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One In Four Members Of The Sandwich Generaton Face Difficult Decisions Around Putting Their Parents Into Care

Up to 28% of consumers aged 45-65 may need to make a decision about putting their parents or parents-in-law into residential care – with the burden generally falling on the woman (60%) – reveals new research from specialist annuity provider, Partnership.

Indeed, while people often focus on the implications of going into care themselves, 13% of consumers aged 45-65 have had to put their parents/parents-in-law into a care home and a further 15% anticipate that they will have to make this difficult choice in the future.    A further 2% of 45-65 year olds have had to make this decision for themselves (1%) or their partners (1%).

Emotionally Challenging Choices:

Women -who are often the primary care givers of an older relative – are more likely to be responsible for finding a care home than men (60% vs. 40% – men).   And while choosing this avenue may have an impact on the entire family, just 41% said that everyone was involved with this decision which suggests that for the majority (59%) the choice is simply too emotionally or financially hard to be a part of.

Emotions such as guilt at not being able to take care of a frail relative can play a significant role in the decision making process and 61% admitted that it was a difficult decision and that they did not necessarily feel better once they had made it.

Less Focus on Finances:

While the cost of a care home is often highlighted as a major concern for families, only 42% said they felt that it was more expensive than anticipated which suggests that there is an increasing awareness about the implications of going into care.

That said, 15% of 45-65s said they were worried about meeting the costs going forward and the younger generation (45-50) were the most worried (20%) as they contemplated juggling this responsibility with other financial concerns.

Chris Horlick, Managing Director of Care at Partnership commented:

“While we often focus on how families are going to meet the cost of residential care, we also need to realise that choosing to go into care or put an older relative into a home can have a significant emotional toll.   In fact for some people, this is the hardest aspect of the entire process and while they often realise that this is the best decision, it is not necessarily the easiest one.

“That said, 42% of people said that the cost of the care home was more expensive than they anticipated.    Therefore, it is vital to get regulated independent financial advice to avoid running out of funds and having to make further difficult emotional decisions around the type of care, you or your relatives can afford.”

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