New service aims to curb elderly care crisis
A new service has been launched which aims to reduce the cost of caring for elderly relatives.
The UK’s ageing population is constantly growing and in turn, putting even more financial pressure on families.
Residential homes are expensive, so families are often taking the care of elderly relatives into their own hands. Even for families who are able to afford accommodation, there is the added worry of the quality of care provided, stemming from media reports of abuse and neglect.
Now, however, there is a growing demand for so-called ‘granny minders’. This is becoming an increasingly popular option for the ‘sandwich generation’ or those who have to balance caring for both their children and their parents.
The demand aims to be met by a new service from a leading childcare company. Like Minders states that it will provide a quality standard of care as well as reducing the cost. The eventual goal of the service is to curb the UK’s elderly care crisis.
Ensuring flexibility is also a key consideration for Like Minders, who state the service will be accessible in a similar way to childcare.
For seven half days worth of care, the total cost amounts to £430, around £20,000 per annum. On average, residential accommodation for a whole year’s worth of care is around £30,000.
Commenting on the launch of Like Minders was Georgie Jones. As one of the directors of the service, she highlighted the current problems with elderly care in the UK as well as how Like Minders aims to alleviate them.
“We found it astounding that care for the elderly is so inaccessible compared to childcare in the UK, at a time when the country is suffering such a crisis in looking after the older generation.
“Our nannies for grannies service aims to bridge the huge void for non-medical care in the UK. Our services are aimed at people who need a little extra help, whether that is personal care, help around the house or garden or just someone to chat to or have a cup of tea with.
“Through our research, we found that one of the biggest problems elderly people face in our society is loneliness. We hope that by putting people in touch with local companions we hope they can build up friendships and local contacts.”
In the next 17 years, the number of people aged 65 is expected to grow by over 40%. This equates to 16 million; over a third of whom will live alone.
Despite forecasts like this, social care spending from Whitehall has declined by £770 million since 2010. The number of elderly people who require care but are lacking formal support has grown in the same period by 48%, equating to 1.2 million people.
For those who are not ill and whose total asset value exceeds £23,500, free care is no longer available due to changes in the welfare regulations.
Although it may be a long time before the care crisis can be solved in any significant way, the service which Like Minders aims to provide may serve as a good place to start; bridging the smaller gaps in the system.