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Over 60's turn to assisted living, downsizing and at-home care, instead of care homes

  • For those planning to stay in their home, 69% say they would need to make modifications to their own or their child’s property
  • Top home alterations include bathroom modifications (31%), stair lifts (27%) and other mobility features such as ramps and railings (26%)


Research from Canada Life1 reveals the top alternatives to care homes for later life care. The most popular option for the over-60s is moving into assisted living, with a fifth (19%) choosing this option. The same amount (19%) say they would downsize to a smaller property rather than go into a care home, and 16% say they would pay for one-on-on care at home. 


Other options include building a granny annex as an extension to their child’s home (5%) and moving into a family member's spare room (4%). 


For those planning to stay in their home, 69% say they would need to make modifications to their own or their child’s property. The most popular home improvements include:

  • Making modifications to their bathrooms such as adding grab bars and a shower seat - 31%
  • Installing a stairlift -27%
  • Installing other mobility features such as ramps - 26%
  • Installing an emergency alarm - 22%
  • Convert a room into a bedroom - 16%


Among those who know the home improvements they would need to make, a quarter (25%) say this should cost them £5,000 or less, with a further 18% estimating the cost to be between £5,001 and £10,000. However, more than a quarter (26%) say they don’t know how much this would cost.


Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life, comments: “People’s attitudes towards later life care have shifted significantly, with the pandemic forcing people to reflect on what’s important to them, where they want to be and who they want to spend their time with. As such, it’s not surprising that over-60s are looking at alternatives to care homes and re-evaluating how they want to live their later years. 


“As the population ages and the need for later life care increases, engagement will be crucial. To enable people to achieve what’s important to them, we must get people to think about their wants and needs in the different stages of retirement and kick start these conversations, no matter how daunting they might be.”




  1. Source: Research conducted by Opinium among 2000 UK adults between 20-24 May 2022