Covid-19 fuels surge in rethinking of long-term care plans

  • 1.5 million over-60s who were previously considering care homes for themselves or family members now wouldn’t consider it as a result of the pandemic
  • Most popular alternatives to care homes include assisted living, downsizing and one-to-one care
  • Most common home improvements planned include modified bathrooms, emergency alarms and stair lifts

The pandemic has prompted over-60s to rethink their long-term care plans, with research from Canada Life1 revealing 1.5 million over-60s who were previously open to care homes for themselves or family members now wouldn’t consider it.

Among those over 60 who would not consider care homes for themselves in the future, the most popular alternatives are2:

  • Moving into assisted living accommodation (26%), an increase of 36% from 2020
  • Downsizing to smaller, more manageable properties (24%), up 26% on last year
  • Paying for one-on-one care at home (22%), an increase of 57% from 2020.

Moving in with family members was also a popular option. 7% would explore building a granny annex as an extension to their child’s home and cohabiting with them, 4% would move into an already built granny annex, and 3% would move into a family member’s spare room. 

For those looking to move in with family or pay for home improvements, 70% expect that they would need to alter their home or their child’s home in some way. These alterations include:

  •  Making modifications to the bathroom - 39%
  •  Installing an emergency alarm - 28%
  •  Fitting a stair lift - 27%
  •  Installing mobility features such as ramps and railings - 21%
  •  Converting a room into a bedroom - 14%
  •  Buying new furniture such as a bed with rails - 12%

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said: “The pandemic has prompted people to re-evaluate what is most important to them, so it isn’t surprising that the over-60s are considering their later-life care plans. And, with care home costs standing at anywhere between £600-800 a week3, those in and approaching retirement are clearly looking for alternatives, whether that be making home modifications or moving in with family members. 

“As we continue to enjoy living longer, not all of those years may be in good health, and paying for care will become a reality for many, whether that be for themselves or their loved ones. However, it’s important to remember that there are a number of solutions available to help cover the cost of care and speaking to an adviser is a good place to start. They can highlight how products such as equity release can be used to help people stay in their homes, while accessing cash to fund care solutions.”

Notes to editors:

  1.  Source: Research among 2,000 UK adults conducted by Opinium between 9-13 July 2021 of which 642were over 60
  2. Source: Our 2020 survey found that 19% would consider moving into assisted living accommodation, 19% would consider downsizing and 14% would pay for one-on-one care at home
  3.  Source: Age UK -