Choosing care for elderly loved one 'harder than divorce'

Credit: PA

Eight out of every 10 women dread choosing a care home for an elderly parent or relative so much they find divorce, a survey has found.

The survey, from parenting websites Mumsnet and Gransnet, found middle-aged women were so overwhelmed by the decision that they found moving home less stressful.

Mumsnet's poll was aimed at the so-called "sandwich generation" - aged between 40-60, they balance caring for their children with supporting elderly parents.

Carers UK estimates that there are around 2.4 million people in this situation, with numbers expected to rise with the ageing population.

By 2015, there will be 5.4 million people aged over 75 years who will need to receive Adult Social Care, with this set to rise to 8.8 million by 2035.

Helena Herklots, the head of Carers UK warned the provision of adult social care was behind where it needed to be by 15-20 years.

Families are dealing with elderly relatives with a host of health problems which may need round the clock care. Credit: PA

She said caring for an elderly relative would "be a reality for us all at some point in our lives".

The charity chief explained:

Juggling the care we want for those we care about, alongside work and family commitments can be stressful and confusing.

Helena Herklots

The survey results come as the Care Quality Commission (CQ) launches new inspections and standards of care for Adult Social Care across England.

However, CQC inspector, Andrea Sutcliffe encouraged concerned members of the sandwich generation to set up secret cameras in their parents' care home if they were worried about their relative's wellbeing.

She told The Times:

We have decided that the best way to proceed is to issue guidance so those providers and relatives who feel the need to do it know what the issues are that they need to take into account.

Andrea Sutcliffe

The CQC's new standards on adult social care are due out later this month.