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Report found two thirds of older adults would resist going into a care home

Updated: May 10, 2023

Financial Services Just Group Report found two thirds of older adults would resist going into a care home.

According to a study carried out by the financial services firm Just Group reluctance to enter a care home in later life has intensified among over-45s, and most would prefer carers coming to their own home, new research reveals.

Some 69 per cent reject the prospect of residential care, rising to 72 per cent among over-75s, with opposition hardening since the study was first carried out in 2014.

The Just Group surveyed 1,000 over-45s, mostly in England plus a small group in Northern Ireland.

Impact of the pandemic

Evidence has emerged over the past few years that people are more likely to resist moving to care homes since the pandemic. Older adults have increasingly strong views about how they do and do not want to be cared for in old age, according to financial services firm Just Group.

As we know the crisis sparked outrage over the number of deaths among residents, and rows over visiting restrictions imposed on relatives.

Alternatives to residential care

Downsizing into another property or assisted living accommodation, or paying for one-on-one care in your own home, are more popular alternatives to residential care, according to previous research.

Just Group found that 62 per cent of all over-45s and 47 per cent of over-75s surveyed in 2014 were against going into a care home when it first carried out its survey in 2014.

Although antipathy has become more widespread as a longer-term trend, it has abated slightly since the height of the pandemic.

Resistance peaked at 73 per cent among over-45s and 82 per cent among over-75s in 2020. Meanwhile, 20 per cent of all over-45s now say they are positive about going into residential care if they have to, compared with 32 per cent in 2014.

Among over-75s, 29 per cent are in favour now against 44 per cent eight years ago.


When it comes to carers coming into your own home, 67 per cent would accept this now compared with 80 per cent in 2014. Among over-75s, the figures are 80 per cent and 93 per cent respectively.

Just Group also notes that the percentage of over-45s who are against being cared for by their children is at a low of 51 per cent, though it is much higher among over-75s at 69 per cent.

‘There are increasingly strong views among older adults about how they do and don’t want later life care, should they need it, says Stephen Lowe, a director at the firm. Having care provided in their own home is by far and away the most popular option for many people, especially among over 75s who are most likely to need greater support in the near future.

The horror stories about care homes during the pandemic seem to have made a lasting impression and we still see significant numbers who are set against going into a residential care setting.

Trends in homecare/domiciliary care and supported living

At Bettal Quality Consultancy we have seen a marked increase in residential care providers seeking our support for CQC Registration in domiciliary care and supported living.

Bettal in the last 12 months have supported more than 150 homecare/domiciliary care agencies achieve CQC Registration.


The report by the financial services firm Just Group, confirms that there is increased reluctance to entering a care home in later life. There is also evidence that the crises in care homes during the pandemic has intensified people’s reluctance to live in a care home.

The most popular alternative to residential care is paying for one-to-one homecare in your own home or supported living.

Bettal has found there is a marked increase in people seeking to register for homecare and supported living that is being driven by more confidence in the sector, as a result of more government support.

While the resistance to entering a care home is likely to continue as more innovative homecare packages come on stream that enable people to remain in their own homes for longer, care homes will still have an important role to play in providing services for people with dementia and others who may be at risk in their own homes or where home care becomes impractical.

Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy

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