Myth-busters #12: Everyone ends up in a Care Home when they get old

This is a very common myth, which it is easy to believe when you look at how the UK’s elderly population is portrayed in the media.

However, it is wholly untrue, which is good news for us all!

At present, the UK has around 11.8 million people over 65. Of these, less than 4% are in residential care.*

Similarly, of the approximately 1.6 million people over 85 currently living in the UK, less than 15% are in residential care.*

Not bonly is it untrue that “everyone” will end up in a Care Home, not even “most” people will.

When considering where an older person lives – whether it is you, a family member, or a loved one – it is essential that you consider the personal circumstances of that person. Their physical and mental ability to live in different situations is a primary concern, but you must also look at their health and care needs, their social needs and their overall well-being. Some people may never need any additional assistance or care at all.

It may well be that someone does need extra support and care as they get older, but that does not automatically mean that they need to leave their home, where they have happy memories and a real emotional connection, and move into residential care.

Perhaps instead, they just need someone to pop in once or twice each day to help them with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, dealing with medial needs etc. With this simple solution, the person gets to keep their home, their routine and their independence.

Even for more complex needs, care at home may be an option – it is even possible to get a 24-7 live-in carer or nurse if that is what is best in the circumstances.

These days, there are many options available to people as they get older; residential care is certainly not a given for anyone, let alone for everyone.

* Statistics from Age UK

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