Social care  

Pandemic leaves over-50s determined to receive care at home

Pandemic leaves over-50s determined to receive care at home
 Credit: Matthias Zomer from Pexels

The pandemic has left two in three over-50s determined to receive care at home, according to research from the Equity Release Council.

A survey of more than 2,500 adults in January found 67 per cent of over-50s want to stay in their home if they ever need care, with 60 per cent saying they were fearful of having to move into a residential setting.

A similar proportion (63 per cent) were concerned about care being too expensive.

Although one in five (18 per cent) had made provisions, half had not considered how they would pay for long-term care needs should they arise.

A lack of preparedness was more common among older age groups, as 55 per cent of over-50s had not thought about paying for care, while only 12 per cent had plans in place.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said property wealth could play an important role in resolving the “generational crisis”.

He said: “The ability for people to access some of the money tied up in their homes can help realise their ambition to live there independently for longer, by funding extra homecare services, new technologies or making home adaptations.”

According to the research, 10 per cent of people and their families have had to use their own income or savings to pay for a parent or elderly relative’s care, 9 per cent have had to provide care within the family due to financial pressures, and 8 per cent have had to sell a parent or elderly relative’s home to pay for care.

A separate survey last year from equity release adviser Key found over-55s were increasingly looking at property wealth to fund care, while analysis from Canada Life found the potential equity release value to be at £802,000 per household in Q4 2020.

But a law firm warned of a risk that savers were being forced to sell their homes or enter into equity release schemes to pay for residential care, as many were unaware of alternative funding arrangements.

Jacqueline Berry, managing director at My Care Consultant, said: “[Our] politicians need to acknowledge past suggestions of using housing wealth to pay for care have been unpopular, especially where people feel it will reduce their ability to make a bequest and many will need to use property assets to supplement under-funded pension provision (both state and individual).”

chloe.cheung@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on FTAletters@ft.com to let us know.