How Families Care For Elderly Relatives Across Europe

Find out more about the way elderly care provided by families looks across Europe, compared to in the UK alone.

By 2027 a massive 20.7% of the UK population will be aged 65 or older and across the continent of Europe, population age projections are very similar. Although birth rates are high, in many places fertility is lowering, which is why the population of Europe is ageing overall in combination with better healthcare and health awareness.

Living longer is a great thing, but it does leave every country with an ageing population a bit of a problem. The problem is a lack of adequate care for those ageing populations.

Residential care is lacking in places, and in a study done by the Live-in Care Hub nearly 100% of people don’t want to go into residential care even if it is available to them. The UK also has a huge issue with bed blocking within the NHS, where elderly people are unable to leave hospital because of a lack of adequate care available to them when they are discharged.

family care

In the UK it isexpected that in the future over £3 million will be needed to pay for caring for the elderly in the near future. Across the rest of Europe spending differs greatly. Eastern and Central Europe spend the least on elderly care, but in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, the most is spent and the most sophisticated care systems exist for the elderly too.

In Eastern and Central Europe a lot of care is centred around the family caring for their elderly relatives and many people believe that family caregiving could be the key to the care crisis across all of Europe.

How Families Care For Elderly Relatives Across Europe

In Eastern and Central Europe the least amount of money is spent by the state on elderly care, compared to other countries. In lots of places, this is because culturally, it is expected that elderly relatives will be cared for by the younger members of the family. In the Mediterranean culturally it is very normal for an elderly relative to live with the rest of the family when they need care.

One major hole in this multi-generational way of living is that equal rights mean more women than ever before are leaving the home for their careers, opting for child-care or even delaying having children or not having children at all, in favour of a career. With both men and women being away from the home more, there isn’t anybody at home of the right age to care for elderly relatives. This is a modern issue affecting family care giving across Europe and across the globe.

Live-in Care Is A Beneficial Care Solution

Live-in care is a type of care that is quickly being embraced as a major solution for many issues with standard care systems. With family care giving family members can go out to work and lead a completely full life knowing that their loved one is being cared for at home by a qualified live-in carer.

Those needing care do not need to opt for a residential care home if they would prefer to stay in their own home, and no need to separate from partners or pets. Live-in care is also known to be affordable for many, and is often more beneficial to health and well being in comparison to other types of care. If you’re interested in live-in care for yourself or family members, speak to your local social services or GP about getting a care assessment, an important first step in getting live-in care set up.

Author: Robin Gupta