Rethinking long-term care

Has the pandemic prompted you to rethink your plans for later life, particularly long-term care?

New research from insurer Canada Life has found that 1.5 million over-60s have changed their attitudes towards residential care homes.

Whereas before the pandemic, these over-60s were open to care homes for themselves or a family member, now they would not consider it.

The most popular alternatives to residential care homes for the future included moving into assisted living accommodation.

Others said they would downsize to smaller, more manageable properties, and some would pay for one-to-one care in their home, known as domiciliary care.

Moving in with family members was another popular option.

7% of respondents said they would explore building a granny annexe to extend their child’s home and then cohabiting with grown-up children.

4% would move into an existing granny annexe, and 3% would move into a family member’s spare room.

Where over-60s are thinking about moving in with family in later life or receiving care in their home, 70% expect to make some alterations to properties, including modifications to the bathroom, installation of an emergency alarm, or fitting a stairlift.

Some would install mobility features such as ramps and railings or convert a room into a bedroom.

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 week3, 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.”