costs that they may have contributed to a year ago. Two out of three also believe the cost of professional care, for example a residential care home or a residential nursing home, will rise. Three-quarters say they would rather look after their parents at home than put them into residential care.

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UK elderly parents receive £39 billion in unpaid care a year
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