William Eichler 07 June 2017

Guilt and resentment ‘clouding’ decisions over care provision, research finds

Guilt and resentment ‘clouding’ decisions over care provision, research finds image

Nearly half of adults who currently provide care for a family member say a main reason for doing so is guilt, research reveals.

A study by Prestige Nursing + Care has found 46% of unpaid carers say guilt is a factor in their decision to provide care and 75% of adults would feel guilty if they couldn’t provide care for a family member.

The national homecare provider also learnt 31% of adults say unpaid care is provided within the family because they believe they cannot afford to pay for professional care.

The findings come as the number of older people requiring unpaid care is expected to rise by more than one million by 2035, from 2.2 million in 2015 to 3.5 million.

The majority (62%) of adults surveyed would prefer to be cared for by a family member in the comfort of their own home if the need arose, Prestige found.

While three quarters of adults said they would feel guilty if they were unable to provide care for a member of their family, 73% said would feel guilty if they themselves needed care and a family member had to provide it.

Half of people who are currently receiving care feel their choice of care services was compromised by guilt or emotional distress, with nearly a quarter (24%) reporting they experienced tension and resentment within their family when decisions were made.

Almost one in three (30%) felt like a burden during the care decision-making process, Prestige’s research revealed.

Further findings from the study included two in five (42%) people who expect to need care within the next ten years would be happy if a family member refused to provide care and left them needing professional help.

One in three (32%) would be relieved to be cared for by someone with professional training and skills, provided this was in the home environment, with 42% of those surveyed happy to be supported by a carer at home.

Just 20% of people would opt for sheltered accommodation or retirement housing, and 6% would prefer to move into a residential care home.

‘The sense of guilt and obligation surrounding how to provide care for a loved one, compounded with a complicated system and lack of saving, means that many people end up as unpaid carers, even when this may not necessarily be the most suitable type of care which is required,’ said Prestige’s managing director Jonathan Bruce.

‘We now see over two million carers aged over 65, many with their own health concerns, who feel there is little option but to provide care themselves.

‘This is not a sustainable or fair model for the future of caring for many of the most vulnerable people in our society.’

Prestige’s research also showed nearly half (48%) of people in care or with a close family member in care feel their choice was handicapped by a lack of understanding about their care options.

Among those who expect to need care either for themselves or a close family member within the next ten years, only one in three (33%) say they would know how to arrange care support.

Almost a quarter of adults (25%) were not aware of financial support available, such as the Carer’s Allowance – which could reduce some of the pressures on informal carers – and 57% did not know how much the allowance was worth (£62.10 per week).

Just 16% who have been through the process of finding care said they planned it in advance and found it very straightforward.

‘As more people require care in the years to come we need to consider how this demand will be met,’ Jonathan Bruce continued.

‘The crushing reality is that more carers are needed to tackle this demand but an-ever growing reliance on unpaid carers and family members is not a sustainable answer and even causes economic damage to society.

‘We need to recruit more carers to meet demand from an ageing population to avoid a huge shortfall in future.

‘The current social care model is patently broken – home care and residential care both have a crucial role to play in reducing the burden on the NHS but greater awareness about accessing, and then providing, this care is clearly required. And this must involve a more proactive discussion with the person receiving the care, and their family.’

A war on pesticides? image

A war on pesticides?

With 40 councils now banning the use of Roundup over safety fears, Mark Whitehead finds out why the debate on using chemicals to kill weeds continues to rage.
Ambitious for adoption image

Ambitious for adoption

Dr Carol Homden argues the closure of the Adoption Register for England means all parts of the system must work together to ensure the best possible service to children.
Highways jobs

Compliance Officer

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - £22,494 per annum
Chelmsford City Council is looking for an enthusiastic, logical and inquisitive person to investigate potential inaccuracies in Council Tax discoun... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Head of Service – Finance and Property and Statutory Section 151 Officer

Denbighshire County Council
Up to £88,321
This is a fantastic opportunity for a forward thinking effective leader to play a pivotal role in shaping the service to... Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)
Recuriter: Denbighshire County Council

Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) - Numerous Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
Numerous opportunities have arisen across the Kirklees area. The AMHP hub responds to MHA assessments and there is no caseload responsibility. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Business Support Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27228 - £28215
Do you have excellent business support and data analysis skills and want to contribute to safeguarding children in Greenwich?  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Social Worker

Selby District Council
£29,636 to £34,788 per annum
Are you a Social Worker seeking a new challenge? Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Selby District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine