Care decisions are still seen as women’s work
WOMEN are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of caring for older family members, research has found.
Major financial decisions such as buying a new home or car tend to be shared equally between men and women, according to the survey by advice service My Care Consultant.
But care decisions for elderly relatives fall disproportionately on wives and daughters, it said.
More than 130,000 Britons now go into care each year, at an average cost of almost £ 30,000.
Of the estimated 53,000 who pay for their own care 25 per cent, about 13,000, will run out of money and be forced to fall back on state- funded assistance.
Almost two- thirds of women questioned worried about being unable to afford a good quality of life for themselves or their relative.
Understanding what state benefits their relative could claim was seen as the hardest part of finding the best long- term care for a loved one.
One in 10 women sought advice from their partner, a further 10 per cent went to their local council and 20 per cent did the research themselves.
Just six per cent sought professional financial advice.
Jacqueline Berry, founding director of My Care Consultant, said: “Women often take on the burden of caring and feel the strain of making complex, emotional decisions on behalf of others. The process of finding the right care home and then finding the most appropriate way to pay for it is a complex and emotionally draining exercise.
“We believe that long- term care planning is a family affair and everyone should be able to contribute to the decision.”
YouGov research carried out for the charity Carers Trust found that three- quarters of men have never discussed potential care needs with their parents.
Of these, 28 per cent said they had not even thought about it. Seventeen per cent thought their parents would not want to discuss it while one in 10 said another family member would take care of their parents.