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More than one-million over-60's are rethinking later life plans because of Covid-19

Growing concerns from family members surrounding Coronavirus is driving the over-60s to consider options beyond care homes, such as downsizing or moving into assisted living.

Research from Canada Life today reveals that more than one million over-60s who were originally planning on going into care homes, are now rethinking their care plans in later-life as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.1 This shift could be driven by growing concerns from their children. Nearly a fifth (19%) of Brits, who would have previously been open to care homes as an option for their family members before the crisis hit, now wouldn’t consider it.

Instead of moving into care homes, the research found that over-60s are primarily looking to either move into assisted living (19%) or smaller and more manageable properties (19%). Moving in with family members was also a popular option, with nearly one in 10 (9%) looking to move into a spare room, and 6% looking to move into a granny annex.

For those looking to move into an annex or pay for home improvements, more than two thirds (67%) think they would need to alter their home or their child’s home in some way. The most popular home improvements include:

  • Making modifications to the bathroom - such as adding grab bars and a shower seat (34%)
  • Installing an emergency alarm (27%)
  • Installing a chair lift (22%)
  • Buying new furniture - such as a bed with rails (22%)
  • Installing mobility features like ramps (19%)

But, despite the growing need for care in later-life and the average cost estimated at £600-800 per week2, more than half (55%) of over-60 year olds still haven’t considered or don’t know how they will fund it. For those who have considered it, a fifth (21%) expect to use their state pension of just £175.20 per week, 15% expect the Government to pay for it, and a further 15% expect to use their cash savings.

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said: “With people living longer lives and retirement now lasting up to several decades, the reality is that the majority of us will have to pay for later life care at some stage - whether that be for ourselves or loved ones.

“The Coronavirus crisis has changed the way we’re thinking about our futures and how they can be reached. Not only has it made us think about how we want to spend the rest of our days, but also who we want to be with and where we want to be. So it isn’t surprising that the over-60s are starting to rethink their later-life care plans, whether that be their own choice or influence from family members. Although, it’s worrying to see there’s still a significant number who haven’t considered how they will fund care in later life.

“Ultimately, engagement is key. It’s about getting people to think about their wants and needs in the different stages of retirement and kick starting these conversations early on - no matter how difficult they might be.”


  1. Research among 2,000 UK adults, fieldwork 12th– 15th June 2020, conducted by Opinium Research.
  2. Age UK -