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Supporting family carers: Loved ones spend £1.8bn and 118m hours on elderly care each year

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Identifying effective ways of supporting family carers is more important than ever, especially in light of new research that sets out the financial and time-related costs of providing care for family members.

Today, we'll give you an overview of the figures that cast light on the costs of being a family carer. Then, we'll introduce you to an alternative model that can help alleviate your responsibility and enable you to spend more quality time with your loved ones.

Family carers dedicate time and money for their loved ones

Benenden Health, a not-for-profit company specialising in healthcare funding, recently compiled a comprehensive report into the costs of providing care for family members or close friends.

The survey involved analysis of public data in combination with a survey of approximately 1,000 people. The key findings from this research covered care demand, care costs for family carers and the total number of hours invested:

Care demand

  • Of 1.31m care requests made by over 65s in 2016, only 46.5% received some form of long-term care
  • This left 700,850 people aged 65+ requiring additional long-term care and support

Financial costs

  • Nationally, family and friends are spending £1.7bn on elderly care each year
  • This figure is set to rise to £2.8bn by 2050 due to our ageing population
  • The average yearly spend on elderly loved ones among family carers was £2,500
  • 24% of those surveyed used their savings and/or pension funds to fund the cost of care
  • 32% expect that they will need to use their savings or pension for this purpose within the next five years

Time costs

  • Family and close friends spent 118 million hours caring for elderly loved ones
  • In many cases, this resulted in the development of mental health and/or financial issues

Supporting family carers with live-in care

The efforts of family and close friends in caring for their loved ones is vital. The level of personalised care and companionship family carers are able to offer is difficult to replicate.

However, the requirements outlined in this study coupled with increasing demand for care services make the current model unsustainable.

Live-in care is the most effective alternative for supporting family carers, or for taking on this responsibility in its entirety. These are just some of the ways live-in care helps address these issues and provides tailored support for older people:

  • The model is more cost-effective than many people think; it's comparable to residential care, but your loved one won't be required to sell their house
  • This, and the ability to adapt a care plan for more than one person for minimal extra cost, make live-in care a particularly beneficial option for older couples
  • Care expenditure can be planned in advance and the local council may contribute towards some live-in care costs, reducing the burden for friends/family members
  • Live-in care increases the amount of quality time you can spend with older loved ones, while also ensuring they receive personalised care from a dedicated team who will become their trusted companions
  • This model reduces the level of stress associated with moving out of a cherished family home, before moving into and gradually adapting to a residential care arrangement

Learn more about how live-in care helps older people spend more quality time with family and close friends by speaking with our friendly team.

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