Care home directory site carehome.co.uk, which helps people search for care homes in the UK, predicts nearly half a million extra people will visit its site in January looking for a care home.
Carehome.co.uk has seen a dramatic increase in traffic in January over the last three years, with an extra 395,868 visitors to the site in January 2013 and an extra 386,734 visitors in January 2012.
It is often when families get together over the Christmas period that they realise their elderly relatives are no longer coping and need proper care – which could be one explanation for the spike in traffic to the site.
Director of carehome.co.uk, Davina Ludlow said:
“Over recent years we have noticed a significant trend during January with a huge rise in the number of people searching for care homes after the Christmas period.
“We feel this increase is a reflection of how family members take positive steps in the New Year to assist their relatives.”
“Residential care can often feel like a daunting step – but it can save someone from not only the day to day tasks which have become difficult, but also from feelings of loneliness and isolation.”
The spike in traffic demonstrates not only that older relatives are spending time with family during the festive period but also the increased need for residential care in the UK.
Martin Green of the English Community Care Association (ECCA), which represents care homes in England said: “This phenomenon often results from the fact that people have been in contact with their relatives over the Christmas period and then they realise that they’re not able to manage because of illness or confusion.
“This is quite difficult to pick up on if you only see the person occasionally, but over the period of Christmas, when people might be together over a week or more, it becomes apparent that their level of functioning is significantly reduced and people realise that their family member might need a care home in order to stay safe.”