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Record numbers would prefer home care over care homes in their later life, analysis finds

July 2, 2023
Image of Rothleys home care worker serving a man with his dinner on a tray

New research, carried out for the Just Group Care Report 2022 found that only one in five (20%) of over 45s believe they would be happy to go into a residential care home in later life.

It’s the lowest proportion since the retirement specialist first started tracking attitudes towards going into a care home in 2014 and is only matched by 2020 when care homes were placed under terrible pressure as a result of the pandemic restrictions. The research also revealed that over 75s were highly reluctant to enter a residential care setting – fewer than three in 10 (29%) agreed that they would be happy to go to a care home if they needed to.

This figure has decreased significantly from the 44% who agreed when Just Group first asked the question eight years ago. Alternatives to going into a care home were found to be significantly more attractive. Among the over 45s, more than two thirds (67%) stated that would be happy to receive care in their own homes. This figure rose to 80% for the over 75s.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at the retirement specialist Just Group, said: “There are increasingly strong views among older adults about how they do and don’t want later life care, should they need it. “The horror stories about care homes during the pandemic seem to have made a lasting impression and we still see significant numbers who are set against going into a residential care setting”.

“Having care provided in their own home is by far and away the most popular option for many people “.

Policymakers also have an important role to play. The delay to the care cap and the litter of abandoned reforms successive governments have left in their wake have helped create a cohort of disengaged, confused people – and no wonder with a system that seems to be constantly on the verge of change.

“Clear communication from the government about the social care reforms, including a timeline for re-introducing the delayed £86k care cap, are vital to building trust in the system and getting people planning for their later life.”

Credit: Homecare Insight