52% of Families Anxious About Caring for Elderly Relatives

As a new report by think tank IPPR* reveals that the number of older people needing care is expected to outstrip the number of family members able to provide that care by 2017*, Allianz Global Assistance in the UK reports that 52% of people it surveyed*1 are concerned about the future care needs of elderly parents or extended family, should they need home assistance.

The biggest single concern for people surveyed is the prospect of balancing work and home pressures whilst providing care for elderly parents (26%).  This was followed closely by the financial implications of caring for an elderly relative (20%) and a fear of having little or no support from local authorities (16%).   A higher percentage of men than women were worried about balancing work and home life and the cost of care. 

Planning ahead is key to reducing the logistical and financial pressures of providing care.  58% of those surveyed hadn’t talked with their immediate family members about what they would do in the event of needing to provide care for an elderly relative.

To tackle the issue head on, Allianz Global Assistance has joined forces with a new social media platform Yecco, to offer Yecco Care at Home.  Yecco aims to reduce the issue of loneliness that the elderly population faces, and to integrate all the vital aspects of an individual’s life, friends, family and health, in one coherent location. Yecco Care at Home is a unique insurance solution that provides up to six weeks of assistance at home, after an unforeseen illness or an accident which resulted in hospitalisation.

Employers, unions and professional bodies could play a vital role in alleviating the burden of care provision for the elderly says Phil Carr, Head of Corporate Business Development at Allianz Global Assistance in the UK, “In our survey, only 4% of those surveyed said they would turn to an employer or HR manager for assistance if they found themselves having to provide care for a relative.  However, 48% in total said they would be interested an Elderly Emergency Care policy as an Employee or Member Benefit, although women when compared to men, were more in favour of it (57%).” 

“Whilst 49% said that the first port of call for support is their family GP, confirming the pressure on the NHS, only 15% would turn to other family members. Interestingly, more people (17%) would turn to the internet for support, over and above extended family,” adds Janet Jadavji, CEO and Founder of Yecco.  “With the UK social care ‘gap’ forecast to hit over 2 million without adult children to care for them, by 2030*, we need to build a robust network of care management solutions that brings together carers, patients and healthcare professionals.  Social media can be pivotal to revolutionising communications in the care sector.”

The partnership with Yecco forms part of Allianz Global Assistance’s ongoing commitment to helping the UK population plan for care and the associated costs involved. Free to join, www.Yecco.com is available online via PC, an IOS tablet or mobile device. The service also can connect to third party resources (e.g. NHS health records, GP record systems, third sector providers) for the care relationship to become truly collaborative and beneficial for both families and healthcare professionals.

*1 Independent survey of 200 people across the UK conducted by www.gorkanasurveys.com