23 April 2012

  • Overwhelming majority (99%) want an alternative to residential care
  • Two thirds (60%) think they will require care when older
  • Nearly half (41%) of respondents do not know how they will fund future care.

According to research* published today by Audley Retirement and conducted by YouGov, the overwhelming majority (99%) of the population wants an alternative to residential care in old age. Published ahead of the government social care white paper, it demonstrates the impact of recent crises in care on public confidence in residential care as a way for providing for end of life care. 

The intense debate on the crisis in care has left people significantly overestimating their risk of needing long term care. The research from Audley found two thirds (64%) of men and over half of women assume they will need care. In fact, only one in five men and one in three women are likely to need long term care in the future.

When asked how they would want any future needs met, the majority said by downsizing to a retirement village where care could be provided onsite or to receive care in their existing home rather than within a residential care home. Despite this and the recent debate prompted by the Dilnot Commission recommendations, four in ten (41%) did not know how they would fund any care needs. Only one in ten considered that equity from the sale of their house could be used.

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Retirement commented: “These findings illustrate how flawed the debate on long term care has been. Government and the Dilnot Commission have focussed on how we find a funding fix for the current model of residential care provision, yet as these findings show, it is a model no one wants. We have to listen to how people want their future care needs and invest in viable alternatives that meet people’s aspirations for independence, control and dignity in later life.”

He continued: “We have to empower older people to stay in financial control of their future. This is the first generation of homeowners who collectively owns £1 trillion in housing assets.  The greatest challenge they face is being aware of the options available to them to use this equity to fund their lifestyle, any future needs and also provide inheritance.” Audley Retirement is the leading provider of high quality accommodation for older people in the UK. The six regionally located sites are designed to encourage an active lifestyle, allow individuals to stay in control of their own home as well as provide for any care needs.  Individuals buy their home or apartment from Audley and own it on a 125 year lease and receive care support packages on a completely flexible basis according to their needs.

* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2017 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27-29 March 2012 . The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).