COVID fuels change of long-term care plans
The pandemic has prompted over-60s to rethink their long-term care plans, with research from Canada Life revealing 1.5 million over-60s who were previously open to care homes for themselves or family members now would not consider them.
Among those over 60 who would not consider care homes for themselves in the future, the most popular alternatives were: moving into assisted living accommodation (26%), an increase of 36% from 2020; downsizing to more manageable properties (24%), up 26% on last year; and paying for care at home (22%), an increase of 57% from 2020.
A further 7% would explore building a ‘granny annex’ as an extension to their child’s home, 4% would move into an already built granny annex, and 3% would move into a family member’s spare room.
For those looking to move in with family or pay for home improvements, 70% expect that they would need to alter their home or their child’s home in some way.
These alterations included: modifications to the bathroom (39%); emergency alarms (28%); stair lifts (27%); mobility features such as ramps and railings (21%); converting a room into a bedroom (14%); and buying new furniture such as a bed with rails (12%).
Alice Watson, head of marketing, insurance at 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 week, 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.”