Jul 12, 2012 15:59 BST While some financial plcs find themselves under an uncomfortable spotlight, having valued profit above people, Engage Mutual is on a different tack. The Yorkshire mutual has launched engagewithyou.com, an online community for people from all backgrounds and situations who are seeking information, or to share their experience, on dealing with a range of challenging life events.
Public crisis of faith in care homes fuels care for elderly debateJul 11, 2012 08:15 BST
The political parties may be locked in a row about how and when to fund reforms for long term elderly care, but new data from Engage Mutual suggests the vast majority of the public would not even consider the care home option for their elderly parents.
A nationwide survey of people aged 40-65 with elderly parents found that:
- Only 4% of respondents said their elderly relatives were in a care home;
- 83% gave a range of reasons (beyond cost) why they wouldn’t consider a care home for their parents;
- 24% provide regular, routine support themselves to help their parents cope with their daily life.
With a White Paper on social care - together with a ‘progress paper’ on funding options - expected this Wednesday, the new Engage Mutual data suggests politicians could be tackling the care issue from the wrong end of the telescope – as a great many 40-60 year olds already provide support themselves to their elderly parents and this army of ‘silent helpers’ is facing major health and financial strains. Many feel they are unsupported by both employers and government (see statistics on page two).
Care solutions are usually a discussion between the elderly and their adult children, and only a small minority of those aged 40-60 said they would consider a care home option for their parents. When asked why they were opposed to the idea, the Engage Mutual study suggests that the image of care homes has been severely undermined by a string of horror stories in recent months:
- 51% said it would make their parents unhappy;
- 47% said they had heard bad things about the way elderly people were treated in care homes;
- 44% said their parents are too independent and set in their ways to fit in to a care home environment;
- 35% did not rate the standard of carers in care homes;
- 33% said people that run care homes are just in it for the money;
- 28% were concerned a care home would be the wrong environment to keep their parents active.
As a business that specialises in supporting the needs of the over 40s, Engage Mutual has set up an online community www.engagewithyou.com where people facing challenges in dealing with elderly care can exchange tips, share experiences and get support.
Karl Elliott, Marketing Director at engagewithyou.com said: "The political row on funding may or may not go on until the next spending review, but this debate is detached from a number of real and pressing issues that need to be tackled. Work needs to be done to restore public confidence in the care homes ‘brand’. Alongside that, a lot more needs to be done to engage with the people who are committing time and money to help support their elderly relatives and keep them living independently. These thousands of everyday carers are saving the country billions in funding, yet feel unsupported as they juggle the demands of work, family, their own health, and their care commitments. We need to start having some meaningful conversations with carers and elderly parents in order to understand the kinds of complex issues they face on a daily basis.
The world of everyday carers: Some top facts and figures:
More than 1,000 people aged 40-65 were surveyed, the age group for whom the care needs of their elderly parents is a real and immediate issue.
- 24% provide regular, routine support to help their parents cope with their daily lives. Provide personal support is more common that an elderly parent being in a care home (4%).
- 45% regard elderly parents as an implicit part of their family and see them often.
- Common routine help provided at least a few times each month includes: popping round to check they are OK (29%), organizing days out (27%), doing odd jobs round the house (28%) and taking them to medical appointments (20%).
- When asked what support would be most helpful, government funding came top (13%), followed by more affordable help (10%) and a more joined up approach to care being taken by organisations that have some involvement in the issue (10%).
- If their parent was ill and they needed to take time off work, only 21% said their employer would be supportive and had an HR policy on it.
- Whilst people happily give their time to care for and support elderly parents, it has a cost for around two in five people surveyed. 32% said they were constantly juggling family, work and care priorities; 23% said they had no free time to re-charge, 25% claimed they were always stressed and 11% said they were seldom able to think about taking a decent holiday.
- When it came to helping their parents maintain a sense of independence in everyday life, mobility (48%), good health (40%) and being able to run their own home (40%) were top factors mentioned.
For more information, case studies, additional regional data or to arrange interviews contact the engage with you PR team:
Guy Bellamy 07766775216 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn McLaughlin 07785 623539 - email@example.com
Lindsay Marino 07581 180501 – Lindsay@elephantcommunications.co.uk
www.engagewithyou.com is an online community that signposts help and information for a responsibility laden generation in the hectic middle of life. Here they can share experiences, stories and tips, and find solutions to help them deal with a range of issues.
The research was undertaken by YouGov between 4-9 April 2012. More than 1,000 40-65 year olds were surveyed.
This new venture for customer owned financial services provider Engage Mutual, will see it provide an environment for people to connect, help, and support each other.
Engage Mutual is one of the larger UK mutuals providing simple, value for money savings, protection and investment products to more than 500,000 customers.