Key: Younger family members vow to be more supportive of older relatives

Jessica Nangle

December 18, 2019

families payment holidays

Research from Key suggests that almost half (49%) of under-55s have been concerned about their older family members following time spent together over the festive season and 63% of this age group have decided to be more supportive of their older relatives in the coming year.

As families are living further apart, 78% of under-55s see older relatives over the Christmas period and 52% say this makes them happy as family time is important.

Around a third (32%) of under-55s say they have decided to spend more time with older relatives in the year ahead and 22% have chosen to keep a closer eye on them to ensure that they are okay.

One in eight (12%) have started to discuss financial support with elderly relatives, with 9% organising for family and neighbours to be around more and 4% even asking relatives to move in with them.

The research reveals that one in five under-55s say they do not spend any time with older relatives over the festive period and 14% say spending time with older relatives can be difficult.

Around one in five (22%) say they have become concerned about how physically well and active older relatives are following Christmas gatherings whilst 6% have become concerned about how they are coping financially.

Will Hale, chief executive at Key, said: “With many families living further and further apart, Christmas is a time to spend quality time together.

“However, while this is incredibly positive for all generations, it can mean that you are more likely to notice if older relatives need additional support around the house or to cope with their everyday lives – especially if you haven’t seen them for a while.

“If this is something that you have noticed, you are certainly not alone and following time spent together at Christmas almost two-thirds of under-55s have decided to be more supportive of their older relatives.

“This might mean anything from deciding to spend more time with them to discussing their finances in greater depth to see how their lives could be made that little bit easier.

“Every family is different and these are not always easy conversations to have but just raising the topic can be an important first step in helping some older people understand that they perhaps have more options available to them than they may think.

“At Key, we have seen many lives transformed by the use of housing equity to pay for regular care at home, for the adaption of properties to be better suited for the challenges of later life living or simply to provide a boost to regular income to pay for basic necessities such as heating or eating.

“Specialist advice is crucial in ensuring that people get the right solutions for their particular circumstances and involvement of the wider family in the advice process can be helpful in ensuring everyone is supportive of the approach proposed.”

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