Just 23% of adults with living parents polled by YouGov for Carers Trust said they had talked to their parents about future care arrangements, and a third (34%) have no idea how they would pay for any future care needs.
The figures spike amongst 25 to 35 year olds, with 81% admitting they have never spoken to their parents about later-life care. 39% of this 25 to 35 age group don't know how they would cover potential care costs, with 1 in 10 believing the Government will foot the bill.
For many it appears future care needs are a taboo topic. More than a third (34%) of those quizzed hadn't discussed it with their parents because they were embarrassed, thought it would upset them, didn't think they would want to discuss it, or simply didn't know how to broach the subject. Even amongst those aged 55 and over with living parents, the conversation had never arisen for a third of those polled (33%).
When asked what care arrangements they might make for parents as they get older over a quarter (28%) had no idea, while more than a third (35%) expected their parents to either go into a residential home or receive regular professional care support in their own home.
A further quarter of adults questioned (28%) said they would personally look after their parents if they require care in old age by giving up their job, arranging flexible working, or have their parents move in with them.
Carers Trust Chief Executive, Gail Scott-Spicer said; “The research suggests an ‘ostrich-approach’ when it comes to later-life care of our loved ones. We were shocked that future care needs of parents appear to be such a taboo family topic. Given the expected rise in the UK’s elderly population and the fact there are already over 12 million over 65 year olds in the country, we simply can’t afford to not have these conversations.
“People need to plan for the care of their loved ones in later life. Three in five of us will become a carer at some point in our lives – often to our parents. Anybody can become a carer, literally overnight. Unpaid carers save the UK £119 billion each year but often at a high price for themselves. They need support.”
The research was commissioned to highlight its Britain’s Best Breakfast fundraising campaign which urges the UK to ‘wake up’ to the realities of caring and raise money to support the UK’s seven million unpaid carers.