Age-old debate: Elderly parents expect children to look after them, study finds

life-expectancy has reached an all-time high. John Stillwell/PA Wire

life-expectancy has reached an all-time high. John Stillwell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The potenital role-reversal has already sparked hositility in households and left some families guilt-ridden.

67pc of Lowestoft locals aged over 70 said they would prefer live at their current home. ARCHANT

67pc of Lowestoft locals aged over 70 said they would prefer live at their current home. ARCHANT - Credit: Evening News © 2007

Elderly parents expect to move in with their middle-aged children as life-expectancy reaches an all-time high, a study has revealed.

According to research conducted by Cera Care, advances in health care and more sustainable living conditions have resulted in more families struggling to come to an agreement on aged care.

As life expectancy soars and more people are living in to their 80s, middle-aged children are now being tasked with either looking after their aging parents or moving them into a care home.

The potential role-reversal has already sparked hositility in households and left some families guilt-ridden.


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Families are now having to broach the issue with their parents - and it isn't always well-recieved.

67pc of Lowestoft locals aged over 70 said they would prefer live at their current home and cared for their loved ones rather than in a retirement complex, while 18pc say they would expect to move in with their families for the additional care in their laters years.

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However, nearly 80pc of middle-aged children admit the discussion about aged-cared options has inflicted a strain on the relationship with their parents.

The study also found a fifth of those over the age of 70 don't believe they will need assistance in their later years.

Throughout the research, middle-aged couples admitted a sense of obligation for taking in their parents.

The study - which consisted of 2000 people - found men in Lowestoft are more likely to favour residential care for their parents, with 64pc stating that care homes are the best option compared to just 39pc of women.

One in ten people involved in the study admitted to not wanting to take in their parents, while one in five said being repsonsible for their loved ones would be too much responsibility.

22pc said they wouldn't know how to look after their elderly parents, even if it was required.

Sarah McEwan, from Cera Care said: 'The majority of people will require some sort of care during the last years of their lives, be that following a hospital stay, during an illness, or simply as they become less able due to old age. But with so many care options available, such as residential homes, assisted living, family support or at home care, it's sometimes hard to work out what is best.'

Are you having this conversation with your loved ones? Contact Greta.Levy@archant.co.uk

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