The call by two cabinet ministers for more families to put up parents or grandparents in their spare rooms to ease the crisis in old age care and boost ‘family life’, has been criticised.
At the Conservative Party Conference both Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt said that Britons can learn lessons from Asia about looking after elderly relatives in their own homes, as opposed to paying for them to move to care homes.
“Jeremy Hunt’s call at the Conservative Party Conference for people to offer parents and grandparents their spare bedrooms is yet another sign that the government is focusing its efforts in both housing and elderly care in the wrong direction,” said Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Retirement Villages.
“We know that older generations value their independence incredibly highly and do not want to enter either care homes or rely on their family. What’s actually needed are more suitable and aspirational properties for over 55s. Properties which come with flexible care when it’s needed, allow older people to live in their own home and remain there with the confidence that help is available. Not only would this free up under-occupied family homes and give liquidity to the housing market, but would give older generations the retirement they want and deserve.
“This government would do better to focus on incentivising downsizing through helping provide land and planning permission to suitable housing and considering a stamp duty reprieve for those looking to purchase a smaller property.”