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Few homes suitable for future care needs

14 October 2020

The vast majority of over-55s do not believe their home will be suitable for future care needs, despite a vast number preferring to stay in their homes if they need support in later life, a new report by Key has shown, requiring a potential house move as part of financial planning.

According to the equity release specialist, just a fifth (21%) of over-55s believe their current home would meet their needs if their health declines, but nearly half (47%) said they would want to stay in their current home in the future.

Just over a quarter (28%) would like to live in a more manageable home or sheltered accommodation if they need care, while 5% would expect to move in with family members and 4% would opt for residential care.

Key’s report, ‘Tackling the Care Question’ found that many older homeowners (38%) would need to make improvements to their home to make them suitable for later life living, with the average bill just over £8,000. Potential improvements ranged from a wet room or stair lift to improving accessibility.

Key said that its most recent data revealed that ‘age proofing’ a home remains a popular choice for many people who take out equity release, with over half (59%) of customers spending some of the money they release on making their home more functional and comfortable for themselves as they age.

Will Hale, CEO, Key (pictured), says: “The vast majority of people want to receive care and support in the familiar surroundings of their own home but only one in five people believe that their home is suitable if their health does decline as they get older.  Indeed, flights of stairs, a big family bathroom and a multi-level garden might be incredibly desirable for a growing family but tougher for an older couple to manage.

“The need to make these changes may feel like a long way off for those early in retirement but it is important to consider whether your current home could work for you as you get older, otherwise it may be worth exploring other options including a move to a more suitable property.

“How you finance any changes to your property as well as any potential care needs requires careful consideration.”

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