For years, much attention has been focused on the financial support parents give their adult children but it may be time for the BOMADs (Bank Of Mum And Dad), to make way for the COMADs – the Carers Of Mum And Dad . New research from Engage Mutual suggests it is the role that these parents play in supporting their own elderly relatives that needs urgent attention – with four in five calling for help and support as they juggle busy work and home lives with providing care for their elderly parents.
help and support for elderly care givers
With the phenomenal growth in the older population resting on the shoulders of their adult children, Engage Mutual asked carers aged 40-65 about their own needs. With 80% of respondents saying they need better support, Engage Mutual asked them which ONE form of support that is not currently available would be most helpful:
16% called for more Government funding to financially assist them;
13% felt there was a need for an integrated approach to carer support from different support organisations, as opposed to the current disparate approach which can make it hard to find information;
13% said they wanted more affordable care help;
11% wanted a one-stop shop they could go to in order to get tips and advice;
10% said they wanted to see regulation of all care homes;
9% said simply that knowing where to start would be really helpful, as many were thrust into carer roles with no warning or prior experience.
no break for care givers
The Engage Mutual survey of more than 1,000 40-65 year olds with elderly parents found that 24% played a regular carer role, providing financial and everyday support as part of their already pressured and busy lives. For many, this comes at a price. Only 21% say their employer would be supportive of them taking time off to help their elderly parents; 32% said they are constantly having to juggle priorities, with 25% always stressed as a result. A further 23% claimed they had no free time to recharge and relax and 11% said they were seldom able to even think about having a decent holiday.
With the care system in crisis, one overlooked trend is that the vast majority of people would not consider a care home for their elderly parents. The Engage Mutual survey revealed that 83% disliked the care home option – 32% saying it was too expensive, 47% worried about what they have heard about the way people are treated in homes, 35% not rating the standard of carers and 32% worried about reports of abuse and robbery.
Karl Elliott at Engage Mutual said: “For too long the elderly care debate in the UK has focused on care homes, when the true reality is that millions of ordinary people across the UK want to provide the best support they can for their elderly parents to keep them independent and active for as long as possible. Some of these carers need financial assistance, most simply don’t have any time for themselves. Whilst many people with the best of intentions want to be able to provide the care and support needed, it can be difficult to commit the time and energy for this around their already hectic lives, at work, at home and also supporting their children.
“As a mutual that is focused on connecting its members, we want to create a community for those in the hectic middle of life to share experiences, talk with others and get help and information.“
The research was undertaken for engagewithyou.com by YouGov between 4-9 April 2012. The survey polled a GB representative sample of 1,008 people aged 45-60 who had elderly parents and 500 people aged over 65 who had adult children.