Fewer than half of older people in Ireland have a plan for their care in later life, according to a new research – while 53% consider funding later life care to be a major stress.
The findings are contained in Behaviour and Attitudes research among people aged over 60, commissioned by later life lending company Spry Finance, the sole provider of lifetime loans.
The survey found that 55% of homeowners aged over 60 have no plan for care in later life, while 38% have a broad plan but nothing in writing. Of those who have a plan, 54% have had no discussions with family about their plans.
Funding care in later life is a growing issue because of Ireland’s ageing demographics. Only five per cent of all older people ever need residential nursing home care, however, more than 56,000 people receive home support services from the state and it is estimated that more than half a million people provide regular unpaid care in the home.
Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a selection of statements regarding their attitudes to care, of those surveyed:
- Just 7% said they have a detailed plan for their care in later life
- 27% were not worried about funding their later life care needs
- 51% believe that the family home should not be used to fund later life care
- 36% would consider releasing equity in their home to fund nursing home or home care
David Brady, Director at Spry Finance, said: “This research shows that funding care in later life is a major concern for older people. Most individuals and couples don’t have a plan for their own care and of those who do, only a small minority have a detailed plan.”
“Funding care, whether at home or in a nursing home, is undoubtedly imposing a significant financial burden on many families. It’s notable that our research found that 33% of those who expressed interest in the lifetime loan product cited home care as a reason for using a lifetime loan, up from 19% in 2022.
“Spry Finance has also experienced an increase in enquiries from home care providers in recent months. They are seeking information to help support customers who are looking at alternative options to fund home care.
“Spry Finance is dedicated to providing choice for older people and supporting them so that they can meet their financial needs and objectives in later life.”