Majority of Londoners believe local community vital for seniors’ wellbeing but over half see care homes as inevitable, study finds

The majority of Londoners (73%) believe local community and neighbourhood engagement is vital for senior residents’ wellbeing, but almost half (49%) agree with the statement “moving into a care home becomes an inevitability when you get older,” according to a OnePoll survey commissioned by new London-based live-in care provider, Cherished Home Care.

The news comes as government data has shown that by 2050 there will be over 1m more Londoners aged 60 years or older than in 2020, with the Mayor’s action plan for an age-friendly London highlighting the importance of appropriate housing for older people in the city, including access to care at home.

In response to this, Cherished Home Care has been launched under the umbrella of established care provider The Good Care Group, to ensure older people in the city have access to local, bespoke and personalised care within their community, supported by carers who are familiar with the area. As and when required the local care team can call on the support of The Good Care Group’s clinical experts to review client care plans, particularly for those with more complex care needs.

The study of 2,000 found, of those living in the capital, the majority (67%), felt connected to their local neighbourhood, even more so than the rest of the UK (57%).

A greater proportion of Londoners (53%), when compared to the rest of the UK (37%), also said that their local community helps make their house feel more like a home, with over half (59%) agreeing they would be devastated to leave their home.

However, the survey also revealed that despite the value that Londoners place on their homes and the connection they have to their local communities, 44% have not discussed or considered their care needs or the needs of a loved one. More than half of Londoners surveyed (52%) described their understanding of live-in care as an alternative option to moving into a care home as either ‘neither good nor bad,’ ‘bad’ or ‘non-existent.’

The Centre for London’s analysis of the make-up of London households currently points to a high reliance on family support in the city, with London having the highest proportion (24%) of over 70s living in multi-generational households of all UK regions, potentially demonstrating a lack of understanding of the care options available.

Data from The Good Care Group has shown that live-in care results in clients 28 times less likely to have a serious injury from a fall, compared to if they were in a care home, testament to how personalised, individualised care can make a real difference to people and help them to remain well and thriving within their communities for longer.

Darren Kennedy, Managing Director of Cherished Home Care, said:

“The insights from this study tell us there is a lack of awareness among Londoners of the home care options available to them and their loved ones in later life, but also that they assume moving into a care home is the primary choice for themselves and others as they age.

“It’s therefore vital that a key part of the Mayor’s action plan includes raising awareness of the full range of care options available for Londoners – especially home care – so they can make the best choices for themselves and others. The new Labour government must also prioritise enhancing social care services, using adequate funding to support older people to choose the care they need and live independently for as long as possible.”