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Covid 19 prompts sea change in attitudes to long term care

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The pandemic has caused 1.5m people over the age of 60 to reassess their plans for their own or their family’s long-term care, rejecting residential homes in favour of other alternatives.

Covid-19 fuels surge in rethinking of long-term care plans
Covid 19 has severely impacted the appeal of residential care homes, according to research carried out by Canada Life. Among the over 60s, 1.5m people who would previously have considered going into such a home or placing a family member in one, now say they have dismissed the care home as an option.

Popular alternatives for older people needing help include assisted living, in a property with care on hand (26%); downsizing to a smaller, more manageable property (24%) and one-to-one care administered in the home (22%).

Moving in with a younger family member was also popular: 7% would explore building a granny annex as an extension to their child’s home and cohabiting with them, 4% would move into an already built granny annex, and 3% would move into a family member’s spare room.

Common home improvements considered to cater for changing needs include modified bathrooms, emergency alarms and stair lifts

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said: “The pandemic has prompted people to re-evaluate what is most important to them, so it isn’t surprising that the over-60s are considering their later-life care plans. And, with care home costs standing at anywhere between £600-800 a week, those in and approaching retirement are clearly looking for alternatives, whether that be making home modifications or moving in with family members.

“As we continue to enjoy living longer, not all of those years may be in good health, and paying for care will become a reality for many, whether that be for themselves or their loved ones. However, it’s important to remember that there are a number of solutions available to help cover the cost of care and speaking to an adviser is a good place to start. They can highlight how products such as equity release can be used to help people stay in their homes, while accessing cash to fund care solutions.”