Distance between Yorkshire families adds to ‘crisis in elderly care’

Picture by Gerard Binks.
Picture by Gerard Binks.
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THE pressure of the employment market which sees people take jobs miles away from elderly parents has prompted further concerns over an escalating crisis in care.

Research from private health insurers BUPA has revealed the growing distance between families across Yorkshire is making care for elderly parents more difficult.

Adults in Yorkshire aged 35 and over and who are likely to be in a position of finding care for an older relative, now live an average 74 miles, or a two-hour drive, from their parent.

Many families are researching their options from a distance without getting to know an area.

For some, Christmas acted as a wake-up call as they noticed a deterioration in their parent’s health.

For more than one in ten adults in Yorkshire, the festive period is one of the few set times they see their parents.

According to BUPA, almost ten per cent of adults over 35 admitted either being worried about, or saw an actual deterioration, in their parent’s health over Christmas.

Experts emphasise the importance of planning and not leaving care decisions until a crisis develops.

Charity Age UK said many people delayed making decisions until their relation hit crisis point.

Caroline Abrahams, director at Age UK, said: “With social care under huge strain and care homes regularly hitting the headlines for poor treatment, there has never been a more difficult time to choose the right type of care for a loved one.

“Unfortunately, all too often these decisions are put off until the older person reaches crisis point, making it even more tricky and stressful. We would advise people, where possible, to research the different types of care available in an area before the situation becomes critical, giving everyone the time to consider all the issues.”

Age UK has a ‘care home checklist’ as well as factsheets and guides available from www.ageuk.org.uk or via the freephone number 0800 169 6565.